Preparing for adulthood for young people with an EHCP

When a young person has their year 9 Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) review it is important to start to think about life as an adult. There are guides that help to start these conversations with the SENCO. The four key themes are:

  • Education and employment
  • Independent living
  • Participating in society
  • Being as healthy as possible

This video explains what a preparing for adulthood EHCP review could look like:

(Video used with permission from Helen Sanderson Associates).

Who to involve

If a young person is going to need support to prepare for adult life then the school's SENCO can support to work out who it is going to be important to have involved in the year 9 discussions. They may just need information, but guidance and more specialist support is available and professionals can be requested to provide this to the review.

If the young person doesn't already have social care involved, someone may need to contact the children with disabilities team if appropriate. Their referral criteria and contact details can be found on the children with disabilities page.

If the young person already has help from children's services, and is likely to need help from adult services, a social worker should attend review meetings.


If the young person already has support for complex needs, they may need a lot of support to prepare for adult life. If they find making decisions difficult, people who know them well can be involved to support making the decisions that are right for them.

If professionals have been invited to provide guidance, this information will be used to help identify what support is required for the young person in adulthood.

Not everyone will need social care support and there are non-assessed services available to everyone - these are called universal services. There is more information about these services on the Talk Community Directory.

If the young person has complex needs they can have an assessment to make sure their needs are fully understood and the right support and funding is set up. They may have health needs and a continuing health needs assessment can be considered. This is assessed through the NHS continuing healthcare system and may lead to the young person being provided with a personal health budget.

What happens next?

Everyone's journey is different and sometimes plans need to change. It is important to keep talking and reviewing the plans with the young person and everyone else involved in supporting them.

Personal education budgets

A personal education budget is an amount of money identified by the council to deliver provision set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) where the parent or young person is involved in arranging that provision. Personal education budgets should reflect the holistic nature of an EHCP and can include funding for special education, health and social care provision agreed in section F of the EHCP.

Who can apply for a personal education budget?

Parents and young people up to the age of 25 years old, who have an EHCP can request a personal education budget. If a child or young person has educational needs but does not have an EHCP then a request for an EHC needs assessment will need to be made before a personal budget can be considered.

Requests can also be made for a personal educational budget at any time during which:

  • The draft EHCP is being prepared or
  • The EHCP is being reviewed or re-assessed

Read our personal education budgets policy.