SEND and preparing for adulthood

Education, jobs, wellbeing and community information for young people moving into adulthood with special educational needs and disabilities.

The transition years from childhood to adulthood raises new challenges and opportunities for all young people. For young people with special educational needs and disabilities, the transition can take longer and needs more preparation. 

Parents and carers will have been thinking about the future for a long time and it’s never too early to discuss your hopes and aspirations for your child. From year 9, if your child has an education, health and care plan, we will discuss plans and aspirations for adulthood with you.

Your views as a young person will also be considered. It’s important to know that there’s support available. You can contact your school or your assessment and review officer to find out more.

Education, employment and training

Every young person must continue in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday. You should follow a study programme which stretches you, prepares you for adulthood and supports your progression into work or further study. For SEND students who have an EHC plan, this could apply up to the age of 25. The study programmes should always include English and maths and be at an appropriate level to the learner.

Some students benefit from programmes which concentrate on high-quality work experience and other non-qualification activities to help you prepare for employment and adult life. 

The GOV.UK page about looking for work if you're disabled has some useful links and advice. You can find out about jobs in your area, talk to jobs advisers and find out about support schemes for disabled employees at your local jobcentre

When you're looking for work, look for the 'disability confident employer' symbol on adverts and application forms. The symbol means the employer is committed to employing disabled people. If a job advert displays the symbol, you'll be guaranteed an interview if you meet the basic conditions for the job.

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A personalised learning pathway helps a young person to progress based on a clear understanding of how each person learns best, the approaches that will help them achieve their goals and the support they require within the learning environment. Personalised learning focuses on three areas: independent living, employment and personal progress.

For more information, watch the video below or download the  personalised learning pathway brochure (pdf / 3 MB). There is also an  appeals process for placement on a personalised learning pathway (pdf / 73 KB).

Specialist careers officers work with young people aged 14 to 25 with special educational needs, focusing on those who have an education health and care plan. Schools can commission this service. The advisers will be able to discuss a range of post-16 options with the young person and their parents or carers, including:

  • further education colleges;
  • apprenticeships, traineeships, supported internships and other appropriate supported work-based training;
  • personalised learning pathway and independent specialist colleges (see the  independent specialist college provision for young people (pdf / 94 KB) leaflet for details); and
  • signposting to the assessment and reviewing officer team for information on applying for post-16 mainstream and special schools.

If you are a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability you may be entitled to a disabled student’s allowance. This is to help you get the most from your course by helping to pay for special equipment and general expenses. 

This is intended to help students attending full-time and part-time higher education courses benefit as fully as possible from their course and is designed to cover special equipment, non-medical helpers and other general expenses. See the GOV.UK disabled student allowance web page for more information.

Young people can access support from our supported employment team. This service can provide employment advice and information from Year 9, when presentations on work (in conjunction with the specialist careers service) can be made to parents and children, which will link in with the curriculum-based activities provided by the school. These will raise aspirations and awareness of the possibilities for paid work, and will feature people in employment sharing their experiences, information on support sources, examples of the use of personal budgets and direct payments, and the benefits of volunteering.

The supported employment team will also provide advice and guidance to the school and the young person on work experience from Year 10 or 11, following specialist careers officer input. The supported employment officer will attend Year 11 reviews where the young person has identified an interest in gaining paid employment.

Referrals can be made formally to the team when paid work is an option to be explored. This could be in the young person's last year on a personalised learning pathway or at an independent service provider, or earlier if appropriate.

See our supported employment page for more information.

Supported internships

Supported internships are structured study programmes which incorporates study and work plcements with an employer. They are unpaid and last for a minimum of six months.

They are aimed at equipping young people aged 16 to 24 with special educational needs with the skills they need for work. They can sometimes lead into paid employment once the internship is finished.

Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant qualifications, if appropriate, as well as English and maths.

If you're interested in accessing a supported internship you can contact your assessment and reviewing officer, or email sen@northyorks.gov.uk.

See the Preparing for Adulthood website for more information and resources on supported internships. The site is a project run by the National Development Team for Inclusion.

Traineeships

A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to six months. You can apply if you are:

  • eligible to work in England;
  • unemployed and have little or no work experience; and
  • aged 16 to 24 and qualified below Level 3.

You will get:

  • help with English and maths (if you need it); and
  • a work experience placement.

You won't be paid, but your employers can sometimes give you expenses for things like travel and meals. A traineeship is a stepping stone to an apprenticeship or employment, and gives you an opportunity to shine to an employer. It gives you real, hands-on experience with an employer to learn in-work skills.

Use this GOV.UK web page to find a traineeship.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff;
  • gain job-specific skills;
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay; and
  • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week).

Apprenticeships take one to four years to complete depending on their level, and are available from level 2 to level 5. They are available within a wide variety of sectors depending on your interests and aspirations.

More information can be found on the GOV.UK apprenticeships web page.

You can find out about the options for help and support with transport here. This includes post-16 and post-19 information as well as guidance about bus passes, disabled railcards and independent travel training.

More information is available on post 16 support in the  post-16 support leaflet (pdf / 995 KB) and in the video below:

Achieving a healthy life

It's important to think about how to stay healthy as you grow into an adult. Some of the services that have helped you so far may stop at age 16 or 18, therefore it is important to plan how health needs will be met, and by whom, in the future.

While you are still in school, you can access support through the Healthy Child programme. You can ask your school for the named contact.

The following resources may be useful:

If you have a sight or hearing difficulty, we can assess whether you would benefit from care services through a needs assessment. We can also provide information and advice to help you to maintain your independence as well as training for any specialist equipment which can help you in your everyday life. You can find more details on the hearing and vision impairment section.

