Education and employment for young people

Next steps in education, training or employment.

Local Offer Oxfordshire

From Year 8

Planning for next steps begins from year 8 and all schools offer information, advice and guidance.

For young people with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan reviews in year 9 and beyond must always include planning for adulthood. This includes thinking about learning, training and employment, independent living, keeping healthy and being part of the community.

This approach to planning for adulthood is helpful for all young people with SEN or a disability - you can see the pathway here (pdf format)

Finding an education or training provider

Most young people with special educational needs attend a mainstream college or training provider with other young people of the same age. More choices can be found on our education and training pages.

For disabled young people and those with special educational needs there are specialist courses and opportunities within and beyond Oxfordshire. 

Learning, training and supported employment

More information about colleges and work-based learning and training, explaining some of the things that it is useful to know about.

Higher and Further Education Guides

Disability Rights UK have produced new guides for anyone with a health condition, learning difficulty or disability thinking about studying in higher education starting September 2017.

Oxfordshire Supported Internship

The Oxfordshire Supported Internship is a partnership between Activate Learning, Abingdon and Witney College as learning providers, together with Oxfordshire Employment and Mencap.

The programme supports young people who have an Education and Health Care Support Plan (EHCP) to move into paid employment through a supported internship.

Mencap have also developed an Interns and Outcomes provision.

College life

The following videos aim to show you what the colleges are like:

Video - Oxford City

Local Offer - Oxford City College from Oxfordshire County Council on Vimeo.

City of Oxford College - transcript

Hello, I’m Declan, I’m a student at Abingdon and Witney College and today I’ll be showing you around the City of Oxford College.

This is the furniture department where they make their own furniture. As you can plainly see someone has been working on a chair…chairs, sofas. And this is where they take photos of their awesome creations. This is one of the creations they’ve made, opening doors, drawers, the basics. It’s good for storage and as you can see it also looks very beautiful. These are some more examples of work from the furniture students, we’ve got bench, seats, a very nice vanity table, a nice circular table, a very nice lamp, a very tall table, some coat hangers, those weird little door wedge things you find, locks, unbelievably big buttons, indeed ridiculously big buttons.

I’ve got the learning coach for this zone here with me. Now can I ask you to introduce yourself to everyone please.

“Hi everyone, I’m Hannah Barrett and I’m the Learning Coach in this Learning Zone for vocational studies.

Right, and could you explain to me what a Learning Zone is used for?

So the Learning Zone is an environment for the students to come and perhaps do their own studies, or some work that’s been set for them by their tutors. And here they can become independent learners and get support from me - the Learning Coach.

Is there anything else the can do in here – can they have their lunch in here or anything?

Well ideally, they  don’t eat or drink here in this room as there is a lot of technology…but they can come here and use the ipads, and computers and the laptops and we’ve got an Apple TV in here as well, there’s lots of different resources here for the students.

I like it!

And they can always come here to get any help they need with their work from me as well.

This is the Foundation Studies corridor. As you can see there’s a lot of displays, and for some reason they seem to be obsessed with garden gnomes! As well as displays of drawings, there are toilets. Obviously we need to have those as they’re essential.

And a few comfy seats.

This is the Quiet Room and Multi-Faith Room. This is where people can come to chill out in a nice quiet space, or pray if they’re religious.
This is a classroom/kitchen/chill out room where students can come to basically chill out, prep their lunch…they might come here for cooking lessons. Or just to chill and hang out with their friends. As you can see the kitchen area has all the essentials including a “touch-top” cooker. And obviously they’ve got chairs and tables. And, of course, what every classroom needs – the teacher’s computer.

Well, I’m in the library of the college right now. As you can see just from looking at this one little aisle there are a lot of books! There are also computers available for use, DVDs and I believe they also do audio books.

This is the Aroma Café, this is where people come to eat their lunch. As you can see they’ve got a multitude of cakes, and they even have cold storage. And a hot plate…they also do Paninis.

This is the Art and Design block, where students do painting and stuff. There’s a Ceramics Room, with examples of students’ work and…whatever this machine is! Careful, low-hanging pieces of work may be in this zone!

These are examples of some of the Art Department students’ work. As you can see we’ve got a weird looking airplane, a tin-foil wrapped gun which obviously isn’t a real gun because then I would be really scared and what I believe is called a dreamcatcher.

For those of you who have mobility difficulties and do performing arts – don’t worry, there is a lift. For those of you who are doing Performing Arts and don’t have mobility difficulties – you need a valid card, so you can’t skip and have a ride on the lift.

