Local Offer - Further and Higher Education

Where young people with SEND can study.

When you are 16, you may wish to leave school. In England, the law says that you must be in education or training until you are at least 18 years old. There are lots of different routes for continuing your studies either at college or sixth form, or an apprenticeship. This page contains details of local specialist providers you may wish to consider studying with. For information on mainstream post-16 provision, please visit the Start in Doncaster website. 

Your school will provide information, advice and guidance on which option is right for you, and these opportunities will start to be discussed during your annual reviews from Year 9 onwards, along with any support needs that you need to move on successfully. If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan the Local Authority will help you get the support you need to study. This will be shared with the school or college you will be attending.

Where can young people with SEND study?

  • Mainstream schools, special schools and academies often have sixth forms which offer courses for all young people, including those with SEND
  • General Further Education (GFE) colleges which offer mainstream and supported learning courses
  • Sixth form colleges, offering mainly A levels
  • Approved independent specialist providers of further education for young people with SEND

Supporting the move to college

Your school will work with post-16 providers to ensure you experiences a smooth transition to college, training or employment. This should first be planned in the your Year 9 Transition Review Meeting where a member of the Participation and Transition Team will attend and at subsequent reviews until the move. The ways that the school can help you to prepare for moving to college can include:

  • Taster sessions at colleges
  • Discussions between the SENCOs at each provider to ensure your needs are understood
  • Link Courses at college before leaving school. These are to assist in transition planning, vocational tasting and shared understanding of need

Further Education Colleges

Doncaster College

Doncaster College offers education and training for young people from age 16 onwards for Entry Level 1 to Level 7 Further and Higher Education courses. Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning Additional Learning Support is provided for all SEN including:

  • General learning difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH)
  • Hidden disabilities such as ASD, Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD
  • Specific learning difficulty (SpLD)
  • Visual impairment (VI)
  • Hearing impairment (HI)
  • Personal care
  • Mobility and wheelchair access.

Additional Learning Support

The Additional Learning Support team provides support to individual students who need a bit extra learning related support over and above what is normally provided on your course to help you achieve and reach your potential.

Take a look at our short film about the experiences / success stories of young people in Doncaster.

Life Skills

Life Skills offers a range of programmes from Entry 1 to Entry 3, preparing students with learning difficulties for independent living and work. These programmes are for people aged 16-24.

Take a look at our short film about the experiences of young people with Learning Disabilities in Doncaster.

  • Address: The Hub, Chappell Dr, Doncaster DN1 2RF 
  • Phone: 01302 553553

New College, Doncaster

Our mission is to provide dynamic, high quality learning experiences in a supportive, inclusive environment, enabling academic success and personal growth. Our vision is to be an inclusive provider of education in which students and staff work together to achieve potential and transform lives.

Study Support Provision 
The Study Support Team aims to help students maximise their educational achievements during their time at New College. The welcoming and professional staff will give you individual help with any aspect of your studies. We actively promote a policy of inclusion, so specialist support is available for students with a special educational need, disability or health care need.

We embrace the ethos that young people have the right to high quality teaching and learning and that through personalised support we will help remove the barriers to learning. We identify at application students whom have a special educational need or disability, and once identified we work closely with parents/carers and external agencies to ensure that these young people are safe and fully supported to achieve their potential.

The welcoming and professional tutors will give you individual help to support you in accessing your learning and will work closely with your subject teachers and external agencies. Support is provided in small groups, ‘one to one’ or in-class, according to the needs and wishes of the student.

We actively promote a policy of inclusion, so our provision often includes access arrangements for examinations, such as extra time and the use of word processors. It is very important that you disclose any disabilities or difficulties on your college application so we can plan in advance to meet your needs.

Please contact us about any of our services and support. We welcome any feedback, and would be happy to hear from you if you have any enquiry. You can contact us via the information below:

Dearne Valley College, Rotherham

Dearne Valley College is a part of the RNN Group, a group of education and training organisations which also includes Rotherham College and North Notts College. Our campus is based in the heart of the Dearne Valley in Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, and is also easily accessible from Barnsley and Doncaster.

At Dearne Valley College we provide full and part-time courses and Apprenticeships for school leavers and adults, as well as degrees and other higher-level and professional training.

You can study from entry level through to Level 3 (which is the equivalent level to A-Levels) before choosing to progress on to degrees and university-level courses with us. We specialise in a technical and career-focused training and education, and will provide you with high quality learning combining hands-on and practical skills, valuable work experience and the technical, underpinning knowledge.

Everyone deserves a fair start in life and our Colleges are committed to giving every learner the opportunity to reach their full potential. Education plays a critical role in achieving this.

All families need extra help from time to time. For children and young people who have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND), different levels of support are required at different times. Children and young people with the most complex needs and their parents and carers may need access to ongoing support and advice.


If you would like information, advice and guidance on your disability support needs, or support for a medical condition, you can contact the Disability Officer in the Student Services Centre. 
  • Address: Manvers Park, Wath upon Dearne, Swinton, Rotherham, S63 7EW
  • Telephone: 01709 513114 

Barnsley College

Barnsley College is a large mainstream college of further education offering a vast range of courses covering many vocational and academic areas. We have two curriculum departments that offer discreet provision for learner who have learning difficulties and disabilities (Learning for Living and Work) and for those who need time to adapt to college life (Foundation Learning). 

There is also support available on all mainstream provision subject to an ALS initial assessment which will help to determine the appropriate individualised support package.


