Preparing for adulthood

Working together to prepare children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) for adulthood.

Support for young people

Children and young people will experience a number of changes over their life and in education. These are known as transitions. 

We want to make sure young people with SEND are prepared for adulthood and are able to:

  • stay well and healthy
  • be a part of the community and have friendships
  • achieve paid employment
  • live independently and have housing options

Our services also offer help and support with:

Help to make decisions

Young people will start making decisions about their education and future from the ages of 13 to 14 years old (Year 9). At this point, your child has a right to independent careers advice. They should receive a career action plan including independent guidance and a written record of the conversation about further education or work.                               

If your child has an education, health and care needs plan (EHCP), preparing for adulthood will be part of their Year 9 Annual Review. The career action plan will support this review.                               

When your child turns 16 years old, they can legally make their own decisions about their education.

Staying well and healthy

Children’s wellbeing and mental health is as important as their physical health. Our Future in Mind Leeds Strategy explains how we are working together to improve mental and emotional health for young people.                      

If your child has a long term health need and is absent from school due to medical reasons, they can be recorded in a way that allows them to earn attendance awards. Healthcare plans can also be a way to agree reasonable adjustments with the school so that your child stays healthy and is still able to learn.                      

Children do not need a diagnosis to access education support or children’s social care support. If your child has a learning disability, they can register with your GP from the age of 14. This means they will receive annual health checks and support.                  

Making friends and being involved in the community

To make sure that your child can build and maintain friendships, schools must provide reasonable adjustments and support for children with SEND. This makes sure that they can access everything that a child without SEND can, such as school trips and school clubs.                                             

There are also Short Breaks and fun activities available for children with SEND. This includes support, usually through a direct payment, to access mainstream clubs and activities in your community. Direct payments are for the additional support, not the cost of the activity.                             

Paid employment

Most young people with SEND want to work and earn money as adults. Your child has a right to access independent careers advice. Schools can provide this, including guidance to help with decision-making. We also provide opportunities for volunteering, supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.

Housing options and living independently

Leeds Housing Options can provide you and your young person the help you need to understand what housing and support is available.                                   

To make an appointment with Leeds Housing Options, call 0113 222 4412 (Weekdays, 9am - 5pm​​, except Wednesdays from 10am) or email                                   

If your child has a social worker, you can talk with them to see what options are available to help your young person prepare for adulthood.                                   

Further education and Education, health and care needs plans (EHCP)

At this stage, a young person can find out if they still need their EHCP. They might not need an EHCP any more if they:                             

  • have finished further education or training
  • have achieved their education or training outcomes

Find out more about EHCP's and reviews.

Supported internships

Supported internships are study programmes based with an employer. They help young people with SEND to achieve sustainable, paid employment by giving them the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace.                    

Find out more about supported internships from the Lighthouse Futures TrustExternal link or Leeds City CollegeExternal link.                  

Moving into post 16 education

You can find more information about post 16 studying and careers on Start in Leeds.            

Moving from children’s social care to adult social care

If your child receives children's social care because of their SEND, we can help with the transition into adult social services. 

Find out more about moving to adult social care.