SEN Support at Post-16

The duties set out below are best achieved when young people, their parents/carers and all involved professionals work in partnership, and in the best interests of the young person. Young people and parents/carers are equal partners in their education and co-working and coproduction are the principles under which the following is expected and required:

  • All Post-16 providers must have regard to the SEND Code of Practice (2015).
  • All Post-16 providers must have arrangements in place to identify and address the special educational needs (SEN) of the young people they support.

Further Education (FE) colleges, sixth form colleges, and 16-19 academies must:

  • Use their best endeavours (do everything they possibly can) to make sure that a young person with SEN gets the support they need with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The responsibility for meeting the SEN of young people attending the provision is shared by all staff;
  • Cooperate with the Local Authority on arrangements for young people with SEN;
  • Admit a young person if the Education Setting is named in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP);
  • Not discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled young people and the must make reasonable adjustments to prevent them being placed at a disadvantage in their education;
  • Secure access to independent careers guidance for all students up to 25 years with EHC plans (up to 18 years without EHCP's);

There should be a member of college staff who has responsibility for the oversight of SEN provision to ensure coordination of support (similar to the role of the ‘SENCO’ in a school).

Colleges should ensure they have access to external specialist support and expertise when required such as educational psychologists, therapists, mental health professionals.

It is expected that college leaders should regularly review how expertise and resources used to address SEN can be used to build the quality of whole-college provision as part of their approach to overall improvement.
The Code and Southwark LA would expect:

  • The quality of teaching for young people with SEN and the progress made by those students to be a core part of the college’s performance management arrangements and its approach to professional development for all teaching and support staff;
  • The identification of SEN should be built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all students;
  • All students with SEN should follow a coherent study programme which provides stretch and progression and enables the student to achieve the best possible outcomes in adult life.

If the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the support outlined in their plan must be fulfilled by their Post-16 education setting. Annual reviews will continue to take place to ensure the support is appropriate, effective and outcomes are being achieved.

If the young person transitions to Post-16 Education and does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) but did receive SEN Support at school, this information should be passed onto the new setting. The young person can request a meeting with the learning support team to discuss their needs and the types of support they received at school and to plan how they will continue to be supported.

SEN Support should follow a cycle of action:

  • Assess: Colleges should bring together all the relevant information from the student, the school and anyone else working with the student. This should be discussed with the student, who can be accompanied by a parent, advocate or other supporter.
  • Plan: A support plan should be developed with the student. Support might include assistive technology, specialist tuition, note takers, access to therapies (for example, speech and language therapy) or a range of other types of support.
  • Do: This plan should be put into place by the college.
  • Review: The effectiveness of the support should be reviewed regularly, taking into account the student’s progress and any changes to the student’s own ambitions and aspirations, which may lead to changes in the type and level of their support.

External specialist help can be involved at any time, and should always be involved where the student’s needs are not being met by the interventions put in place. A record should be kept of the support provided and the student’s progress.

Where, despite the educational setting having taken action to identify and meet the child or young person's needs, the child or young person is still not making expected progress, the educational setting should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. If the education setting can show that the child or young person has or may have SEN, and that they may need support through an EHC plan (because the setting cannot provide the support they need), the local authority (LA) must agree to carry out an EHC needs assessment. The parents/carers or young person are also entitled to make this request themselves.
Click here for more information on the EHC process.