Here is the music studio, where obviously music students go. And obviously this is a very good drum kit. And obviously they hold gigs here. This is the Music Department, where obviously you play music, drumming, piano…Personally the best I can do is play “Hot Cross Buns” on the piano! And they also, quite soon will hold gigs here. Now if you’ll follow me…this is one of the sound studios, or “Pods”. Each Pod, as it were, is soundproofed so any background noise won’t get in and your noise won’t get out. Don’t worry, it’s not oxygen-proofed so you’re not gonna die!!!

Thank you for watching the tour, I’d like to thank Rob Beesley, Nicky Smith and Kate Brennan for helping me do the tour. I hope this has helped you make the right choice for your education.

Abingdon and Witney College tour

Abingdon and Witney College - transcript

Hello, my name is Declan, I’m a student at Abingdon and Witney College. Today I’m going to show you around my college but not just my campus, I’m going to show you around all the campuses – the Common Leys campus, the Witney campus, and the Abingdon campus.

Here we are at the Common Leys campus, Abingdon and Witney College. The Common Leys campus has animal care and horticulture. This is the reception area which also has a few computers for students to use.

Here we’ve got Lauren who’s a student here at Common Leys, and I’m going to ask her a few questions about her course. First off,

Declan: What is the name of the course you’re doing?
Lauren: It’s a level 3 animal management extended diploma that I’m doing.

Declan: That sounds like it will be very useful.
Lauren: It will be for my career choice really.

Declan: And what would that be?
Lauren: I want to become a vet or veterinary nurse.

Declan: What’s your favourite part about the course?
Lauren: Mostly the practical really, handling the animals, looking after them, doing veterinary treatments and stuff.

Declan: And your least favourite?
Lauren: Probably cleaning them up, cleaning up the poo, doing urinals and stuff - but I have to do it.

Declan: Do you have any tips for people who may want to do this course?
Lauren: Come in and look around really on our open days. If they want to do it, it’s good fun – I really enjoy it and I’m really glad I took it.

Declan: And I bet people who are watching on their computers are wondering this – what’s your favourite animal that you look after?
Lauren: Oh, there’s too many! I love them all. I do like them all they’re all so friendly.

Declan: Ok, well that’s it for this interview, thank you very much Lauren.
Lauren: Thank you

Declan: Here we are with Holly, who I believe is a student
Holly: Yep

Declan: Now Holly what course are you doing?
Holly: I’m doing Animal Management level 3.

Declan: Ok, and what animal do we have here?
Holly: This is Rex, one of – well the only royal python we have at the college.

Declan: OK, I promised myself I’d try this (strokes python). That was weird!

Holly: He’s very friendly, when I first came to the college he inspired me and I’ve got my own snake now…I’ve got mine at home so…

Declan: So he was…he or she?
Holly: He.

Declan: So he’s the reason you were sort of, not scared to hold a snake.
Holly: Yeah, he’s really, really friendly.

Declan: He’s not poisonous is he?
Holly: No, you can touch him.

Declan: Well I assumed that he could bite you?
Holly: Well it would but he’s never bitten anyone, so…he’s very friendly.

Declan: So he’s kind of docile.
Holly: Yeah, he’s very nice and very friendly.

Declan: That’s one of the things you’ve got to look forward to…snakes…don’t worry, they never let you handle any poisonous ones.

This is the dog grooming room, where obviously they practise their dog grooming. Some of the students, I believe, can also bring their dogs into be groomed, it saves on going to the dog groomers.

Here are some of the animals, here we’ve got a very nice ferret as you can see. It’s sort of following my hand! Here we’ve got two dogs. One that’s very energetic and playful, and one that’s just looking at me with big puppy dog eyes.

Here I am with Tommy, he’s a blue cross rescue horse. As you can see he’s very loving, very, sort of… looks like he’s a bit camera shy! Hello there. Students just care for these horses…it’s very nice.

Witney Campus

I’m Declan: Harris and today I’ll be showing you around the Witney Campus of Abingdon and Witney College. I’m currently in the main entrance square. Obviously it has the stage where the students can show of their work. As you can see there’s currently a very strong jungle routine/theme. Students can come here to meet or just chat with their friends. Also got some more breath-taking artwork…very green in here! And student services is also located here. This is where you come if you’ve got an enquiry.

This is the cafeteria it’s called The Toast, this is where the students can come to get lunch…or just chill out with their friends.

This is another one of the Pathways classrooms as you can see it’s got a smart board…and obviously the teacher’s computer. And round here we’ve got some toilets and even more computers. Obviously tables, chairs – obviously some unbelievably lovely displays.

This is the Witney library where you’ll obviously come to rent books, DVDs etc. There’s also some computers that you can only use for a limited amount of time.

Abingdon Campus
Hello, I’m Declan Lewis and today I’ll be showing you around the Abingdon Campus of Abingdon and Witney College.

