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.

There is a useful resource called ‘what matters island’ developed the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). There is a step by step guide below, to help you complete your own ‘what matters island’ thinking about what matters to you, what is important to you and what you want to do in the future.

What Matters Islands - You Tube Video Clips

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 who 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

You and your parents/carers should have regular discussions with your teachers about your future plans and support needs as an adult but you won't have a specific preparing for adulthood review.

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

Each year your school will arrange to review your  EHC plan with you. 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 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 annual review meetings

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

  • 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 transition plan (MS Word, 58KB).

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

Leaving school

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

You must 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

Your  EHC plan may continue past 18 as you may need longer to complete your education and training and to achieve the specific outcomes in your  EHC plan.

You are not automatically entitled to continue educational support at age 19. You should not expect to remain in education until you are 25 if you have an EHC plan. The length of time varies according to each young person, and we will make decisions on when to cease or maintain a plan on a case-by-case basis 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.

Page last reviewed: 02 December 2021

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