There are lots of ways we can help you to be independent if you live on your own. There is general information here about living independently. If you have difficulties managing in your own home, it might be possible to offer home adaptations and aids to help you to live independently. An occupational therapist, or someone from health and adult services, might be able to visit your home to discuss your needs. The therapist can also provide information about grant schemes and/or support.

One example of a system that might help you is Telecare. This uses a range of sensors to assist you to live at home. They can be linked to a communication system that is used to summon help if it's needed. It can alert you to certain situations, for example, reminding you to take medication. It can also alert family, friends, carers or the emergency services to dangerous situations, for example, if you suffer a fall. For more information see our telecare page.

You can find more details of the support you may receive in the social care support section.

People with a learning disability may suffer from hate crime or a type of disability hate crime called 'mate crime'. 

Most friends really are friends… but sometimes people might pretend to be your friend. People who commit 'mate crimes' might be nice to your face. These people are often not rude, violent or aggressive, nor do they steal your things. They pretend to be nice to you.

The website Safety Net has some advice on how to tell if someone is being a real friend.

 This easy read hate crime and mate crime guidance booklet (pdf / 5 MB) provides information about these crimes and how to prevent and report them.

Social media and the internet is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if you go off to do different things when you leave school. It is important to make sure that you are safe online.

  • The cyberbullying page from the Anti-bullying Alliance contains information on how to protect yourself against online bullying.
  • Thinkuknow is the education programme from CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. Thinkuknow has advice about staying safe when you're on a phone, tablet or computer.
  • CEOP is a place for you to report if you are worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online.

Friends, relationships and being part of your community

Being a part of a community and having friends is a great way to stay fit, have fun and to feel good about yourself. Friends and relationships are an essential part to a young person’s quality of life.

There are a wide range of activities, clubs and volunteering opportunities available for you to become involved with. 

Volunteering

Volunteering can provide alternative opportunities for you to gain skills, achieve your goals, and develop a better sense of civic duty and responsibility.

  • See our volunteering page for more information and opportunities.
  • The VCS Directory is a fully searchable directory of voluntary and community organisations working throughout York and North Yorkshire.

Finding somewhere to live

There are lots of different types of housing and ways to find a home of your own.

For more information about housing and care please see the Housing and Support Alliance website.

For people living in Hambleton and Richmondshire, the  finding a home and support services (pdf / 456 KB) leaflet contains useful information relating to housing and support services.

  • Social housing. This refers to housing that is owned by the local council or a housing association. You can find out more about Home Choice here

  • Private landlord. This means renting from someone who owns a property, and this could be an individual or an organisation. Private landlords may advertise their properties in letting agencies or estate agents, an advert in the local newspaper, on a sign outside the property, on the internet, or on a shop noticeboard.

  • Supported housing. There are various different types of supported and sheltered housing, some of which come with help from support staff. You can find out more about the different types of supported housing here.

  • Shared lives. In a 'shared lives scheme' someone is matched with a host family and lives as part of that family. They share family life and live with, or near to, the host family. The host family gives support and care. This can be for long-term support, a short break, daytime support, or family support for someone who lives nearby, but not with the host family.

  • Extra care housing. Extra care housing offers a way of supporting you to live independently for as long as you can. It means you are living 'in your own home' in a private apartment but with 24 hour care and support available on site. You can find out all about extra care housing here.

  • Residential care homes. Residential care means having a room in a building shared with a number of other people. Twenty four hour care will be provided on site as will meals. You can find out more about residential care homes here.

  • Homeshare. Homeshare is when a disabled person invites someone to live with them in return for some support. The 'homesharer' has their own room in the householder's property. They give support with things like cooking or socialising.

  • Home ownership. This is when you borrow money to buy a house and pay the money back over many years through a mortgage. You can also use your savings. You could inherit a home which could be yours alone or it could be left to you and your family.

  • Shared ownership. This is when a housing association owns part of your home and you own the rest. You have to pay rent to the Housing Association for the part you do not own and pay the mortgage for the part you do own.

  • HOLD. HOLD stands for home ownership for people with long-term disabilities. This is a specific type of shared ownership to help people with a disability to own their own home. It is run by some housing associations. You can find out more about HOLD here.

Information and planning service

Multiple agencies in North Yorkshire work together and provide a range of information to help support young people with SEND moving into adulthood.

Along with other key agencies across health and education, we have revised the transition policy following new legislation and the development of new ways of working.

The information leaflets below can help guide young people and their families through the preparing for adulthood process:

Preparing for adulthood introduction  Full version (pdf / 470 KB)  Easy read version (pdf / 549 KB)
Preparing for adulthood, years 9-11  Full version (pdf / 373 KB)  Easy read version (pdf / 622 KB)
Preparing for adulthood, years 12-14  Full version (pdf / 393 KB)  Easy read version (pdf / 832 KB)
Preparing for adulthood 19+  Full version (pdf / 333 KB)  Easy read version (pdf / 531 KB)

Following consultation with families and young people about what would help as they prepare for adulthood, we have appointed support planners across the county. They contact young people who have an education, health and care plan who are also known to disabled children and young people's services to see what help could be offered as a young person is preparing for adulthood.

The support could be different for each young person or family. It might be a short piece of work to help someone get ready for the first review where there will be a focus on preparing for adulthood, or a longer term piece of work to help a young person and their family think about all the different things they might want to consider as that young person moves towards adulthood.

 You can read the support planner leaflet here (pdf / 415 KB).