When a young person reaches 16 a range of learning options become available. Some young people stay on at school until they are 18 or 19 depending on the school they attend.

Young people are now expected to remain in learning until they are 18. This does not just mean staying in school - young people could: 

  • Attend a college
  • Start a course of work-based learning
  • Get a job
  • Do voluntary work
  • Be supported by Social Services/Social Care and Health/Children’s Service

The choices available post-16 will be subject to local authority funding.

These options can be discussed at the annual review and the transition plan can be written or adapted to help the young person work towards the option they would like to take.

16-19 Bursary Fund

Schools, colleges and training providers have funds to help young people aged 16-19 who might struggle with the costs of studying.

The students most in need will be eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 a year. This group includes:

  • People in care
  • Care leavers
  • People claiming income support
  • Young people with disabilities who receive both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

Other students facing financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider, who will decide on the amount paid. They will also decide when the bursaries will be paid and will set conditions that students will need to meet, for example, linked to behaviour or attendance.


Local Authorities have a responsibility to help with transport to learning for those who are eligible up to their 19th birthday. After the age of 19, such help is discretionary. Each Local Authority has its own transport policy and criteria - Careers and Connexions Personal Advisers can help.

Social Services/Social Care and Health/Children’s Services

Social Services/Social Care and Health/Children’s Services offer adult care services to some young adults. A social worker will support the young person and their family, carry out an assessment and develop an individualized plan that meets that young person’s needs, choices and aspirations.

Social Workers, Careers or Connexions Personal Advisers can offer further information.