There are several options available from mainstream further education colleges to Independent specialist colleges and it is important it is the right decision for you!
The support that you can get at college varies and so it's really important that you visit before you apply. Even if you are not sure that you definitely want to go to a particular college, it's a good idea to arrange a visit because it may help you make up your mind. It's also important to visit when other students are around so you can find out if the college feels right for you.
If you feel that your local mainstream college may not be able to meet your needs or would prefer to go to a specialist college you will need to show that the mainstream college cannot meet your needs. There is an appeals system if you don't think the decision is fair. If you want a specialist college place, make sure you apply in plenty of time.
Here is a list of things to help you consider whether a college meets your requirements:
It is important that the staff at the college understand your needs and can support you:
When you visit ask yourself:
The location and facilities available will affect the potential you have to develop skills within the community:
You may be looking for academic subjects but remember you also need to learn to be an independent adult:
In the future you may wish to go into paid or voluntary work or further or higher education:
Don't just rely on what a college quotes on its website, look up the reports on the Ofsted website. There will be a report for education and there may also be a report for residential care. As well as full inspection reports, Ofsted also carry out annual monitoring visits which report on progress.
If you are thinking about FE download our10 top tips for:
We've created handy guides for blind and partially sighted young people who are about to move into higher education and work.Take a look at our transition guides