Preparing for adulthood for all ages
Preparing for adulthood can be an exciting time of new opportunities, choices and increased independence but it can also be a difficult and uncertain time for some. Our preparing for adulthood pages aim to give you information on the choices available.
What does preparation for adulthood mean?
Preparing for adulthood means planning for the move from education to adult life. It should look at:
You can read more about preparing for adulthood and guidance about what schools, colleges and other agencies should be doing to support your transition to adult life in the SEND Code of Practice, particularly chapters 6, 7 and 8.
When should I start thinking about preparing for adult life?
Discussions about what you would like to do in the future should start early, ideally well before Year 9.
If you have an Education Health and Care Plan, your annual review from at least Year 9 onwards will include a focus on preparing for adulthood. See our annual review pages for more information.
What support is available to help prepare me for the move between school and a new education or training setting?
Special education needs support should include planning and preparation for adulthood.
The support could include:
- exploring what you would like to do in the future and how different post -16 education options can help you to do this.
- looking at more specific courses or places to study, for example through taster days and visits, to help draft a plan.
- helping to firm up your plans for post 16 options and familiarise you with your preferred new setting.
- support in setting up a contingency plan.
- agreeing with you what information will be shared with a new setting before you take up your place.
- sharing the agreed information with the new setting before you take up your place.
How can I access careers advice?
Schools and post 16 education providers should support young people to develop high aspirations about employment, independent living and community participation, preparing them for their next stage of education/training and into adult life.
Maintained schools, academies, pupil referral units, further education colleges and providers are required to provide impartial careers guidance to all students from year 8 up to, and including, the age of 18, and for 19-25 year olds with Education, Health and Care Plans.
Where pupils have Education, Health and Care Plans, their annual reviews must, from year 9 at the latest, include a focus on adulthood, including employment.
For more information see our careers, advocacy, support and resources directory.
What are my education and training choices after Year 11?
All young people must be in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. You have the choice of:
- full-time education in a study programme for young people over 16 (including a supported intership). See our education and training directory for more information on options available to you and how to access them.
- volunteering or a paid job, with part-time study. See our employment directory for more information.
- a traineeship or an apprenticeship. See our directories for more information on traineeships, enhancing apprenticeships and apprenticeships.
Can you tell me more about the preparing for adulthood pathway?
The preparing for adulthood pathway is about coordinated planning for your adult life. The pathway is a joint approach by adults, children social care and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Assessment and Planning Team. It looks at the journey from birth to 25 years.
The Preparing for Adulthood Pathway can be found here.