Preparation for Adulthood pathways

From age 14, young people start to consider what they want to do with their lives. Some young people need support to be more independent as they reach adulthood. Some young people need help to make choices and to take control over decisions that affect them.

Preparation for Adulthood describes the period between the ages of 14 and 25 when young people, their families and others who support them consider:

  • Employment - opportunities to experience the world of work and achieve paid employment or a positive economic contribution
  • Developing Independence - maximising skills to live as independently as possible
  • Community Inclusion - developing friends, relationships, networks of support and accessing community events and facilities
  • Good Health - maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being able to access preventative and emergency healthcare services

Supporting young people to build a firm foundation in the local community ready for when they leave formal education or training can be complex because sometimes it needs professionals from different areas – education, health, social care, housing and employment – to work together to achieve good outcomes for the young person.

We hope that the information in this guide will help you find your way around this process. In Hounslow Local Offer you will find related information about funding for post 16 SEN education provision and SEN Support in mainstream schools and colleges.

Who is this for?

  • Young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or disabilities and their families
  • Service providers in the London Borough of Hounslow: Local Authority, health, schools, colleges, training providers, the voluntary sector or anyone who works with children or young people with SEN or a disability aged 14 to 25

Year 9 (Aged 13-14)

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

You need to begin to consider your future learning needs, you should be fully involved in setting your own targets

  • What are your aims and aspirations? what are you interested in and like doing?
  • How can you achieve them? what will help?
  • What next?

 What are your post 16 options?

  • School 6th form or 6th form college (mainstream)
  • Further Education College (FE College) with support to access mainstream courses, if needed
  • Apprenticeship (training / learning whilst in paid work); NQF level 2 or 3
  • Traineeship (training / learning whilst in unpaid work): NQF Level 2 or below
  • Up to age 18, you must remain in full-time education, work-based learning, or part-time learning (if you work or volunteer for 20 hours or more per week)
  • If you are below NQF Level 2 in Maths or English, you must continue to study these subjects post 16
  • In addition, if you are disabled you are eligible for GP Annual Health Checks from age 14

 Who will help?

 What next?

  • Ask for advice and support to help find the right course for you
  • Consider where you may want to visit in year 10 and where you might apply to in year 11

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

Your EHCP should be updated this year and include outcomes for the 4 “Preparing for Adulthood Categories” listed above

  • What are your aims and aspirations? what are you interested in and like doing?
  • How can you achieve them? What would help you acheive them?
  • What can services do to support you?
  • What extra information do you need?

 What are your post 16 options?

  • School 6th Form or 6th Form college with or without an centre; normally courses are at NQF Level 2 or 3
  • Special School 6th form
  • Further Education (FE) College (with support to access mainstream courses); NQF Levels 1, 2 or 3
  • FE College Supported Learning Unit / Specialist Hub; entry level courses with option to progress to NQF level 1+
  • FE College Complex Needs Unit; entry level or below
  • Apprenticeship (training / learning whilst in paid work); NQF level 2 or 3
  • Traineeship (training / learning whilst in unpaid work): NQF Level 2 or below
  • Independent Specialist College or 6th Form; various levels
  • Other: alternative education if unable to access other options
  • If you are below NQF Level 2 in Maths or English, you must continue to study these subjects post 16 Up to age 18, you must remain in full time education, work-based learning, or part-time learning (and work/volunteer for 20 hours or more per week)

Local colleges and options in Hounslow

  • From age 14, if you are disabled you are eligible for GP Annual Health Checks

Who will help?

  • School SENCo / education provider
  • Hounslow SEN Team - you will be allocated a 14 to 25 Case Officer
  • Independent careers advisors CONNEXIONS
  • Other professionals who may be working with you, such as a social worker
  • Schools and colleges offer open days, taster sessions and school visits
  • Apprenticeship and trainee websites
  • Hounslow SEN Local Offer and Family Services Directory
  • National Careers Service
  • GP Finder
  • Hounslow Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

What next?

