From at least year 9 (aged 13-14) there should be consideration of PfA in any SEND planning and if your child has an EHCP there should be a focus on this in their Year 9 review.

What are the aims of PfA?

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice describes preparing for adulthood as preparing for:     

  • Higher education or employment. This includes exploring different employment options such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies
  • Independent living. Meaning young people have choice, control and freedom over their lives, the support they have, their living arrangements and accommodation, including supported living
  • Participating in society, including having friends and supportive relationships as well as participating in, and contributing to the local community
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life

What is person centred planning?

When considering any transition planning for children and young people, we would advise that you look at the person centred planning approach.     

Person centred planning aims to put children and young people at the centre of the planning and any decisions that affect them. When children are meaningfully involved, this can change their attitude, behaviour and learning and make them active partners who work with adults to bring about change.     

You might find the following video from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) helpful:     

Who should be involved in the planning?

If you are feeling concerned about PfA, then you can speak to your child's school or setting. You could ask for a meeting to discuss this and to identify any planning and support that is available. We can help you to prepare for a school meeting.  

If your child has an EHCP, then you could discuss PfA at the next review. We can help you to prepare for a review.   

When transition planning and meetings are taking place, it maybe helpful to include:      

  • Someone from the new school or setting if a move is happening
  • Someone from the proposed new school setting if a move is being planned in advance, so that you can be sure of what support is available, to help with any decision making.
  • Any professional that knows your child well and can provide useful advice on their SEND and what might help to support them with their transition.
  • Any support staff at the current setting that works with your child, so that they can advise on what they think might be needed and helpful.

Education needs information and advice

The transition age for education is usually 16.     

You should think about what extra support your young person may need with their learning, in their training or employment. Their study programmes should help to prepare them for a smooth transition to the next stage of their lives.     

There is a duty under section 42a of the Education Act 1997 to provide them with independent careers advice and guidance. This advice should also be tailored for their SEND to make sure they can access it and understand their options.     

They could be prepared for employment via options such as apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships. Further information about these are available on the Start in Leeds website and on the preparing for adulthood website.     

You can also contact us via our helpline or email to request a copy of our post-16 provision advice.     

When considering employment options it helps to know what support your young person may receive from adult services, the local authority could undertake a Social Care Transition Assessment which could support discussions around pathways into employment.     

Health needs information and advice

The transition age for health is usually 18, but some services may start the transitions from aged 17.      

Depending on what services your young person is accessing, a transition plan should be put in place to move them over to the relevant adult services. The current service or paediatrician would usually identify who will lead on this transition and provide information about how to contact them.     

If your young person has an EHCP then this should be used to support co-ordinating the move to other services.     

Children with SEND that are aged over 14, are allowed to request an annual health check to give them a chance to talk about anything that is worrying them and get them used to visiting the doctor.      

If your young person is not able to be treated at their usual dental surgery due to their SEND or a medical condition they could be referred to a specialist dental service. Your GP or dentist can make this referral for them.     

If your young person is over 18 and you think that they may have autism, they can self-refer or be referred to the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service (LADS) for assessment and diagnosis.      

Care needs information and advice

The transition age for social care is usually 18, but some services may start the transitions from aged 17.     

Depending on what services your young person is accessing, a transition plan should be put in place to move them over to the relevant adult services. Both yourself and your young person may become eligible for adult care services.     

Under the Care Act 2014, the local authority must carry out an adult transition care assessment where there is a significant benefit to a young person or their carer in doing so and they are likely to have needs for care and support after turning 18. There is no set age for this assessment to take place, it is when it would be considered of ‘significant benefit’ to them.     

Assessments for adult care or support must include current needs for care and support, whether the young person is likely to have need for care and support after they turn 18, and if so what those needs are likely to be and which are likely to be eligible needs. For those with an EHCP, transition to adult care and support should be integrated with the review process.     

You can find more information, including a guide about child to adult service transition.      

You can contact the adult social care transitions team for more information or to discuss transition assessments.     

Useful resources

Leeds Sendiass are not responsible for the content of sites or services offered by third parties.

You can find more links on our Useful SEND resource page.