Young people in England are required to continue in education or training until they are 18.

This does not necessarily mean staying in school; you have a choice about how you continue in education or training after the age of 16. This could be through:

  • full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
  • full-time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with part-time education or training
  • an apprenticeship, traineeship or a supported internship

Further and higher education

Further education (sometimes referred to as FE) is the term given to any education after the age of 16 that is not an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. It is what you learn after the age of 16, but usually not at university.

Generally speaking, higher education (HE) is the term used to describe education at university. You usually have to be 18 or over to take a higher education course.

Post 16 education options in Southend and the local area

In Southend there are various options for you to choose from post 16. Our local area has:

There are also 16 to 19 academies, and vocational learning and training providers. The range of study programmes available is broad and includes AS/A-levels, vocational qualifications at all levels, apprenticeships, traineeships, supported internships and bespoke packages of learning.

View details of settings offering post-16 provision.

South Essex College

South Essex College offer a range of programmes including Supported Internships and Apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a perfect alternative to university or college for many people because you can work while you study. An apprenticeship is a great way to gain the skills, knowledge, experience and the qualifications you need to get into many careers. They combine work, training, and study, letting you `earn while you learn`.

There are many different apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries, and for over 1,500 job roles. As a paid employee, each apprentice works alongside their studies. There are no student fees - your training costs are funded by the government and your employer.

SEND Provision at Southend Adult Community College

All students with special educational needs, whether physical, intellectual, social or emotional, are, wherever possible, fully integrated into our College community and have access to appropriate educational provision to allow them to experience a broad and balanced curriculum.

Our SEND Provision covers both our specialist centre for 19 to 21 year olds with profound needs at our Westcliff Centre, along with our Bespoke courses for all ages at our Southchurch site. We offer a full range of subjects delivered by teachers with specific SEN training and experience with something for all from healthy living classes to creative well-being. There are also opportunities to complete L1/L2 qualifications in employability.

More information can be found on the Southend Adult Community College website.

Foundation courses at USP College

Foundation courses at USP College are designed to support students with an EHCP to prepare them for adulthood.

The Pathways programme is designed for young people who would benefit from learning within a supported environment. Students on the programme receive help to develop their independent living skills to prepare for adulthood whilst studying Functional Skills or GCSEs in English and Maths, depending on entry qualifications.

Skills to Employment Progression (STEP) is a full-time work-based study programme where you can learn teamwork and employability skills. You will also improve your Functional Maths and English alongside NCFE Employability and may be able to resit your Maths and/or English GCSEs depending on your previous results.

Supported Internship is a one year course designed for students up to the age of 25 with an EHCP. It makes the first steps into employment and learning new skills less daunting for individuals with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The course will benefit students that would like to further develop their functional skills and carry out practical voluntary work with an employer.

Level 1 Vocational Studies is designed as an introduction to college and will focus on the personal, social and employability skills you will need to progress to further study in a specific sector at Level 2 such as Health and Social Care, Business, Sport, Early Years, Media or to an employment course such as STEP or Apprenticeship.

Provision outside Southend

For provision outside Southend, you may find it helpful to view the Essex County Council SEND Local Offer and the Thurrock Local Offer websites.

Careers and study information on the Your Futures website

Further information about post-16 study options and jobs and opportunities across Essex can be found on the Your Futures website.