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EHCP and further education

All students aged 16 - 19 (up to 25 with an EHCP) should follow a tailored study programme. Study programmes can:

  • challenge and prepare young people for the transition into adulthood
  • can help students with academic qualifications
  • can help them benefit from work experience and other non-qualification activities

A young person with Learning difficulties and/or disabilities and an EHCP attending a special school, can request help from a Personal Adviser from the Services for Young People SEND team.  A young person with an EHCP attending a mainstream school can ask for support from a Personal Adviser  in the relevant Services for Young People local area team

The Personal Adviser will attend their Year 9 review and work with parents and professionals to create a Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Transition Plan. To do this, they help the young people gather information ‘All About Me’, reflecting what is important to them as they make the transition from school to what comes next. The PfA is updated in year 11 (or years 13/14 for special schools with sixth form) and includes the support needs of each young person. This information can be passed on to the appropriate colleges or training providers to help them plan for that transition. A copy of the young person’s PfA Plan is also sent to the young person and their parent/carer.

Careers information and guidance should be provided by all schools and colleges.  Many schools buy in the careers advice services of Services for Young People. To find out about the support offered at your young person’s school, you should contact the school directly.

A young person's education health and care plan (EHCP) can continue until the age of 25 if they choose to stay in education or training. If it's a higher education setting however, where a young person is working towards a higher education qualification in a college or university, the plan will end. The plan will also end if their education progress is complete - i.e. they have met all of their learning outcomes and no more can be set.

For further information visit EHCP preparing for adulthood reviews

What preparation can you do yourself?

Think about what and where you would like to study

Year 9 (ages 13 - 14) is when pupils at mainstream schools choose the GSCE topics they would like to study next year. If your young person isn't working at GCSE level, ask the school about other qualifications to work towards. There are different qualifications out there which suit different learning styles, GOV.UK has helpfully explained what all the different qualifications mean.

Which educational route is right for you?

It is always important to think about your next steps, as there are lots of different education options available to young people. Up until the age of 18 young people must choose one of the following options:

  • stay in full-time education, choosing to study either academic or vocational courses at a college or school
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training

Fill out an 'About Me' profile

'About Me' is a short profile of your young person that contains key information about them. This can be extremely helpful for staff in schools and colleges to know how to support your child the best they can.

It's a great tool which you or a teacher can help your young person to fill in. Here are some example templates - one for a young person attending a mainstream school and one young person at a special school.

You can also read the About Me supporting information and guidance (PDF 901kb).

What are your options?

Schools and sixth forms

You may need to look further than your young person's existing school. Every school has a variation on what they offer, and how it is taught. You may want to contact several schools to find out the differences in teaching, to see if one might suit your young person better.

There's a consortium system in Hertfordshire, meaning that different groups of schools offer a range of subjects between them. If your young person’s subjects are split between schools you’ll need to decide if it’s practical for them to be travelling during the day.

Staying at a SEND school

Some young people may benefit from staying in school after Year 11. A number of special schools in Hertfordshire have post-16 departments where young people with complex needs may continue their learning until Year 14 when they reach 19 years of age.

Dual placement

This is where a student spends some time in school, and some time in a college. It's a great way to access further education with some of the stability and familiarity that school offers. Speak to your current place of education and your preferred college about this.


Natspec have a directory of  specialist colleges for children with very high needs, usually for young people who have been to a special school or had very high levels of support in mainstream education. These would need to be agreed through the EHCP process.

The are 4 colleges in Hertfordshire - they will all have a SEND team that you can chat to about the courses and support on offer.

Oaklands College

View Oaklands College's courses

Enquiries: Springfield/Supported Learning Tel: 01727 737780


Mainstream Additional Learning Support Tel: 01727 737113


Hertford Regional College

View Hertford Regional College's courses

Enquiries: Inclusive Learning Tel: 01992 411854


Mainstream Additional Learning Support Tel: 01992 411617 / 602

Email: /

North Hertfordshire College

View North Hertfordshire College's Supported Studies (SEND) courses

View North Hertfordshire College's Springboard (SEND) courses

Supported Studies Tel: 01462 424 242


Mainstream Additional Learning Support Tel: 01462 424 363


West Herts College

View West Herts College's courses

Enquiries Foundation Studies Tel: 01923 812521 / 01923 812526


Additional Learning Support Tel: 01923 812371


Higher education - University

For some young people higher education is the next step on from further education. When studying at university or college, your young person will work towards one of a range of qualifications, such as a degree, a foundation degree, or a diploma/certificate of Higher Education. Young people can go into higher education at any age but most people enter when they are around 18 years old. There’s a lot to consider if your young person is planning to go into higher education, you'll need to give plenty of thought to:

  • where to study
  • the support needed whilst studying
  • support with day-to-day living
  • money and funding.

You can find out more through UCAS.

What services are available?

Get guidance on personal development opportunities

If your young person is in school or college, they need to speak to their school or college about meeting with the school/ college’s personal/ careers adviser.

If your young person is not in employment, education or training, call the Services for Young People SEND Team on their duty line or email them.

SEND home to school transport

Think about how you will travel to work or college.

There is no automatic entitlement to free home-to-school or college travel after 16 years of age. You may have to contribute to the cost of your transport.

Hertfordshire has a transport policy for 16–18 year olds in education and for full-time students aged 19 -25 years.

Hertfordshire can't provide travel support to work experience placements, medical appointments or other off-site visits. Responsibility for this remains with the parents or carers, or school or college as appropriate.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

If you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability you could apply for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) to help with the costs of studying. The allowance could be used to pay for things such as special equipment, a note-taker or transport costs to and from university.

You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance and you won't have to repay DSA.

16-19 Bursary Fund

If you're in further education or training you could apply for a 16-19 bursary to help with education-related costs.


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