Careers Education and Post 16 Transition

Preparing pupils for transition from school is a key priority in Key Stage 4.  We understand this is a big step in a young person’s life which can be exciting, worrying and confusing for pupils and their care-givers.

In addition to a change of education setting, there are a number of other changes that happen at this time. Pupils begin to transfer over to adult health services at 16 and to other adult services, such as social care, at 18. Their needs and interests may change too as they seek greater independence or new friendship groups. Young people with SEND often need additional support to access leisure opportunities and participate in their local communities.  The links below provide some useful starting points.

There are a number of financial changes that happen at this time too. Young people in receipt of DLA are required switch to PiPs, (Personal Independence Payments). Depending on your household income, your son or daughter may be able to claim the vulnerable student bursary which is available to 16-19 year olds or a college bursary. Once they start college, families are required to part-fund Schools Transport costs too. Please see our Transport page for more information about Post 16 travel to college and support with funding it. If you need support applying for or claiming for any of these there are lots of organisations that can help such as Citizen’s Advice or DAB (Disability Advice Bureau). 

The annual review is used as a platform to discuss all of these changes. All pupils from year 9 upwards, have a Moving Into Adulthood plan which is updated each year in their annual review meeting. The plan outlines the steps that need to be taken to make the transition into Post 16 learning successful.  Just like the EHCP, it is drawn up with input from the young person, parents and carers as well as other professionals.

Please remember, we have a lot of experience in supporting young people and their families make the transition into college and adult services. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact one of the co-principals Helen Dickenson or Emily Webster.

Young people need to stay in full time education or training until the age of 18 and young people with SEND can remain until they are 25.  At 16 there are 2 main progression routes: full-time education or work-based learning/training.  Young people can pursue a mixture of work-based and education-based qualifications and all courses are fully-funded by Education Funding Agency until the age of 18 and the Skills Funding Agency after that.  Our pupils will normally go on to study Personalised Study Programmes or Traineeships at Entry Level.

The academy has a long-established link programme with a number of local colleges and post 16 providers. This takes place throughout year 11 so pupils have time to adjust to the idea of going somewhere new and make informed decisions about where they would like to go when they leave school.

In the autumn term, Year 11s have taster mornings to a range of local colleges. Pupils typically have about 4 sessions at each college where they can experience the kinds of activities they will be doing in the Foundation Learning Departments where they will most likely be based.  They are accompanied by academy staff on these visits.

Other transition events take place during the year and may vary from year to year but you will be kept fully informed of all events that are happening. These include transition evenings for families; college representatives from the Foundation Learning Departments are on-hand to explain what they provide and answer any questions, open days, held at the colleges themselves, for you to look around the site and see what is on offer and bespoke visits; colleges may also be happy to arrange a bespoke visit on request.

In the summer term, pupils spend a morning a week at their chosen college. They are accompanied by academy staff and the process of communicating the needs of individuals begins.  College staff may also visit pupils at school to observe them in a familiar environment and learn how best to meet their needs.

Academy staff and college staff meet termly to review the College Link Programme and plan transition events.

The number of guided learning hours a young person at 16 is entitled to generally add up to a 3 day provision if the young person continues onto college.  Many families then choose to supplement this provision with a one or two placement at another post 16 provider.  There are many organisations that provide education or work-based training opportunities for young people with SEND.  Please see the links below.

There are other progression routes that young people can follow. These include: Supported Internships, (a scheme which helps young people aged 16 to 24 with complex learning difficulties or disabilities to find work that suits their abilities) and Supported Employment opportunities and Traineeships, (work experience placements to help young people gain practical experience and skills for the work place). These could in turn, lead on to Apprenticeships for some pupils.

NameRoleContact Details
Helen DickensonAcademy Careers Leader

Leads the careers education provision in school
[email protected]
01473 467600
Karen CrossEnterprise Coordinator

Links schools with local career opportunities

Karen works for the New Anglia Careers Hub. To find out more visit their website.
[email protected]
07385 380142
Jill CocksedgeEnterprise Adviser

A local business provider with expertise in the field of SEND

Jill works for Realise Futures. To find out more visit their website.
[email protected]
Sue ChesworthCareers Governor

Provides support and challenge on the delivery of the academy career’s programme
[email protected]

The academy Careers’ Lead meets with the Enterprise Coordinator and Advisor on a regular basis to discuss provision at the school. They help us forge new links with local companies.  They also work with us to extend the range of opportunities that we can offer our young people. They work with us to increase the numbers of visitors to the academy, (particularly those with disabilities themselves) who might inspire our young people to pursue their employment ambitions.

Careers provision for pupils with SEND ‘should be based on the pupils’…abilities and needs…differentiated…and based on high aspirations and a personalised approach.’  (DfE 2018) It also points our that transition planning should start early.’  This happens at the academy through the annual review of the ECHP process and our individualised programmes of study.  

We seek to build partnerships with businesses and other employers, employment
services, and disability and other voluntary organisations, to help broaden our pupils’ horizons.  We also value opportunities for our pupils to have supported encounters with the workplace and work experience.

