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Pathway to adulthood for a young person with an EHC plan

Preparing for adulthood in early years

The education, health and care (EHC) plan and review process support you to prepare for growing independence and adulthood, whatever your age.

Focussing on preparing for adulthood from the earliest years means we can support you to prepare for the following areas:

  • education, training and employment
  • independent living
  • friends, relationships and community
  • good health

The Preparing for Adulthood website toolkit gives examples of how children and young people of all ages can be supported across the 4 areas.


Preparing for adulthood in year 9

Transition review

The review of your EHC plan in year 9 is called a transition review. 

Transition means the time when you move from childhood into adulthood. From year 9 your reviews will focus on:

  • supporting you to become as independent as possible
  • preparing you for life after school or college

During your review people will ask you about your abilities and your aspirations for the future. This means what you want to be able to do and what support you'll need. You'll be supported by everyone around you to take part in decision-making as far as possible. You may feel happy and comfortable to say what you want and what you enjoy. Or you may communicate what you enjoy and value in other ways, such as through:

  • symbols
  • your behaviour
  • observation of others

Ansbury Guidance at your transition review

An advisor from Ansbury Careers comes to your review in year 9. They provide information and guidance about your options after the age of 16. The advisor also helps us to understand if you may need care and support when you reach adulthood. This could mean we refer you to the Transitions Team.

New EHC plan outcomes

The discussions you have at the transition review will create new outcomes for your EHC plan. These outcomes and the support you get will help to prepare you for the next stage of your education at the end of year 11.


Preparing for adulthood in year 10

The review in year 10 is about checking your progress towards meeting the outcomes in the EHC plan. The review is also a time to check if we need to make any changes to:

  • the outcomes
  • the support you receive

This is to make sure you're still making progress and will be able to achieve your outcomes by the end of year 11. 

The review also continues to focus on:

  • your aspirations for the future
  • preparing you for greater independence and adulthood

You need to stay in education or training until the age of 18 so you can continue to gain qualifications, skills and workplace experiences. This learning can take place in different settings:

  • further education colleges
  • school sixth forms (special school or mainstream school)
  • supported internships
  • traineeships
  • apprenticeships
  • independent special schools or colleges
  • 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while you're in part-time education or training

You need to think about what you'd like to do when you leave school at the end of year 11. You also need to think about what support you need to prepare for this. Your school or educational setting and the Ansbury careers advisor can support you with information about the options available after 16 years old. 

If you already go to a school with a sixth form or post-16 provision, you won't automatically be able to stay there. You need to discuss this with us, your local authority, so it's important to think about all your options.


Preparing for adulthood in year 11

The review process supports you to become more involved in decisions about your future as you grow older. When you're 16 and you're at the end of compulsory school age this is an important stage in your transition to adulthood. You also have increased rights to make requests and decisions about your life.

Your parents or carers can continue to support you in making decisions, or act on your behalf if you're happy for them to do so. For most young people, their parents will continue to be closely involved in discussions and planning for their future. 

Your plans for your future

At the beginning of year 11 we will write to you to ask what your plans are for your education or training the following year. We will send a copy of the letter to your parents or carers. You may not have decided exactly what you want to do but it's helpful to know what options you're thinking about.

Review of your EHC plan

In year 11 the review of your EHC plan must take place in the autumn term. This is so that there's enough time to plan and prepare for your education and support after the age of 16. 

Most young people find that local further education colleges can meet their needs. We consult with local colleges to make sure they can meet your needs, provide the right support and help you achieve your outcomes. 

You want to stay at the same school 

If you already go to a school with a sixth form or post-16 provision, you won't automatically be able to stay there. You need to discuss this with us, your local authority, so it's important to think about all your options.

If you go to a local maintained special school you may benefit from extra time in school after year 11. As the local authority we would need to agree to this based on the advice we get from:

  • you
  • your parents or carers
  • the school
  • other professionals who know you

We may also consult with local further education colleges or other local providers to see what other options may be available.

You want to go to an independent school or college

As the local authority we would need to agree if you want to attend an independent special school or college after year 11. We would need information about:

  • the independent school or college you want to go to
  • any local maintained special schools
  • any local further education colleges

We may not agree to you attending an independent school or college if we think there's a local school or college that could support you. 

Outcomes in your EHC plan

The review meeting is also a chance to think about the outcomes in your EHC plan and update them to make sure they support the next stage of your development and transition to adulthood. It's also important to use this review meeting as a chance to keep talking about your aspirations for the future and what support you need to achieve them, for example:

  • what jobs you might like to do when you're an adult
  • your options for education or training
  • your future goals
  • how you're going to live independently 
  • what things you want to do in your community, like your hobbies or interests
  • what your future health needs will be


Preparing for adulthood in year 12

After year 11 many placements are only agreed for one year by us (the local authority) especially placements in specialist schools or colleges. We, as your local authority, have to agree if you can continue at a school or college. Our decision depends on how well you're progressing towards the outcomes in your EHC plan. 

The review in year 12 will focus on:

  • your progress towards the outcomes in your EHC plan
  • if the outcomes, support and placement are still appropriate
  • preparing for adulthood and planning for the future


Preparing for adulthood in year 13 onwards

You can have an EHC plan until you're 25 years old but this is only if you still need to achieve training or educational outcomes.

As you move into adulthood your learning can take place in different settings, not just in formal educational schools or colleges. It's important to think about all the available options and services that can support you to achieve your outcomes and make an effective transition into adulthood. 

At the review in year 13 and at every review after that we will look at:

  • your progress towards the outcomes in your EHC plan
  • if the outcomes, support and placement are still appropriate
  • if we need to cease (stop) your EHC plan

In this review you'll think about the support and specific steps you need to help you once you've left education. This might include:

  • ongoing health support
  • ongoing care support
  • access to adult learning opportunities

It's important that you know what will happen once your EHC plan ceases (stops) and that you can still access the support you need.

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