'Preparing for adulthood' is the transition planning that takes place for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to ensure they have equal life chances as they prepare to leave compulsory education. 

All young people face major changes as they move from being teenagers to becoming adults and must make important decisions about their future. This change can be more complicated for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities as they are often involved with a number of support agencies.

Preparing for adulthood is about young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities deciding what they want to do in the future and about helping them to get the lives that they want.

The aim is to co-ordinate support with families and services working together. Planning starts well in advance of leaving school to make sure each young person's needs and choices are fully explored.

Although every effort has been made to ensure that this information was correct at the time of publication, contacts, telephone numbers and addresses are subject to change, which may make the information become gradually less accurate.

Options post-16

When a young person reaches 16 a range of learning options become available. Some young people stay on at school until they are 18 or 19 depending on the school they attend.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan is for anyone up to age 25 who needs additional support. EHC Plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

Contact a Family Special Educational Needs Advice Service

Contact a Family work with families who have children with a disability or learning difficulty. They provide a Special Educational Needs advisory service staffed by experienced SEN advisers to help parents, or other family members caring for a child with SEN, on all education issues.