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What Education is My Young person (aged 16-25) with Special Needs entitled to?

When parents of young people come to me at a loss of what they can do to occupy their school leaver with Special needs or Disabilities (SEND); they are often unaware that their young person is entitled to keep their Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) up to the age of 25 years. 

If your young person has an EHCP at school they can keep this if they are progressing with their “Education or training”. This can be in a college or in the workplace. A “young person” in this context is a person over 16 years old and under 25 years old.

The government’s “Access to Work Scheme” provides financial support for young people entering the work place to help train them into work. This scheme can provide “reasonable adjustments” in line with the Equality Act 2010 such as a one to one helper, scribe, IT Equipment. Larger employers will have to help with the cost of this. If your young person wishes to work for a smaller employer the government will meet a majority of the cost.

If they are keeping their EHCP over the age of 16 years your son or daughter will be consulted about what outcomes they would like to achieve. They may wish to become a footballer, or a chef, a care worker, or a teacher. In fact, they should be enabled to become whatever they are passionate about if this can reasonably be achieved with support.

If your young person wishes to attend college, the law now allows young people to remain in education for much longer than would otherwise have been the case.

The difficulty for young people is finding a suitable course or placement with the specialism to meet their Special needs or disability. Options for this age group are reduced. Often, the only suitable college is some distance away, requiring residential placement. The cost implications for local authorities are significant; this often leads to the Local Authorities trying to cease a young person’s plan at the age of 16 years old.

As many parents are not aware of their young person’s rights they often allow this to happen to the detriment of their young person achieving their dream job or qualification.

If your young person is reaching the age of 14 or 15 years you should start the conversation with them about what they would like to do when they leave school. If their needs allow this is something you could spend a few years exploring together. This will allow your young person plenty of time to decide on their future goals.

Keeping your young person’s EHCP to cover the 19–25 age range should reduce the difficulties around transition from Children’s Services to Adult social care and ensure continuity of support for a young person’s education and care needs as they grow into young adults.

If you have a young person that needs support to achieve their dream career or a placement on a college course that will require the support of an EHCP this is something I can help with; so if you would like more information please feel free to contact me HERE