Careers guidance and support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities


Young Workpath has a legal obligation to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) up to the age of 25.

All young people with SEND should receive face-to-face careers guidance interviews from a qualified careers adviser. We work with local schools, colleges and other providers to ensure this happens.

Where students have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)*, our advisers support them from year 9 upwards. Our advisers also liaise with school special education needs coordinators (SENCOs) and other professionals (such as social workers and educational psychologists) to ensure suitable plans are put in place for after year 11 and beyond. Our advisers may attend EHCP review meetings. We offer support and advice to parents/carers too.

All our careers advisers work with young people with SEND. In addition, we have two specialist lead advisers who support young people with particularly complex needs.

We help SEND young people with things like:

  • making choices about the future
  • getting into education (including education, college, university and specialist provision)
  • getting into training (including supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships)
  • getting into work (including applications, interviews and legal rights)
  • receiving appropriate support and funding for education/training
  • signposting and referrals to other agencies, where appropriate.

 *EHCPs have replaced Statements of Special Educational Needs.  

Our centre is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

For more information, please contact us.

Education and training pathways

Many young people with SEND will attend mainstream education or training provision. However, they are entitled to extra support, so they have the same chances of succeeding as everyone else. Support can include a range of things, such as transport, extra help with learning (eg from teaching assistants), extra time in exams, a laptop and other help with physical tasks or personal care.

SEND young people progressing into higher education (university), may be entitled to Disabled Students’ Allowances.

For information on mainstream education and training pathways, please see our young people page.

For some SEND young people, specialist courses or providers may be more appropriate. Here are some examples:

  • Foundation learning – foundation learning programmes are available at P-levels, entry levels and level 1. They tend to be made up of several qualifications (often tailored to the student). They are available in many colleges and some schools.
  • Supported internships – these are aimed specifically at young people with SEND, last for six months to one year and are based mainly with an employer. These offer the young person extra support with developing their work skills, so they can move on to paid employment.
  • Supported employment – other types of supported employment programmes may be offered by schools, colleges, employers or other organisations.
  • Specialist residential colleges – these are an option where there is no suitable provision available locally. Advance planning is needed for this option in order to make arrangements and secure funding.
  • Home tuition – in some circumstances, home tuition may be the most suitable option for a young person. This can sometimes be provided by the local authority or other organisations.

Whether it’s mainstream or specialist provision, many SEND young people need extra with help with finding an option that suits their needs, interests and future ambitions. Schools and the local authority (which includes the Careers Service) are responsible for providing this, as well as making sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.


We also work with SEND young people who have left or are leaving learning, and are ready for employment. This includes help with finding and applying for suitable opportunities. In addition, we can give guidance on other support available (such as from JobCentre Plus and what the law says about employing disabled people.

Referrals and working with other organisations

Many young people with SEND require support from more than one professional or organisation. We work closely with a range of other agencies to make sure the support is joined up and effective. We can signpost to suitable organisations and make referrals, where appropriate.

Resources and further help

Useful information from the UK Government:

Carer’s and disability benefits 

Disability rights

Disabled Students’ Allowances

Get help at work if you’re disabled or have a health condition 

Support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 


Directories of services for SEND young people:

Tower Hamlets ‘Local Offer’ website – includes a directory of organisations offering different services to local SEND young people and their families. 

Other relevant organisations (not included in the directories above):

Bromley by Bow Centre – neighbourhood hub offering a range of services, including general advice, healthcare services, training courses, help finding employment, arts/leisure activities and more.

Disability Rights UK – national charity campaigning for equal rights for disabled people; there is lots of useful information on their website.

Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) - charity offering advice to parents/carers of SEND children and young people.

NATSPEC – association for organisations which offer specialist further education and training for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities; includes a directory of specialist colleges.

Real – Tower Hamlets charity offering support to anyone who is or has been disabled, or who has a long-term health condition.

Remploy – national provider of specialist employment and skills support for people with disabilities and health conditions.

Scope – national charity campaigning for disability rights and offering a range of support.

Shaw Trust – national charity offering a range of services, including support with learning and employability for disabled people.

Special Needs UK – information for parents and professionals, including a directory of specialist schools.

Tower Hamlets Citizens Advice – free, confidential advice on a range of issues; drop-in services also offered from local Idea Stores.

Tower Hamlets Community Learning Disabilities Service – team of health staff and social workers who assess and support people who live in Tower Hamlets with a learning disability, their families and carers.

Tower Hamlets Early Help Hub – provides a single point of access for the public, and those working with children, young people and their families; the hub offers advice and recommends support for a range of issues.