After the age of 16 there are different options about where to study next, including academies and schools with sixth forms, and colleges (Sixth Form and FE Colleges). You can study full- or part-time from the age of 16. You don’t have to stay at school until you gain GCSE English and Maths, there are other routes that will also support you with your English and maths, including traineeship and apprenticeships.

Schools and academies with a sixth form offer a wide range of courses, including A levels, AS levels, maths and English GCSE. Some will offer vocational courses.

Further Education (FE) includes any study after secondary education which is delivered in an FE College.

Further Education includes a wide range of different courses, from those that do not need any specific GCSE Grades (Foundation Studies and access courses) through to GCSEs (including English and maths), A levels, apprenticeships, degrees and professional qualifications.  Although most full time FE Colleges are attended by 16 to 19 year-olds, there are also many adults studying in a college on a range of short, part-time, professional or Higher Education courses.

Training providers

These offer a range of different courses to all ability levels, from those that do not need any GCSEs to professional qualifications and higher level apprenticeships. Most offer work-based training and apprenticeships. Many specialise in training for certain careers and many offer courses to develop young people’s employability skills, including traineeships. Most are full-time courses, but part-time and shorter courses are also available.

SEND information - part of our Local Offer


Further Education Colleges get an annual budget, which can be used to pay for additional support for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

Individual colleges decide how best to meet a young person’s needs and will carry out an assessment as part of the college application process.

The college must fund the first £6,000 of the cost of this support from their budget. If the cost is going to be more than £6,000, the local authority may top it up with additional money.

The local authority will decide if this additional funding is appropriate using the information in the individual’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

You can find more information about further education courses and funding on the GOV.UK website.

You can also find information about further education on the pages below.

View the graduated response and provision that is ordinarily available in Somerset schools that the local authority expects to be available for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Last reviewed:August 19, 2022 byJennifer

Next review due:February 19, 2023

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