  • Ask for advice and support to help find the right course for you
  • Consider where you may want to visit
  • Liaise with Hounslow's SEN Team
  • Apply for a Freedom Pass if you are eligible and don’t already have one
  • If you use trains regularly to go outside London, apply for a 14 to 25 Railcard or Disabled Person’s Railcard (which gives a discount for a carer)

Year 10 (age 14-15)

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

As for Year 9

What are your post 16 options?

As for Year 9

Who will help?

As for Year 9

What next?

Begin to visit possible post-16 placements unless you are in a maintained school which  has offered you a firm place

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

As for year 9

What are your post 16 options?

As for year 9

Who will help?

If you are known to the Children with Disabilities Team and have a learning disability, you may be referred to Adult Social Care Learning Disabilities Team for an initial contact

What next?

Begin to visit possible post-16 placements

Tell Hounslow’s SEN Team about your options and plans as early as possible

Year 11 (Aged 15-16)

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • Consider what will help you to transition well to a new placement or into the 6th Form?
  • Are you able to travel independently?
  • Do you receive benefits? Will these change when you are 16?
  • Do you need support to express your own views?
  • Do you need support to make good career choices in line with your aspirations?

 What are your post 16 options?

  • As for year 10 plus;
  • At 16, you can apply for volunteer roles and paid work during holidays / weekends
  • You can apply to attend NCS The Challenge this year (summer holiday programme)
  • From age 16, you choose which placement to attend, rather than your parents
  • (although most young people welcome parental guidance)
  • At 16, you can choose to receive DLA/PIP into your own account

 Who will help?

  • As for year 10 plus:
  • Benefits Advisors
  • NCS Challenge website
  • If you are changing to a new placement, your current support staff will work with your new placement and help you to transition successfully

 What next?

  • Apply for and make a decision about your next placement
  • Have plan B ready if your offer is conditional (e.g. you have to achieve certain grades)
  • You will need to give the Local Authority permission for your SEN information to be shared with potential new placements

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • Consider what will help you to transition well to a new placement or into the 6th form?
  • Are you able to travel independently? Do you qualify for travel training?
  • Do you receive benefits? Will these change when you are 16?
  • Are you able to open a bank account?
  • Can you look after your own money / benefits or do you require a deputy?
  • How will you be supported to express your own views and choices?
  • Do you need support to make good career / life choices?

What are your post 16 options?

As for year 10 plus:

  • At 16, you can apply for volunteer roles and paid work in the holidays and weekends
  • You can apply to attend NCS The Challenge this year. This is a summer holiday programme
  • From age 16, you choose which placement you wish to attend, rather than your parents, although most young people welcome their advice and guidance, as before
  • At 16, If you receive DLA/PIP, you can choose to receive it directly into your account rather than through your parents
  • At 16, you may be eligible for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if a doctor considers that you have a limited capability for work, even though you are in full time education or training

Who will help?

As for year 10 plus:

  • Hounslow Benefits Advisors
  • Hounslow SEN Transport Coordinator (SEN Team)
  • NCS The Challenge website
  • If you are changing to a new placement, your current support staff will work with your new placement to help with your transition
  • Your updated EHCP should be sent to your new placement by 31 March

What next?

  • As soon as possible, make a decision about your next education or training placement
  • We may ask for authority to share your SEN information with potential new placements so that we can consult with them
  • Inform Hounslow Council’s SEN Team about your choices in the Autumn term, if possible
  • Have plan B ready if your offer is conditional (such as on achieving certain grades)

Year 12 (aged 16-17)

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

Begin to think about preparation for adult life:

  • What are your aspirations?
  • Where will you live?
  • What work will you do?
  • How will you engage in the community and leisure activities?
  • How will your health be managed?
  • Are you able to travel independently?
  • Do you receive benefits, and how will these change when you are 18?
  • Do you need support to express your views?
  • Are you consulted directly about all key decisions that affect you and fully involved in setting your own targets?

 What are your post 18/19 options?

  • FE College mainstream courses (with support, if needed)
  • University or higher education
  • Apprenticeship / Traineeship (training or learning whilst in paid or unpaid work)
  • Paid work
  • Other options such as a Princes Trust Course, Vocational Training Courses, Self-employment
  • At 18, you can choose to leave education or training, if you wish

Who will help?

