Young people should be able to have high aspirations for the future as well as being able to access the courses that will best enable them to achieve their goals and aspirations.

local offer logo All colleges, other post-16 providers and universities will have support available for young adults with special needs and disabilities. This should be set out in their prospectus and on their website.

If you have a disability, mental health condition or learning difficulty, it is a good idea to contact the course providers to discuss what your needs might be as well as to answer any questions you may have.

It's best to do this as early as possible, sometimes even before applying.

For more information, you can visit the students with disabilities page on the UCAS website.

There is also some useful information on the Disability Student's Allowance quality assurance group website.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Sixth forms and colleges in Lambeth

When you reach 16 years old, you can choose to go on to get qualifications at a further education (FE) college or sixth form college.

In Lambeth, our local offer college is Lambeth College. The college offers a range of courses that may meet your needs.

Programmes are offered that have been specially created for young people with SEND in order to provide pathways to employment, independence and being a full member of the community.

Other programmes offer the opportunity for young people with SEND to be included with appropriate support to promote success.

There are four special schools and four mainstream schools with specialist resource bases in Lambeth that provide post 16 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Special schools in Lambeth

  • Lansdowne School - for young people aged 16 to 18 with learning difficulties with an associated autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • The Michael Tippett School - for young people 16 to 18 with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties
  • The Michael Tippett College - a college for young people 19 to 25 with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties
  • Turney School - for students 16 to 18 with autism and complex learning difficulties

The Vanguard School - The National Autistic Society’s Vanguard School is set to open its doors to students on the autism spectrum in Lambeth and neighbouring boroughs in 2019.

Mainstream schools with resource bases for 16 to 18 year olds

Education and training providers outside of Lambeth

There are also some other specialist education and training providers not in Lambeth, but based in nearby areas.

These include:

Natspec (The Association of National Specialist Colleges) have a list of specialist colleges on their website where you can search for the college that will best help you meet your goals.

Travelling to college

Children and young people up to 19 years old with an education, health and care plan or a statement of special educational needs can get help travelling to college from the SEND Transport Service.

Oyster cards

If you don't have a disabled persons' Freedom Pass, you can get a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard or an 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get discounts and free travel on TfL and other rail services in London.

Find out more about:

2. Checklist for visiting colleges

Going to on to college is exciting. We want to help you choose the right college.

It is important that you:

  • Discuss this with your parents/carers
  • Discuss this with teachers and careers advisers
  • Look at college websites and brochures
  • Visit colleges you are interested in. You can visit during open days, or your parents/carers or school may want to arrange another time to visit.

Here are some suggestions that may help you get the best out of a visit to a college:

Before you visit a college

  • Discuss with those who help you at school, and your parents/carers, what support you may need at college
  • Think about what you would like to find out, the questions to ask and people to meet
  • Ask for and read the college’s own brochure/prospectus or look at their website
  • Talk to careers staff about the best course for you, and what your longer term ambitions are.

Visiting the college

  • you may want to arrange the visit at a time when young people will be in the college
  • try to spend enough time in the college to allow you to make an informed decision
  • think about how you will travel to and from the college
  • try, if possible, to meet the staff who you will be with, for example tutors
  • do ask the person showing you around any questions you have.

In the classroom

It may be helpful to explore:

  • what will your timetable be?
  • who will be supporting you?
  • how will you and your parents/carers know how well you are doing?

External support

It may be helpful to explore where relevant:

  • will you continue to get support from other professionals, for example speech and language therapist, educational psychologist, occupational therapist, if you still need this?
  • how will this fit in with your timetable, would you miss any classes?

The college in general

It may be helpful to explore:

  • does the college have any equipment you need?
  • will you need help at breaks or lunch?
  • whether any extra activities will be available after college.

Residential colleges

Additional points to think about and questions to ask:

  • can you meet the people who will care for you?
  • visit the dormitory or bedroom you will use
  • what privacy will you have?
  • find out who to go to if you are worried or have a problem
  • what arrangements are there for you to telephone home or receive telephone calls?
  • what arrangements are there if you need attention during the night?
  • what are the bathroom facilities and routines?
  • what arrangements are there for medical care?
  • what opportunities will there be for you to join out of college activities, for example youth groups, sport, other leisure activities.
  • will you get the same opportunities to shop, cook, clean and relax as you would at home?
  • if it is proposed that you remain at college over the weekend, what would be the range and programme of activities?

College atmosphere - overall impressions

  • does the college feel welcoming?
  • try to imagine whether you would be happy in the college
  • do young people seem well behaved/happy?
  • if there is anything you do not understand or are not happy with don’t be afraid to ask or speak about it.

After the visit

  • discuss your thoughts and feelings about the college
  • was the course and the college what you expected?
  • are you confident that the college can meet your needs?
  • you should ensure that you discuss your plans at school, so they can support you in making your college application
  • the school and college will liaise with us to ensure that we can make your move on to college as easy as possible.

3. Finding the university disability rights officer

If you have a disability, mental health condition or learning difficulty, you can find the disability officer at the university you wish to enrol at, or the nearest disability officer to your home address to discuss support you may need.

Find a disability rights officer

Questions to ask when choosing a university

  • what extra support is available at the university?
  • does the support available meet your individual needs?
  • how does the university or course provider support other students with a similar disability or additional need?
  • will you need to provide proof of your disability - if so, what will you need to provide?
  • can anyone help with applications for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)?
  • can you visit the university beforehand?
  • if you find it hard to talk to the course provider, can you nominate someone else on your behalf?

4. Getting support while you study at uni

Financial support

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to help pay for the extra costs you have because of your disability. You’ll get the allowances on top of your student finance.

If you're doing an NHS funded course, you can apply for an NHS disabled student allowance.

You may also be able to get:

Help with travel costs if you go to university in London

If you don't have a disabled persons' Freedom Pass, you may be able to get an 18+ Student Oyster photocard to get discounts and free travel on TfL and other rail services in London.

Find out more about the 18+ Student Oyster photocards.

Support while you learn

If you have a physical disability or learning difficulty, like dyslexia, you may need:

  • extra equipment
  • more help from tutors
  • more time to study
  • different ways to take exams

These are called ‘reasonable adjustments’. You have the right to reasonable adjustments.

For more information read:

5. Where to get advice

You can get advice from the Disability Rights UK Disabled Students Helpline.

Disabled Students Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5050 (free number)
Opening hours: Tuesday 11.30am to 1.30pm and Thursday 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Website: Disabled Students Helpline - Disability Rights UK