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Further education and training

Moving from the familiar atmosphere of school into your next place of work or study can seem like a daunting prospect for any young person, but especially an autistic young person.

Opportunities for further education or training will vary across the country but the key to success is preparing for transition, whatever the destination, as early as possible. In England, transition planning should start in Year 9. 

Destinations for young people can vary, from further education or training, to residential or supported living. 


Support in further education 

Every further education college must do all they can to make sure their students with special educational needs (SEN) get the extra help that they need to support them with their studies. This includes students on the autistic spectrum. They also have a named person who is in charge of SEN provision.

You can ask the college who this person is before you start, they will usually be called special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), learning support adviser or disability coordinator. You can explain to them how you were supported in school and ask what can be arranged for you within the college so that the support is similar.

All schools and colleges have to follow the same guidelines, called the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years, which the Government published in 2015.


Support at university 

Autistic students may be able to access extra support at university through the institution's additional needs team, disability adviser or SEN support team. This could include having access to an individual note-taker during lectures or to a specialist mentor to provide support on everything from balancing workloads to accessing social opportunities. Students may also be entitled to extra time in exams. 

Read our Youth Patrons' blog on getting the right support at university. 


Further information 

Here, you can access the Preparing for Adulthood Pathway Guide, co-created with Haringey Council. 

Ambitious about Autism provides several post-16 training courses in partnership with the Autism Education Trust for a variety of audiences.

If you live outside the UK and are interesting in studying here, Study in the UK has resources and information for students with a disability.