  • School SENCo / staff
  • Independent careers advisors in school,college or connexions
  • Other professionals working with you e.g. social worker
  • Colleges/Universities open days and taster sessions
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship websites
  • Hounslow Family Services Directory and SEN Local Offer
  • Young Hounslow Website
  • National Careers Service
  • Job Centre Plus
  • Hounslow Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

 What next?

  • Plan visits to post 18 placements
  • Practise the skills needed for interviews and applications
  • Do as much work experience as you can to build up your CV / personal statement
  • Consider opening a bank account if you don’t already have one
  • Work on travel skills as much as you can

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

Begin to think about adult life:

  • What are your aspirations?
  • Where will you live?
  • What work will you do?
  • How will you engage in the community and leisure activities?
  • Will some of your activities / clubs finish when you are 18?
  • How will your health be managed?
  • Are you able to travel independently?
  • Do you receive benefits, and how will these change when you are 18?
  • How will you be supported to express your views?
  • Are you consulted directly about all key decisions that affect you and fully involved in setting your own targets?

What are your post 18/19 options?

  • FE College (with support to access mainstream courses)
  • FE College Supported Learning Unit / Specialist Hub
  • FE College Complex Needs Unit
  • University / Higher Education
  • Supported Internship
  • Independent Specialist College (if you have complex needs)
  • Apprenticeship / Traineeship (training / learning whilst in paid or unpaid work)
  • Paid Work
  • Other options such as a Princes Trust Course, Independent Training Courses, Self-employment
  • Other: alternative education if unable to access other options but you wish to remain in education or training
  • At 18, you can choose to leave education or training, if you wish

Who will help?

  • School SENCo / staff
  • Hounslow Council’s SEN Team
  • Independent careers advisors in school/college
  • Other professionals working with you, such as your social worker
  • Colleges/Universities open days and taster sessions
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship websites
  • Hounslow SEN Local Offer
  • Hounslow Careplace -services for adults
  • National Careers Service
  • Job Centre Plus Disability Employment Advisors
  • Hounslow Volunteer Centre
  • Young Hounslow Website
  • Voluntary Sector, such as Ourbarn
  • Hounslow Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) 

Year 13 (age 17-18)

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • Have you chosen your post 18 learning and/or work placement?
  • If you receive specialist NHS services, are you prepared to move to an adult service when you are 18, for being discharged or are you moving to a lower level of community or primary care?
  • If you are a looked after child (LAC) are you aware of your right to leaving care services until the age of 21?
  • Are you are a young offender in a secure setting serving a Detention and Training Order (DTO)?

What are your post 18/19 options?

As for year 12 plus:

  • At 18, you will be consulted directly about all key decisions
  • At 18, you can go onto the Council’s housing register and are eligible to claim housing benefit
  • At 18, you are eligible to vote in elections
  • At 18, you are eligible to claim housing benefit if you do not live with your parents
  • At 18, you can access adult education courses
  • If serving a DTO you should not move to an adult prison at 18

Who will help?

As for year 12 plus:

  • UCAS (for university undergraduate applications)
  • Adult providers e.g. adult NHS services
  • Supporting Independence Service
  • Housing Advice page on Hounslow  Council’s website
  • Young Offenders continue to receive special educational support, if needed, up to age 18
  • Adult Education Services

What next?

  • Apply for a post 18 placement in the Autumn Term
  • Apply for a job or apprenticeship/traineeships a few months prior to leaving school
  • Register as a voter

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

As for year 12 plus:

  • Are you known to the Children with Disabilities Social Care Team (CWDT), have a learning disability (mental impairment) and are likely to need adult social care services?
  • If you receive specialist NHS services, have you been prepared for a move to an adult service when you are 18, for being discharged or for moving to a lower level of community or primary care?
  • If you are a looked after child (LAC) are you aware of your right to leaving care services until the age of 21?
  • Are you are a young offender in a secure setting serving a Detention and Training Order (DTO)?

What are your post 18/19 options?

