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  5. Planning for the Post 16 transition – advice for carers

Planning for the Post 16 transition to further education

The Post 16 transition to further education settings requires careful planning.

Colleges and sixth forms assume that Post 16 students will be able to demonstrate a high level of independence, and this may not be the case for some looked-after children.

The new environment and change of daily structure can cause problems.

Supporting the transition

You can take several steps to help with the Post 16 transition to further education.

Visiting the new college or education setting beforehand and allowing the student to meet key members of staff will help to ensure a successful transition.

Select a topic below to read in more detail about other areas that you may need to consider.

The journey to college

You will need to consider how the student will get to college. 

You should consider factors such as whether will they need a bus pass and what time will they need will need to leave.

Bursary applications

You should ensure that the student has applied for a bursary.

Further education settings distribute bursary funding differently. Make sure to research the policy of the setting your student is going to.

You can find more information on bursaries for Post 16 pupils on our Post 16 support page

Meeting staff

You should consider whether the student can meet the curriculum team before starting college.

You can then discuss the learning style and support needs of the student with staff, allowing them to assess a suitable education plan.

Mental health

You should consider whether the student will need support with mental and emotional health.

There are a range of local and national services available for children and young people who need mental health and wellbeing support.

You can find more information about local services on our mental health and wellbeing support page

Managing free time

Full time college courses are less hours than school.

You and the student should consider how they will manage their free periods of time.


Without a good friend or friendship group, college may be a lonely place. It is normal for students to be nervous about meeting new people in the first weeks of college.

While some students may be okay with managing this alone, you should consider whether a student may need support.

If the plan changes

Sometimes last minute changes occur and a new pathway may need to be considered.

Colleges and sixth forms are well equipped to deal with these last-minute changes. They can enrol late applicants and provide the student with a new plan.

We are also available for support and guidance in these situations. You can contact us through our contact form if you need any advice on the Post 16 transition to further education.