Applying to college for young people with SEND
Students work with their school to identify various colleges the summer before. There are open days where students can come and visit with parents.
Also colleges are open throughout the year so the student and family are welcome to discuss any concerns the student has about moving in. Some higher need students will have a timetabled visit to the college supported by the school and college. A full-time offer in colleges is 3 days a week and it is expected students will use the other non-college days to study and do other meaningful activities.
A student will receive a letter from college in July inviting them to come in August to enroll, where they will have another opportunity to talk about the course, have their ID photo taken and undertake a test (BKSB) which charts the learning level that the student is working at to ensure they are being put on the right course level.
The colleges have small classes and those students on mainstream courses will have discreet support in class until the student states they no longer need it.
The colleges provide a high level of pastoral care and support if required.
You can find a list of all colleges in Buckinghamshire.
There are some things a parent can do to help a young person find the right education path for them.
- Find out which course the young person might be interested in.
- Attend college or 6th form open events to collect as much information as possible about the course and life at the college.
- Young people can attend more than one event if they are undecided or not sure where to take their course.
- The current school will advise the Integrated SEND Service of where the young person would prefer to go to study.
- For those young people where there is no post-16 preference, the Integrated SEND Service should send a letter around the beginning of July asking if they want to continue in education and where they would like to move onto from September.
- Apply as usual to your preferred college for preferred course/s
- Attend interview and await response from the setting.
- Using the preferences gathered from current settings, young people and parents/carers, the Integrated SEND Service will formally consult with the preferred post-16 setting, using the EHC Plan.
- After the interview process has taken place, the post-16 setting will respond to the Integrated SEND Service, advising if they can meet the needs of the young person and will be able to offer a place on the course.
- When the young person confirms they wish to take up this offer, the Integrated SEND Service will name the post-16 setting in Section I of the EHC Plan.
- The EHC Plan will stay with the young person throughout post-16 education.
When the Local Authority and college identify that a student’s needs can only be met with further specialist support, the most appropriate agency will be identified and they will make contact with the student, their family and current school to 'get to know' the student. Transition visits to colleges commence April – May. These visits are planned and highly supported. Each High Needs Student will have their own learning objectives that are bespoke to that student’s needs. The support agency will carry out an assessment that identities the student's needs and aspirations and how the support agency will work with all partners to deliver this. There will be termly reporting and an annual review. Bucks College Group has new buildings that have been constructed especially for our students. The flexible course programmes also enable the learning to be delivered in a way that best meets their learning approach. Please see: