Further and Higher Education (Post 16)

If you are still in education your school or college should provide you with careers information, advice, and guidance. Contact the on-site careers advisor for more information or ask your tutor or SEND contact on how to request this.

You will find lots of useful information around making education and careers choices, apprenticeships and finding work, on our Find Your Future Careers Portal.

If you are aged 16 to 19 years old (up to 25 if you have an Education, Health and Care plan), and not in education, employment, or training (NEET) and need support, the Youth Support Service Personal Guidance Advisors can provide careers advice, information and support to young people living in Central Bedfordshire.  

Further Education (FE) Colleges

Further education (FE) colleges provide a range of courses suitable for students of all abilities and interests. Most colleges will also offer specialist entry level supported learning courses that focus on developing basic skills and life skills. 

You can find more information on local colleges below:

Bedford College

Barnfield College

Buckinghamshire College Group

Central Bedfordshire College

Milton Keynes College

Moulton College

North Hertfordshire College

Oaklands College

West Herts College

Financial support for Further Education

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a Government bursary that can help you with educational costs such as travel, books, meals or clothing if you are studying at a school or college or on a training course (including unpaid work experience). If you have an EHC plan you may be eligible for the bursary if you are over the age of 19.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). It may be possible for people studying a further education course to get additional money to support their studies through the Disabled Students’ Allowance depending on circumstances. Healthcare and social work students may be eligible for a bursary through the NHS Disabled Students’ Allowance. See NHS Student Bursaries for more information.

Other Education Providers

There are education providers who offer an informal study environment in smaller groups.  You can find out more information on these providers below.

Animal Antiks

EOB Academy

Houghton Learning Hub (Central Bedfordshire College)  

North Hertfordshire College - Springboard



Specialist Providers

Specialist Providers offer education or day opportunities for young people with more complex health and/or care needs.


Higher Education

Support for going to University

UCAS is a service to support young people making post 16 choices, as well as those applying for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Useful information includes

Find Your Future is Central Bedfordshire’s complete careers and education guide where you can discover:

  • local career opportunities
  • education and training options
  • expert advice 

University Transition Autism School (UTAS)

University Transition Autism School (UTAS) is a series of four online events for autistic students starting University in autumn 2023.

More information can be found on University of Bath's website.

Financial support for Higher Education

There are a number of websites with advice for students and their parents/carers concerning Student Finance.

For a comprehensive overview of the process, eligibility for students and how to apply, visit the government's Student Finance website.

The Student Room also explains the process students go through if they are eligible or if they are not.

Complete University Guide - for students who want to have some advice and tips on how they can budget and manage their finances.

Childcare Grant - extra financial help may be available for students who use registered childcare for their children. You must be eligible for student finance to access this grant.

Post 16 Transport assistance

Transport assistance will be provided to the nearest suitable educational establishment where the chosen programme of study is offered. For young people with an EHCP, this will be the placement named on the EHCP, as long as this is the nearest suitable placement. If parents have requested an alternative placement which is not the nearest, transport will not be provided.

If you do not qualify for transport assistance do contact your education provider as colleges and schools have access to the 16 to 19 bursary which can help towards your transport costs. These are administered directly by schools and colleges and the amount they offer may vary depending on your circumstances.

Transport will also be provided free of charge for young adults, aged between 19 to 25 starting a course or training in September 2022, who have special educational needs and have been assessed as requiring assistance to enable them to travel to and from their place of education or training.

More information can be found on Central Bedfordshire Council's website 

School’s and Post 16 Institutions additional duties for children and young people with SEN

Schools have additional duties under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.

These include the following:

  • Schools must publish more detailed information about their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN .
  • Schools must include information about  arrangements for the admission of disabled pupils including ,  the steps taken to prevent disabled pupils from being treated less favourably than other pupils, the facilities provided to assist access for disabled pupils and the schools’ accessibility plans. 
  • The school-specific information should relate to the schools’ arrangements for providing a graduated response to children’s SEN.  

Parent/ Carers can directly request this information from school, and schools publish this information on their website. This information is known as SEND Information Report. These reports are reviewed annually by the local authority to ensure that the information is compliant.