All young people are expected to stay in some kind of Education or Training until the age of 18, although they can leave school at the end of the school year in which they turn 16, which is usually at the end of year 11. There are a number of options that can be considered when a Young Person reaches this age.
Preparation and planning for post 16 Education or Training should begin early. All schools should include some aspects of preparation for adult life into their curriculum and ensure that independent careers advice is available to students over 13 years of age. For Young People with SEN or a Disability this advice should be specific and tailored to their needs. This is part of the Transition from children to adult services.
If a child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, this preparation for adulthood should be included in their year 9 Annual Review and in every Review after that. Preparation should include Further Education, Employment, Independent Living, Staying Healthy, Relationships and Participation in Society. It should look at your child’s wishes and the support needed to accomplish these.
It is important to remember that once your child reaches 16 they have the right to make decisions about whether they want to continue in education and if so where they want to be educated and the support they would like. All Transition work will be based on your child’s choice, unless it is deemed that they are not able to make these decisions for themselves. In this case your input will continue to be sought on their behalf.
Learning Disability Assessments and Statements of Special Educational Needs
In September 2014 the Children and Families Act introduced a new Legal framework. This lead to the replacement of Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments with Educational Health and Care (EHC) Plans. The Act also placed responsibility on the Local Authority to transfer all existing Statements and LDA’s to EHC Plans. The Transfer deadline for LDA’s was the 1st April 2016, with the documents ceasing to have any legal effect after this point. For Statements of Special Educational Needs the deadline for Transition is April 2018, however Statements will remain in force until Transition to an EHC Plan has been completed.
All EHC Plans as a matter of Law, require an EHCP Assessment to be completed before the Local Authority can make a decision to either finalize the plan or not to issue it. Whilst most individuals who have received a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Learning Disability Assessment will get an EHC plan, children and young people may not be issued a plan if their needs have changed.
If your Child has not yet been transferred to an EHC Plan or begun the process you should contact the Local Authority to request an EHC Assessment.
For further advice and support contact our Carers Advocacy service on 020 8962 9917 or Email email@example.com