We recognise that students with additional needs might require support in their preparation, application, and transition to Further or Higher Education. On this page, you’ll find resources, CPD opportunities, and signposting to tailored outreach opportunities aimed at SEND students. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page, or you’d like more information or advice, please contact us!

Supporting Inclusive Transitions

In December 2020 Shaping Futures, along with four of our university partners, hosted Supporting Inclusive Transitions, our first virtual CPD event for teachers and other practitioners working to support students with additional needs. Featuring sessions on Mental Health and Resilience, Assistive Technology, Student Support at University and Disabled Students Allowance, as well as a Student Panel, this is a great starting point for practitioners wanting to ensure success transitions to Higher and Further Education. If you couldn’t make the session, you can watch it back here.

We’re planning an ambitious future programme of CPD, and will post each event here as dates are confirmed.

Applying to university with autism


The Uni Guide has a step by step guide covering the specific additional considerations a student with autism might want to think about when applying for university. Written by Carol Povey, Director of the Centre for Autism, The National Autistic Society, this article covers choosing the best course for you, how to most effectively work with university support teams and how to prepare for independent life at university.

Made by…



This series of videos was made by autistic students at the University of Leicester for autistic students considering, or preparing to start university. The videos provide help and advice on attending lectures, seminars, group work, and presentations

Live Chat

Sometimes it can be really useful for a student to
speak to someone who has been in their position.
Students can use the live chat function on our
website to speak to Tony or Shannen,
both of whom assessed disability support
services while at university. Messages can be
sent to them at any time and they’ll get back
to you as soon as possible. They’d love to
chat and answer your questions

The Complete University Guide

The Complete University Guide offers an comprehensive guide to the university application process for Disabled Students, covering topics such as accommodation,  course practicalities, Open Days, and preparing for the transition to Further and Higher Education. This guide is essential reading for students and supporters.

Funding for disabled students


Scope has put together an article on the different funding available to disabled students, including Student Finance, Disabled Student Allowance, scholarships, bursaries, and educational charity grants. The article also includes information on how student finance can impact benefits.

Local FE/HE Support Offer



We recognise that for students planning their next steps after school or college there are lots of factors to consider, and for students with additional needs this can be even more complicated, so we’ve collated the disability support available at each of the Shaping Futures partner institutions, at the links below.

There’s lots of information and support available – each college and university will have its own disability support team who can help people with physical and mental health conditions as well as learning disabilities. The support on offer will be similar at each college, and at each university but there will be some key differences, so it’s important to do your research. Most institutions will offer a standard level of support, but some go above and beyond and have specialist facilities such as sensory rooms available. Students should contact the disability support team at the college or university they’re considering to find out more, and so support plans can be put in place before a student arrives. This means access adjustments can be in place from day one.

Riverside College

Carmel College

Cronton Sixth Form College

Wirral Met

City of Liverpool College

Hugh Baird College

University Centre St Helens

Edge Hill University

Liverpool Hope University

University of Chester

University of Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores University


Support Organisations


London NCOP has compiled an extensive index of different mental health and wellbeing charities and organisations students, parents/carers, and teachers/advisors can access for additional support.

Applying to uni with a chronic illness

Our colleagues at FutureHY host a blog post from current student Pippa, detailing her 5 Golden Rules for applying to university as a chronically ill student. Pippa is a writer and blogger from Yorkshire, who developed her chronic illness whilst studying for her undergraduate degree at the University of York.


UCAS has specific resources for students with additional needs, about all stages of the Higher Education preparation and application process. You can visit the main page here and see their FAQ’s on support for disabled students here.

Assistive Technologies

Taken from our CPD event ‘Support Inclusive Transitions’ this guide, provided by Edge Hill University, covered the support available for students with additional needs at HE, as well as the Assistive Technologies they may be able to access

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