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Planning for leaving school / adulthood for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Year 10 (age 14/15)

The school is responsible for organising review dates and inviting the family and involved professionals at least 6 weeks before the review date.

The EHC Plan is reviewed and updated to address any other education, health or social care issues that need to be included.

The young person and their family should be supported to:

  • review their plan
  • explore post 16 options
  • make changes
  • agree who will do what

If social care needs to be involved in planning for the future, a referral should be made to the appropriate service if they aren't already involved.

A representative from Connexions may be invited to your review.

Year 11 (age 15/16)

The school is responsible for organising review dates and inviting the family and involved professionals.

The EHC Plan is reviewed and updated to address any other education, health or social care issues that need to be included.

The EHC Plan is sent to suitable providers (e.g. colleges), so they can carry out an assessment on how they can meet each student's educational and support needs.

If the EHC Plan recommends a specialist college, professionals from the Local Authority will examine applications and look at whether a young person's needs can be met locally.

The annual review meeting in the final year at school should take place early in the academic year to allow changes to be implemented before the young person leaves school.

If the EHC Plan recommends that the young person's education, training and support needs can only be met by an Independent Specialist Provider, then approval will be sought from Senior Managers from the local authority and Health related services.

The Mental Capacity Act applies to young people from the age of 16 and an assessment may need to be carried out with young people from this age who are unable to make some or all decisions for themselves.

For more information see Making decisions, a guide for family, friends and other unpaid carers

Entitlement to some welfare benefits changes at age 16 and a referral to the Welfare Support Service should be considered.

By the final review meeting it must be clear what will happen when the young person leaves school.

The young persons Connexions Adviser will be invited to attend this review and will support the young person in the transition and planning process of leaving school.

Where the young person is staying in education, the annual reviews of the EHC Plan will continue if they need additional support on their course.

Year 12 (age 16/17)

A young person must stay in education or training until the age of 18 and if they have an EHC Plan, the review arrangements are as set out previously.

Education and training providers should make sure that the young person isn't discriminated against. It is unlawful for education providers to discriminate against disabled pupils, students and adult learners. The law also says that reasonable adjustments should be made to remove any physical barriers that prevent disabled people using services, or to working conditions or the work place to assist a young person with disabilities do a job.

If an adult over 18 may be in need of social care support, the local authority must carry out an assessment of the person's needs. The Let's Talk Team will carry out the assessment of need.

If the person does not meet the criteria either for an assessment or services, signposting and advice will be given.

Medical support

Medical support for children and young people at school is provided by Children's Health Services.

Many children with disabilities have regular contact with paediatricians (doctors who work specifically with children) so children and their families often build up relationships over time with certain consultants and healthcare professionals.

As children leave school their health support needs to be transferred to Adult Health Services.

This means that when a person is 18, they can't access paediatric services so the consultant will no longer be involved. Depending on the sort of healthcare service the young person is getting, and when they leave school, the transfer to adult health services may happen from 16 years, up to 19 years.

Health and medical support for over 18 year olds is provided through the General Practitioner (GP) practice, Specialist Community Learning Disabilities Health Teams and where needed General Hospital and out-patient services.

Year 13 (age 17/18)

A young person must stay in education or training until the age of 18 and if they have an EHC Plan, the review arrangements are as set out previously. Where the young person is planning to leave education/training at the end of the next academic year, the EHC Plan should be reviewed by the end of the autumn term in the final year of school.

Adults with Learning Disabilities Team is a service for people with a learning disability and includes experienced social workers.

Transfers between children's and adults social workers will take place flexibly at an appropriate stage in the young person's life and will always involve a period of joint work. The different legal frameworks for children and adults will be managed sensitively to minimise unnecessary disruption.

Young people with a sensory or physical disability will transfer to the relevant social work team flexibly and in a planned way at an appropriate stage in the young person's life

Where the young person is receiving welfare benefits, or might be eligible to claim, a referral to the Welfare Support Service should be considered.

From Year 14 up to 25 years old

Young people have to continue in education or training up to the age of 18 but some young people need extra time to complete their learning because of special educational needs. The SEND Code of Practice (para 9.151) says that this 'does not mean that there is an automatic entitlement to continued support at age 19 or an expectation that those with an EHC Plan should remain in education until age 25.

The Council may cease an EHC Plan for a 19-25 year old if it decides that it is no longer necessary to be maintained.

If the young person's EHC Plan continues, it is reviewed as above.

If needed, Connexions will continue to provide advice and guidance to young people up to the age of 25 with an EHC Plan.

More information about Transition Planning

Support programme

Route2Work - Specialised learning programme

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