Preparing for adulthood

Preparing for adulthood

What we use the term “Preparing for adulthood” to describe, when it starts and what the outcomes are

We use the term ‘Preparing for adulthood’ to describe the parts of your child’s life where change may happen as they move through their teenage years into adult life. 

Schools, colleges, health and social care services work together to help your child plan and prepare for four life outcomes:

  • continuing education,  training or getting a job 
  • living independently  
  • having friends and participating in the local community 
  • being as healthy as possible , including moving into adult health services

When does planning start

Chapter eight of the SEND Code of Practice highlights the importance of: 

  • starting planning at the earliest age (no later than age 14)
  • focusing on a young person’s  aspirations, interests and needs 

Reviews for young people over 14 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan

For children with EHC plans, the special education needs coordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school will help you plan for your child to become as independent as possible when they’re an adult. 

We have a review with you and your child in year nine to plan for this and every annual review after this includes a focus on Preparing for Adulthood.

If your child is getting support from any health and social care professionals, they’ll also be part of the review.

Your child’s EHC plan is the starting point for planning their move into adulthood. They may get some support until they’re 25 if they remain in education or training.

Their EHC plan will help them plan for what to do when they leave education.  

Careers advice for young people

If your child doesn’t have an EHC plan, your school must still provide careers advice and will be able to support you child in thinking about what they want to do in adult life.

Every school must provide independent careers advice. Careers advice can help you and your child think about what course or skills they might need to reach their employment goal.

You can ask your child’s school about how they're providing careers advice. 

Information about preparing for adult life

Preparing for adulthood

Has useful information about becoming an adult.

Contact a family

Has a factsheet that explains the key parts of the support system in education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities from 14-25 years old.  

Disability rights

Guidelines for Higher Education for people with learning, health or disabilities.