The preparing for adulthood planning process

You should start to think about what you would like to do when you become an adult, and make sure everyone knows about your future goals as early as possible, but by no later than Year 9.

As you begin to become aware of all your options in adult life you will find that there are lots of questions to think about and decisions to make. There should be ‘no decision about you, without you’ and you should ‘only tell us once’. We want to get it right first time and there are professionals that will support you and your parents/carers to explore and share your views, wishes and feelings. This will include providing you with the information and advice that you need so you can make informed decisions.

The most important thing is that everyone listens to you or the person speaking for you, so that they know your thoughts, feelings, aspirations and plans for the future.

From Year 7 you should gradually be encouraged and helped to think about what’s important to you and what you would like to do in the future such as:

  • Jobs you might like to do in the future and further education or training options to help you achieve your job goals
  • Where you might want to live in the future, and how you could live independently
  • Things you want to be able to do in your community (your interests and hobbies)
  • Your future health needs

If you have Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support

If you have SEN Support, although you may not have a specific preparing for adulthood review, you and your parents/carers should have regular discussions with your teachers about your future plans and support needs as an adult.

If you have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan

EHC plans are reviewed at an annual review meeting, which your school will arrange. When you are in Year 9, your annual review meeting will look at and review your EHC plan as usual, but there will be a clear focus on how you can start to prepare for adulthood. This review is called a preparing for adulthood review. In this meeting you will talk about the things that are important to you, what you want to do when you leave school, and what support you will need to make that happen.

In the meeting

Tips for when you have your preparing for adulthood review meeting:

  • Prepare beforehand with your named worker (e.g. your Teacher, Social Worker or another professional that knows you well) You can choose which worker you would like as your main contact
  • Don’t let the meeting carry on if you don’t understand
  • Ask people to slow down and explain things to you if needed
  • Use signs, symbols or anything that can help you to understand things better
  • Ask any questions you may have. You can ask your named worker any questions about your plans for the future
  • Remember it’s your meeting
  • Remember to look ahead and think about your future and what skills you need to develop as an adult

The decisions and plans that are made in this meeting will be written in a preparing for adulthood transition plan. This is all about you and :

  • the care and support you may need
  • your plans and hopes for your future

Download a preparing for adulthood plan (MS Word, 541KB).

Further information, advice and support can be accessed from Cheshire East Youth Support Service.

What will happen after the meeting

After the meeting, you will continue to have an annual review meeting every year (or more often if you need to). This is a meeting where everyone makes sure the plan is going well. You will all look at the preparing for adulthood transition plan and agree any changes. 

Important to note:

  • You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.

You must then do one of the following until you’re 18:

  • stay in full-time education, for example at a college
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training

EHC plans may continue past 18 as it is recognised that some young people with SEND may need longer to complete their education and training and achieve the specific outcomes listed in their EHC plan. Please note there is not an automatic entitlement to continue support at age 19 or an expectation that those with an EHC plan should all remain in education until they are age 25.  The length of time will vary according to each young person, and judgements on when to cease or maintain a plan must be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the statutory tests and processes.  

Where the EHC  plan ceases and you are eligible for support from Adult Social Care your support plan will lead on from your EHC plan.