Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
A young person with special educational needs may need
particular support as they plan for the next stage of their
education or for moving into adulthood. The SEN system places
particular focus on helping young people above 16 prepare for their
Schools must include preparation for adult life in the
curriculum and provide independent career advice to young people
from age 13 onwards. This includes advice tailored to the needs of
young people with SEN and disabilities.Planning should start early
and young people should be at the centre of the process.
For pupils with an Education, Health
and Care (EHC) plan, preparation for adulthood must start when
the plan is reviewed in year 9 (age 13/14) and continue every year
after that. This should focus on what your child will need to
support their move into adult life, including further education,
employment, independent living, relationships and staying
Your child can leave school at the end of the school year in
which they turn 16 (normally the end of year 11), but this does not
mean the end of education. All young people are now expected to
stay in some kind of education or training until they are 18. This
can be combined with paid or voluntary work.
Your child could:
Mainstream colleges must support students with SEN in a similar
way to schools do. This includes doing everything they can to
identify the needs of students with SEN and putting in place the
help they need through SEN support. There should be a named person
in charge of support for students with SEN. Students who need more
help than the college could normally provide may need an EHC needs
assessment and an EHC plan.
An EHC plan does not have to end when your child leaves school.
Your child can continue to have a plan up to age 25 as long as they
still have SEN and stay in some kind of education or training.
If your child's statement has ended, or they never had a
statement, you or your child will be able to ask the local
authority to do an EHC needs assessment to decide if they need an
Once they are over 16 your child becomes a "young person." This
gives them the right to make their own decisions about their
support, including the right to appeal to tribunal, control a
personal budget and decide where they want to be educated. The
local authority must make sure independent information, advice and
support is available to help young people give their views and make
Your child may still want your support to make decisions, and
some young people will need their parents to continue to make
decisions on their behalf if they are not able to make decisions
If you live in Wales, read our information about the
We also support Northern Ireland and Scotland. Give our helpline
a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any aspect of
raising a disabled child, or call your local contact. Find out our
local office details in the In your area
Any questions about support at school? How to get an EHC plan?
What kind of school is best for my child? Call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 and talk
to one of our education advisers.