Helping school leavers with SEND take their next steps

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities often need more support, especially when it comes to transitioning between life stages. 

Leaving school is a big change for every young adult, and taking the next step can be daunting. 

Knowing their options can ensure you and your child can make the right choice for them. 

Preparation at school 

The support system in place for children with SEND places importance on preparing them for adulthood.  

Schools legally must provide career advice from Year 8 onwards, and for children with SEND, this must be specifically tailored. 

Teachers and staff are recommended to work with employers, housing agencies, and disability organisations to help children understand what options are available for the future. 

Some children with complex needs also have an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan. This plan must focus on preparing for adulthood from Year 9 onwards, helping your child put plans in place to achieve the future they want. 

Becoming a young person 

Under the SEND system, a child is classed as a young person from the final Friday in June after they turn 16. 

As a young person, they gain rights separate from their parents. This means they can: 

  • Request an EHC needs assessment  
  • Make decisions about their current EHC plan 
  • Ask for a personal budget  

This means that whilst you can still guide your child, as a young adult they gain more control over their education. 

Post 16 education 

In the UK, young people must stay in education until they are 18. 

Whilst they can leave school at 16, education or training must continue, even if combined with paid or voluntary work.  

There are a few different paths that your child can choose. 

Progressing to sixth form 

Staying at school offers young people familiarity, which is ideal for young people and children not ready to move to a different type of setting. 

SEND support is also continued into sixth form by many schools. This means that your child can get extra support whilst completing their GCSEs, BTECs and A Levels. 

Colleges 

Mainstream and Specialist Further Education colleges provide a range of courses your child might prefer. They offer a wider range of subjects than most sixth forms, giving your child a chance to pursue something they are more interested in. 

They offer a different environment to schools, but it is often a stepping stone to more independence. 

Many mainstream colleges also offer SEND support. This can come in the form of: 

  • Accessible information 
  • Mentoring 
  • Specialist tuition 
  • Assistive technology 
  • One-to-one and small-group learning 
  • Therapy  

Alternative training options 

Classroom-based education does not work for everyone and often can be difficult for children and young people with SEND.  

Training options such as apprenticeships, traineeships, and supported internships offer young people a chance to both learn in a new setting and experience the workplace environment. 

These options allow young people to work whilst remaining in education and receiving qualifications. 

Taking the time to talk to your child about the future is important.  

Our trained staff can offer support for children and young adults with SEND, as well as their families. 

Get in touch today for help and support for your child. 

Share...

Leave a Reply