In the spring term of Year 11, we focus on providing our oldest pupils with a range of practical opportunities in the workplace through our ‘Experience of Work’ programme.  We also seek to facilitate a range of bespoke work experience placements linked to pupil interest and aspirations.  These may be fully-supported or largely independent, depending on the needs of the pupil.  Companies and enterprises we have set up placements are listed in the table below.   Some pupils have also taken advantage of in-house work experience placements. These are also listed below. Where appropriate, additional practical opportunities and experiences in the workplace are set up for younger pupils. All our pupils must complete a log during any placement which helps them reflect on their experience. 

Careers learning is built into the curriculum in a variety of ways depending on the age and ability of the pupil. For more information see the Understanding the World Programme of Study on our ‘Curriculum Map’ page. For specific examples, see the table below.

Careers skills, such as enterprise skills are taught explicitly to some pupils through mini-enterprise projects and customer service skills are taught through opportunities such as MacMillan Coffee Morning. 

As pupils work their way up through the academy, their careers learning increases.   The number of ‘work-based encounters’ increase in the Secondary Department and may take the form of a visiting speaker or participation in a mock interview for example. 

Our duty to provide impartial careers information is met through a combination of internal and external sources, many of which are specially designed for pupils with SEND. See table below for specific examples.

We work with the local authorities to ensure that all our pupils have an offer of a suitable place in post-16 education or training under the ‘September Guarantee’, and that they are assisted to take up a place.  

As part of our statutory duties, we must ‘provide opportunities to a range of providers of technical education and apprenticeships access pupils to inform them about technical education qualifications or apprenticeships.’  

We use ‘Compass’ to identify and plan how we can develop and improve our careers provision and reflect on how we meet all 8 of the Gatsby Benchmarks in line with best careers practice. You will find a examples of how we meet them below.

The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support secondary schools and colleges in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance. How we meet the Gatsby Benchmarks is outlined above. Examples of each are given below.

Gatsby BenchmarkExamples of how we meet this at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy
A stable careers programmeThe Understanding the World Programme of Study on our ‘Curriculum Map’ page maps out how all aspects of careers are built into to our topics in ways relevant for the age and stage of our pupils.
Pupils participate in key careers and progression enrichment and drop down activities at different points within Y8-Y11
Learning from career and labour market informationCareer and labour market information is integrated within our careers education programme
Participation in OAT virtual work experience week
Addressing the needs of each pupilEHCP annual review process
Examples of bespoke work experience placements: the Green Bike Project, ASDA security systems,  Wigwams Nursery, Sense Charity Shop, Dance East
Linking curriculum learning to careersThrough the study of the Victorians and the Industrial Revolution for example, some pupils will be introduced to the concept of labour market information and worker’s rights such as the length of the working day, holiday pay and sick pay.
Primary pupils may be introduced to the concept that different jobs, such as the Emergency Services have different roles and responsibilities through their topic ‘What a Disaster’. 
Encounters with employers and employeesSome examples of encounters with employers and employees have included:
Police officers and ambulance drivers
Local farmers
Felixstowe Port Authorities
New Wolsey Theatre Technicians, Front of House
Experiences of workplacesnclude: New Wolsey Theatre, Recreate, Whitehouse Enterprises, Poppy’s Pantry, Downham Care Farm, Genesis Orwell Mencap
Pupils also take advantage of a range of opportunities in school: the school office, with the site team and working in our nursery.
Encounters with further and higher educationCollege Link Programme
Personal guidancePupils use First JED to match their interests and work preferences to different jobs.  They use the ‘On the Job’ resource pack to find out more about jobs that have no minimum entry requirements and SEN Press books and software to gain a deeper understanding of supported work placements.  Participation in The Mock Interview Project also helps us fulfil this duty as it provides more a more supportive peronsal guidance interview which is tailored to the needs identified on the EHCP.  Pupils are also made aware of other sources of information through sites such as iCould and ‘I Can Be A…’

The information below list where our year 11 leavers went onto next.

YearTotal number of leaversDestinationNumbers
2022-202317One College

Suffolk New College Rural Campus

Southview College, Witham




2021-20226One College

Suffolk New College Rural Campus

West Suffolk College

Riverwalk School, Bury



2020-20214One College

Suffolk New College Rural Campus

2019-20207One College

Riverwalk School, Bury

2018-20196One College

Suffolk New College Rural Campus

Warren School, Lowestoft



Any provider wishing to request access should contact our careers leader, Helen Dickenson if they wish to organise a bespoke visit. In addition, there are a number of events time-tabled every year to which providers are welcome. They include open days, parents evenings and transition events.  To find out further information about these events, (dates, times and venues) please contact the academy careers leader.

The academy reserves the right to refuse access where the provision is inappropriate for the needs of our children and young people.  All providers must adhere to our safeguarding policies and all visits must not impact on the day-to-day organisation of the academy in a way that is detrimental to the needs of the children and young people. 

The academy will make available any reasonable requests for resources or facilities that would support the visit and the delivery of information.  This includes use of the gym, classrooms and meeting rooms, audio-visual and any other specialist equipment as appropriate to the activity. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the careers leader. Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course literature with our careers coordinator who will ensure the information is shared with pupils and their parents/carers in a timely and impartial way.

To view our Provider Access Policy, please see the Policies and Privacy Notices page on this website.

Page updated: September 2023

Date of next review: September 2024

This page is managed by Helen Dickenson. Please contact [email protected] if any of the information on this page changes before the next review or you feel would be of benefit if added.