Hillside Special School

Hillside Special School
Sudbury, Suffolk

Post 16 Information

Some of our pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) will stay with us for their college placement, until the end of Year 14. 
All pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) will forge their pathway into adulthood at a local College or 6th Form Centre provision at the end of Year 11.
Please click on the links below to read more.
If after reading the information below you have any questions, please do contact the school and we will be pleased to arrange a mutually convenient time to have a chat.

Post 16 Transitions

Please see below details of the Post 16 Transition process at Hillside and the support we offer pupils and families, for those pupils who will be leaving us at the end of Year 11. The same process is followed for those who will be leaving us at the end of Year 14:

  • Each Autumn Term, we send a Transition Pack with covering letter, to families of all pupils in Years 9 and upwards (so families will receive this information each year until the pupil leaves Hillside). This pack contains lots of information, including leaflets and brochures from various Post 16 Providers, contact details of someone in school who is able to support them through the process and contact details of other organisations who are available to offer support.
  • Each year, for pupils in Years 9 and upwards, at their EHCP Annual Review meetings, school staff discuss with families the options for the individual pupil and talk about the transition process. We encourage families to do their own research whilst also assuring them of our support too. All of the information is collated and the ‘Moving Into Adulthood’ document is completed and updated each year until the pupil leaves Hillside.
  • We have a nominated member of staff who oversees Transitions for our pupils, whom families are able to approach for support, at any time.
  • The nominated staff member visits the Providers to see for themselves what provision is available in the area, to enable them to better inform families about what options might be suitable for individual pupils.
  • At our Autumn Term Parents’ Evening, we welcome a variety of Post 16 Providers into school. They bring displays and leaflets with them and are available throughout the event for families to speak to, to discuss their provision. We write to families in advance, to advise them that the providers will be there to talk to.
  • We engage with Suffolk Youth Services to offer families further support.
  • We have a link on our website to the ‘Suffolk SEND 16+ Transitions Guide‘, for families to access at any time (see below).
  • A member of school staff will visit the placement with the pupil to support them through the Transition.
  • Staff from the placement will visit Hillside, to meet with the pupil and staff here, to further support the Transition.

Further Post 16 Information from Suffolk County Council

Please also refer to:

Post 16 Financial Support: 16-19 Bursary Funding

Students aged 16 to 19 may be entitled to a bursary to help with essential education-related costs. 

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome the specific financial barriers to participation they face so they can remain in education.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 Bursaries:

  • a Vulnerable Bursary (of up to £1,200 a year) for students in defined vulnerable groups. The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
    • in care
    • care leavers
    • receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner
    • receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC in their own right
  • Discretionary Bursaries, that institutions can award to meet individual students’ needs. For example to pay for things like school transport, school uniform, essential books and other equipment for the student’s course. Students needs to meet certain criteria to be entitled, please see the application form for details.

Hillside follows the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) good practice guidelines and the support is awarded in kind (for example, school pays the transport invoice and for school meals) rather than a payment being made by cash/cheque/BACS. 

Please see the Education Skills and Funding Agency website for further details of the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

To see if your child is entitled and to apply for the funding:

  • if your child will be staying at Hillside beyond Year 11,  we will send you a 16-19 Bursary Application Form. Completed applications forms must then be sent to the school, along with all appropriate evidence.
  • if your child will be attending a different education setting from Year 12, you will need to contact the other setting for details of how to apply, as each institution has their own application process.


Please also refer to Hillside's Careers Programme page for more information.