Education and training

This page explains the Support available when moving on from school into college, training or looking for a job

The transition meeting and transition plan you complete at school will help you decide what education, training or employment would suit you, once you leave school.

You might decide to:
  • Stay on at school (if the school has sixth form)
  • Go to a college
  • Start an apprenticeship
  • Go on a traineeship
  • Go to another independent school or college
  • Go on a supported internship
As you get ready to leave school, the school will help you look at the different options. Colleges might invite you to come for the day and see if you like it. You might have a number of visits to get you ready for the move. If you are worried about moving on from school, it’s good to talk to your teachers or head of year who can support you to get the advice and guidance you need.
The careers advisor may also be able to help support young people without an EHCP in year 11 who need extra help to access education, employment or training.
contact the careers guidance team at 01670 622799 or 07827 244 027, or email
Most colleges will offer extra support for students with disabilities or additional needs. It is best to apply early to give the college time to arrange the extra support. If you are on an Education, Health and Care Plan, you will be able to discuss choices with your careers adviser.
Northumberland County Council’s Careers Guidance Team and the Information, Advice and Support Service have worked with employers, Further Education providers and those who work in the health industry to present the ‘My Future Options’ event to give guidance on what is on offer to young people and advise them how they can live more independently.  

Journalist and TV presenter, Steph McGovern has too given her words of advice as part of the event telling students to: “Be ambitious” and not to “let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, because you are.” 

There were over 80 videos shown :
  • Information Relating to Education - includes colleges, training providers and universities. 
  • Information Relating to Employment - includes local employer information, how to write a CV etc. 
  • Information Relating to Independence - includes information on local social care provision, activities to attend etc. 
Please see the Careers Guidance Team webpage for further information.
A list of websites you may find helpful while looking for education or training.

Please see the following links to find out more about growing up and leaving school with SEND: These websites are useful for generating course ideas and looking for local education and training providers
Further Education, Technical and Professional Qualifications
To help you begin your journey, we have collated information on the various pathways into employment. Some young people may go through a number of stages before finding employment.

Work may be part time, full time, voluntary, or with or without support in the job itself.
A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience. It unlocks the great potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers, by helping them to become ‘work ready’. 

Traineeships are designed to help young people aged 16-24 who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience. They provide the essential work preparation training, English, maths, and work experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment. 

The three main parts of a traineeship are:
  • a work placement
  • work preparation training
  • English and maths where the student is still to achieve GCSEs at grade C or 4, or the Functional Skills equivalent. 
Doing voluntary work can be a good way to get some work experience. It can help you when applying for paid work. 

Study programmes
There are a number of local training providers who offer the study programme. Trainees will gain work experience, undertake work related qualifications and, if necessary, will continue with their English and maths. Trainees may be entitled to a bursary.

Supported employment
Supported employment is individualised support to secure people with disabilities, long term conditions, and multiple barriers to work a sustainable, paid job in the open labour market.  

Further education
Local colleges have a number of routes that can lead to employment. One option is to undertake academic qualifications, such as GCSEs and A levels, which are accepted entry requirements for some jobs. Alternatively, further education can lead to higher education and then onto employment.

Another route is to do a vocational (work related) course; these can be in anything from bricklaying and engineering to beauty, tourism, and sport. Usually there are different levels of courses, and entry may depend on GCSE results or other qualifications. The courses can lead directly to a job or higher education. 

The final route is through courses run by the special needs departments. Often these courses are at entry level. They enable students to have work tasters and concentrate on gaining the skills they will need for the workplace.

Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification and develop work related skills, while earning a salary. There are usually entry requirements, as young people need to be working towards at least a level 2 qualification.

Please click here to view apprenticeship vaccancies on the National Apprenticeship website.

Supported internships
Supported internships are structured study programmes primarily based with an employer. They are designed for 16-24 year olds with special educational needs. Young people undertake work placements up to 4 days per week, with a strong emphasis on them gaining employment at the end of the programme.
Please click here to find out more about supported internships.

Higher education
Higher education is a form of study that leads to a degree. Further Education Colleges offer Foundation degrees; Universities offer Honours degrees. Information on courses and entry requirements can be found on the UCAS website. Finance for higher education is through the Students Loan Company. Students with a disability may be entitled to the Disabled Students Allowance. 

Access to Work
Access to Work offers support for individuals and employers. It is a fund provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, for help at work that isn’t covered by an employer making reasonable adjustments. The support offered is based on a person’s needs. 

An Access to Work grant can pay for:
  • special equipment, adaptations, or support worker services to help do things such as answer the phone or go to a meeting
  • help getting to and from work 
The money doesn’t have to be paid back and won’t affect other benefits.

For more information on Access to Work and apprenticeships, please click here. 

For more information about the pathways into employment, please click here for the Preparing for Adulthood website.
These links will help with learning more about yourself:
Barclays lifeskills - wheel of strength
ICould - A buzz quiz and career stories

The National Careers Service has information to help make decisions on learning, training and work, click here to find out more.

Job Search
Best for: People who don’t have the time or patience to search lots of websites.
Useful features: The most popular of all UK job boards, with ten jobs added to the site every second. Indeed has a good search function to allow you to easily sort through the many jobs available. You can filter by location and compare different salaries. You can also set up job alerts, and rank jobs by your own priorities.

Best for: Those wishing to access a high volume of vacancies in one place.
Useful features: Totaljobs is now partnered with Jobsite (the government’s job centre site), meaning that its job listings are broadcast to over six million jobseekers each month, with around 100,000 live job adverts on the website at any one time. The website provides useful career advice in the form of informative articles on interviews and job hunting, as well as the opportunity to search for courses for career development. Using a feature called ‘One Click Apply’, you can upload your CV and cover letter to the site, and then apply for jobs with one click.

North East Jobs
The best source for public sector jobs in the North East of England. Often public sector organisations will also promote apprenticeship opportunities they have on this site.