How we meet 16-19 study programme requirements

The DfE 16-19 Study Programme Guidance[1] states that, exceptionally for students with severe and / or complex needs, a study programme to develop independent living skills may be appropriate. This applies to students for whom either substantial qualifications or preparation for employment is not suitable.

The Downs View Life Skills College (DVLSC) is a specialist post 16 institution that prepares students for independent living, supported employment or regular employment as appropriate to their level of need. All students at DVLSC are enrolled on a study programme which combines qualifications and other activities, and is tailored to their individual goals.

Our study programmes have a core aim[2]. Provision on the programmes comprises a bespoke learning plan and curriculum timetable that is well aligned with each student’s needs and includes a qualification. The programmes also include non-qualification activities, which complement other elements of the programme and support the student in their preparation for adulthood and, where appropriate, employment. Activities include personal and social development, employability skills and Functional Skills.

Our students receive real work experience from a range of local businesses.

While students with complex needs can be exempt from studying stand-alone maths and English qualifications, appropriate literary and numeracy is included in the programme, as set out in the DfE guidance.


[1] 16 to 19 study programmes are also relevant to 19 to 24 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

[2] The core aim is the principal or ‘core’ activity in a student’s programme. It must be a learning aim so that it can be recorded in the ILR or school census. Institutions returning the ILR identify the core aim for each programme.