  • Address: Church St, Barnsley, S70 2AX
  • Telephone: 01226 216769 
  • Email: als@barnsley.ac.uk

Landmarks, Rotherham

Landmarks Rotherham is an independent specialist college which offers education to young people, aged 16-25 years, with learning difficulties and disabilities. In addition to the college in Rotherham, we also operate across other sites throughout the East Midlands.

At Landmarks, we are proud to deliver high-quality post-16 specialist education and support that aims to maximise our learner’s life opportunities. We offer two main Pathways which we feel frame learner programmes of study well:

Developing Independence allows our learners to realise their potential by becoming as independent as possible. We work closely with learners, families, support services, therapists and tutors to determine what independence skills we need to focus on to prepare learners for their next stage in life. This includes improving communication, travelling on the bus, taking care of themselves in the home, managing money, making friends - creating a week’s worth of activities meaning they aren’t sat at home too much when they leave.

Learners also benefit from this Pathway by having the chance to achieve qualifications in Functional Skills, Employability Skills and Skills for Working Life.

Employability offers learners the opportunity to work in real working environments, with real employers so that they can develop a true understanding of what work involves. We also provide opportunities for learners to develop their vocational knowledge and skills, so that they can focus on accessing certain sectors; animal studies, horticulture, hospitality and catering to name a few.

Learners applying with an EHCP will be invited for a personalised assessment day at the Landmarks site of their choice. This gives them the opportunity to experience College life allowing our Assessment Team to discuss whether an individuals needs can be met and which Pathway is most suitable.

Please visit the Landmarks website for more details about our assessment process or call our Learner Recruitment Team.


Learner Recruitment

  • Address: Landmarks Rotherham, Unit 1, Claire Court Rawmarsh Road, Rotherham, S60 1RU
  • Email: recruitment@landmarks.ac.uk
  • Phone: 01246 433788

Independent Specialist Provision (Section 41)

Section 41 is the DfE's list of approved independent special schools, non-maintained special schools and post 16 institution provider list.

If a child’s parent or a young person makes a request for a particular nursery, school or post-16 institution in these groups the local authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:

  • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
  • the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.

The child’s parent or the young person may also make representations for places in non-maintained early years provision or at independent schools or independent specialist colleges or other post-16 providers that are not on the list located on the link below and the Local Authority must consider their request. The Local Authority is not under the same conditional duty to name the provider but must have regard to the general principle that children should be educated in accordance with their parents’ wishes, so long as this is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and does not mean unreasonable public expenditure. The Local Authority should be satisfied that the institution would admit the child or young person before naming it in a plan since these providers are not subject to the duty to admit a child or young person even if named in their plan.

Doncaster's Section 41 Providers

Communication Specialist College Doncaster

Communication Specialist College Doncaster offer a wide range of programmes for students who want to gain vocational qualifications as well as develop their independence and Personal and Social Development skills.

Our work pathway is an industry-focused learning environment for students who aim to enter employment whilst our life pathway and living pathway are designed to maximise personal and social development. We have many years’ experience of successfully delivering specialist vocational and independence training programmes. Our ‘OUTSTANDING’ Ofsted inspection in 2017 for residential social care and our 'GRADED GOOD' Ofsted inspection in 2018 are largely due to the dedication and sheer hard work of our staff teams.

We set high standards for our students but we also want your time with us to be as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible. We pride ourselves on providing communication through a holistic approach with the best staff, the latest technology and great facilities. We’re a lively, caring College where you will have lots of fun, while receiving all the help and support you may need.

Our learning community has a rich cultural diversity where you will receive a warm welcome and enjoy a friendly, safe learning environment. 

We hope that you will take up one of the many opportunities to visit the College and we look forward to meeting you. 


Harrison College

Harrison College is a specialist business, enterprise and employability post-16 education provision for students with autism and special educational needs. We provide a challenging and future focussed environment with the aspirations of the student at the centre of all that we do. We are values led and we place no limits on what can be achieved, it is ‘Your Future, Your Choice’.

Harrison College is different from a traditional Sixth Form or Further Education College as we are based in a small, professional environment on a business park, designed to maximise the potential of all young people with learning difficulties including those with high functioning Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Our class sizes are small, with a maximum of 8 to a class, allowing young people to build confidence and communication skills and improve their social, emotional and mental well-being in a safe, supportive and familiar setting. 

We focus on preparing young people for adult life, encompassing employability and work skills, work experience, social skills, and life skills. We talk to our students about their learning journey and destination from the moment that they start with us, ensuring that we are always future focused and that they are aware of all of the options open to them from employment through to higher education.

We see the study programme as a bridge between school and employment as we include a long term work placement; an internship, in our programme allowing young people to develop the required employability skills whilst being supported by staff at the College and the work-based mentor. 


Gemma Peebles - Principal

The Ridge Employability College

The Ridge Employability College welcomes learners aged 16 – 25. We have learners from Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley and surrounding areas. Our curriculum includes:

  • Employability & Careers
  • Functional Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitality & Catering
  • Princes Trust
  • Travel Training
  • PSHE
  • Tutorials
  • Sports
  • The Arts



Natspec is a membership association for organisations which offer specialist further education and training for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Natspec promotes specialism and personalisation within a diverse range of further education and training provision for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This education should broaden their choice, support their aspirations, represent their best interests and provide a social return on investment. Search for a college.

Moving to Higher Education (University)

If a young person is moving on from school or college to university, their Education, Health and Care Plan will cease as there is different funding in universities, including Disabled Student Allowances.

Universities do not have to follow the SEND Code of Practice, however, they do have to follow the Equality Act 2010. 

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs)

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You will not need to repay DSAs.


Back to Preparing for Adulthood (Post 16)


Last updated: 05 June 2024 17:10:10


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