This is the new café at the college where you can come along with your tray, like I’m doing and ask for whatever you want, as long as it’s available. You don’t have to have purchased food here to eat here. And now we’ll look around…Once you’ve got the food, you bring it around to the seating area. As you can see there’s a lot of seats. There’s also a very cool type of seat. A little place for you to hide and maybe have a nap. Also – something that’s in the college’s new canteen is something that should be familiar to the majority of you watching this clip – a Costa! And yes, they also do those nice “iced” things.

This is the breakout area where you can do work, hang/chill with your friends or get something from the vending machine. IF there’s ever anything inside!

At Abingdon students can study Level 1 Motor Vehicles and you can do Level 2 which is the equivalent of a GCSE.

This is the Future Pathways Department, this is where vocational studies goes down, as it were.

This is one of the vocational studies classrooms. As you can see it’s got tables – obviously it is a classroom! A smartboard, and the most critical thing in the classroom – the teacher’s computer.

This is the vocational studies’ computer room, as you can probably guess most of the computer lessons go down here. Obviously some of them in the maths rooms and the media department but this is the room which is used for computers on the vocational course. Now I’m going to show you the MacIntyre/Abingdon partnership or MAP for short.

Thank you for watching the tour. I’d like to thank Rob Beesley, Nicky Smith and Kate Brennan for helping me do the tour.

I hope this has helped you make the right choice for your education.

Henley College tour

Local Offer - Henley College from Oxfordshire County Council on Vimeo.

Henley College tour - transcript

Hello, I’m Declan, I’m a student at Abingdon and Witney College. Today I’ll be showing you around Henley College.

This is the college’s main reception where you obviously come for enquiries and questions. Over here we have the chill out area, with a telly…well 2 tellys, one there and one there. We’ve got a toilet – disabled and staff. And a lift which is disabled access only.

Here’s one of the many corridors in the college. As you can see it’s got quite a few noticeboards and a couple of displays. The Paths and the Pathways lessons are also done in here.

This is the pathway kitchen, where obviously they do cooking and prepare their lunches and everything. Obviously they have the essentials – tumble dryer, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, oven, and fridge. And a very good one, adjustable tables so you can raise them up if you’re tall or shrink them if you’re short.

This is the Pathways computer room, as you can see it’s got a very, very big touchscreen. The computers are inclusive so they have a few features that aren’t on other computers in the college. And they have a smartboard.

This is the Pathways art room, as you can see it’s got multiple art bits including this (gestures to a large structure), some collages, a nice little flower bed, some toilet roll castles, and a very nice display.

Now, this is the main bit of the Pathways area, as you can see they’ve got noticeboards and lockers for the students and some of the lockers even have pictures on. Now, students can come here if they’d like at the beginning of their lessons and break time…they can go on the computers which I think are back there. They even have an Xbox, which is obviously played on the smartboard.

This is the main canteen where students can come and eat their lunch, buy hot food and utilise the vending machines. You don’t have to have had purchased food here to eat here.

This is the Hot Frogs café, where Pathways students come to work. Also, any of the students from the college may come and purchase their lunch here, and it is also open to the public. As you can most likely hear, they always have a nice song playing, a calming song. They can also use this as a chill out area. Here is some of the stuff they have on offer – rocky road, Bakewell slice, brownies, and a massive, and I mean massive Victoria sponge cake.

This is the Pathways garden where the students can come and have their lunch. As you can see there’s a nice variation of plants, lots of nice tables and a bird bath.

Thank you for watching the tour, I’d like to thank Rob Beesley, Nicky Smith and Kate Brennan for helping me do the tour. I hope this has helped you make the right choice for your education.

Further videos

There are also some video clips about independent learning providers and helping people into work.

Financial help to learn

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) gives extra help to undergraduate or postgraduate students with a disability or long term health condition. It includes specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and mental health conditions.

Discover DSA is a website set up to explain more about DSA. It has accessible videos.

Help to get and keep a job

Local help to get training, jobs and information about volunteering in Oxfordshire can be found on our working and learning pages.

An Access to Work grant can help to pay for practical support to start working, stay in a job or start up a business.

Use our Live Well Oxfordshire directory to find services near you.

Help and information

Search for organisations and groups on the Family Information Service website to support parents and carers of disabled children and young people and those with SEN and additional needs.

Contact us

Special Needs and Disability - The Local Offer team is here to help you. Contact us.

Impartial free advice and support - education

The special educational needs and disability information advice and support service (SENDIASS) offers impartial information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities regarding their education. You can get in touch by completing this online form.

The service aims to help parents, carers, young people and educational professionals to work together to provide the best possible support to children and young people with special educational needs, by:

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