As for year 12 plus:

  • If known to the CWDT you will be assessed by adult social care learning disabilities team and, if eligible, you will be allocated a social worker
  • If you receive respite care services, you may move to an adult provider at 18 if you are eligible for adult services
  • At 18, you can go onto the Council housing register and are eligible to claim housing benefit
  • At 18, you are eligible to vote in elections
  • At 18 (19 if completing a 2 year course), you need to reapply for Transport Assistance
  • At 18, you will be consulted directly by service providers although you may continue to need support to engage fully
  • At 18, you can access adult education courses
  • If serving a DTO you should not move to an adult prison at 18

Who will help?

As for year 12:

  • UCAS (for university applications)
  • Adult providers e.g. adult NHS services, Adult Social Care LD Team
  • Housing Advice (see Hounslow Council’s website)
  • Professionals should arrange smooth transitions between children’s and adult services
  • Professionals will support you to express your views and listen to you
  • Adult Education Services

What next?

As for year 12 plus:

  • Visit potential post 18/19 placements
  • Register for new activities / clubs that you will access when you are 18
  • Transition to adult social care respite settings, if eligible
  • Register as a voter
  • From age 18, if you leave education or training and do not wish to return, your EHCP will cease
  • If you move to higher education (NQF Level 4 or above), your EHCP will cease

Post 18 young person without an EHCP

Young person without an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • If you have a disability, colleges and employers should make reasonable adjustments under the Equalities Act 2010 - are you aware of these?
  • Are you aware that you may need to pay for education or training courses post 18?

 What are your post 18/19 options?

As for year 13 plus:

  • Speak to your college / university about course fees and sources of funding, ask for support to understand the process if you need this
  • There are a range of bursaries, grants and loans available to fund your learning
  • Once you leave formal education, you may continue to access part or full time adult learning and skills opportunities

 Who will help?

  • Hounslow Local Offer, Family Services Directory and Young Hounslow
  • Your school/college will provide careers advice
  • National Careers Service - Connexions support Young people with SEND until 25?
  • Citizens Advice Services
  • Job Centre Plus Disability Employment Advisors

What next?

Move to your chosen post 18 pathway

Year 14 (18-19) With EHCP

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • Have you started to explore options for post 18 learning and/or paid work
  • Are you receiving support to be fully involved in all choices affecting you?
  • Are you aware of all benefits that you qualify for?

What are your post 18/19 options?

  • Options as described in Year 12 above plus
  • Changes of residential placements should be planned by providers
  • Under the Care Act 2014, those who need it should be offered an independent advocate to support them with key decision and assessments

Who will help?

  • Adult providers e.g. adult NHS services, adult social care Learning Disability  Team
  • Housing Advice (see Hounslow Council’s website)
  • My independence service
  • Citizens Advice Services

What next?

  • Apply for a post 19 placement in the Autumn Term
  • Keep Hounslow’s SEN Team informed of your plans
  • If you are applying for work or for an apprenticeship / traineeship, you need to wait until a few months prior to leaving school
  • Once you have left education or training, your EHCP will cease

Post 19 Young Person with EHCP

Young person with an EHCP

Changes or decisions to consider

  • Have you chosen to remain in education or training and are your outcomes related to the 4 ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ areas?
  • How will your housing needs and wishes change in the next few years?
  • Do you have a plan about how to keep in touch with friends and peers once you leave education and training?

 What are your post 18/19 options?

  • Options as described in Year 12 above
  • Housing options include living with family members, private rental, social housing, supported living, shared lives scheme, a specialist residential placement, or other schemes depending on your needs
  • Once you leave formal education, you may continue to access part or full time adult learning and skills opportunities

Who will help?

As for Year 14 plus:

  • Your EHCP will be reviewed each year by Hounslow’s SEN Team
  • Job Centre Plus Disability Employment Advisors
  • Specialist Employability Support Scheme (SES)
  • Hounslow Adult Education
  • Housing advice services

What next?

  • During the next few years, you will complete your education or training and your EHCP will cease
  • If you are eligible, apply for Dial A Ride and/or the London Taxi-card Scheme