Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for adulthood is a series of stages that all young people go through when they move on from being a teenager to becoming an adult. It can be an exciting time of new opportunities, choices and increased independence. But it can also be a difficult and uncertain time for some young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who may need more careful help and planning through each stage. We often call this “transition planning”

We want all young people with SEND to reach their potential by achieving the best possible outcomes in adult life. This is why it is especially important that young people and families are fully involved when making plans and decisions for this next stage in life.

This section of our Local Offer has information and advice about five key areas, which young people with SEND have said are important. We have expanded our categories to separate out Employment and Education.

The Department for Education (DfE) fund the Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA) and their mission is that young people with SEN and Disabilities have equal life chances as they transition into adulthood. For example; paid employment, housing, independent living, choice and control, friends and relationships.

You can find out more about this programme at

The Preparing for Adulthood Team’s role is to support young people and their families, to build sustainable long-term solutions to their support and care needs, focusing on enablement and independence. Our work is person centred and is led by the young person and their families in developing their support plan, enabling them to achieve their aspirations and be part of their community.

Our role includes carrying out Care Act Assessments, Mental Capacity Assessments, Community Treatment reviews, Adult Safeguarding, working with Care Leavers, supporting colleagues in SEND Education to develop Education Health Care Plans, working with Carers and Court of Protection work. We work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and work closely with our partners in the Disabled Children’s Team, SEND Education Team, Leaving Care Team, and Adults Learning Disabilities Team, as well as partners in health.

Education and Training

The majority of young people in Newham with SEND attend main-stream schools where specialist support is available for all, including those who do not have an EHC plan.

For young people aged 16-19 and 19-25 years with SEND a good choice of Education and Training is available in Newham from a number of educational providers, including

  • JFK  Specialist School Sixth Form 
  • Newham Sixth Form College (OFSTED rated Good)
  • Newham College of Further Education (OFSTED rated Good)
  • Work-based learning/training providers
  • Adult Education
  • Social Care providers

Use the links provided to find out all the latest College course and educational offers or click here to see the guide. All providers will support young people and their families through the important decision-making process to ensure that the choice of study programme or activities is the right one, helping you to achieve your personalised outcomes, goals and aspirations. All providers offer specialist SEND support whether you have an EHC plan or not.

I do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan. What support will be ordinarily available to me at age 16-19 and 19-25?

Leaving school to start the next stage of your life is very exciting, but it can also be an anxious time when careful decisions and choices have to be made that help you fulfil your dreams and aspirations.
You will be thinking about the future and what you would really like to do. You will need to look into which courses or training are available and if you have a physical disability, a learning disability or perhaps both and do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you will also want to know what support is available to enable you to get on with your learning.

The following list details support, up to a total cost of £6,000, available to students who do not have an EHCP.

  • Smaller class sizes
  • Disability access within the limitations of the buildings/grounds/services offered.
  • Risk assessments
  • Additional transition and progression support
  • Individual learning support either 1:1 or shared
  • Lunch/break cover
  • Mentoring / counselling
  • Behavioural management support
  • Work experience support / job coaching /interventional workers
  • External assessments
  • Enabling technologies and equipment
  • Communication support
  • Teaching support
  • Visits/trips including residential
  • Material adaptation
  • Bespoke support / teaching programme
  • Independence Training for example with travel

In addition, along with all students you will have access to services and processes available to all learners for example student services, course and enrichment activities including:

  • Lecturer
  • Interview and initial assessment
  • Learner programme of study, delivery of the curriculum, set/mark homework, provide feedback and support and prepare for examinations/assessments
  • Standard equipment
  • Examination entries
  • Tutorial programme
  • Pastoral programme
  • Transport costs across College (if there are multi sites)
  • Monitoring of attendance
  • Monitoring of progress against targets and achievement
  • Progression and transition support
  • Work experience programme
  • Referral to other support services
  • Dyslexia support

What do I do next?

Once you have found a course that is of interest, you can find out more by contacting the College, Sixth Form or other learning provider to arrange a visit. Details can be found on the Newham Local Offer.

When you visit, explain that you need to know about student support services and ask if you can meet the course tutor and someone from Student Support Services and explain the support that you had in the past and how this has helped you. Explain that you do not have an EHCP but would like to access learning support and assistance support that is ordinarily available to all learners.
Remember that this is your opportunity to find out all about the course that you are interested in and the support that is available to you.


Employment is at the heart of Post 16 education and training and alongside vocational courses, Newham providers offer a range of exciting employer based supported internship programmes which are designed to lead to paid employment. Apprenticeships are also available in a number of vocational areas.

For young people who have a need to develop employability skills and self-confidence before working directly with employers, there are good opportunities at different entry levels to join a pre-internship or employability skills programme.

When a young person with SEND feels confident and is work ready, further support is available from Newham Workplace’s award-winning SEND specialist support Team. See Newham’s Local Offer for details about Workplace.

Independent Living

Developing independence is an aim for everyone with SEND. Whether this includes learning to master and self-manage some everyday tasks such as practical living skills,  learning to be an independent  traveller, shopping, learning to be safe  or preparing to progress to sheltered, supported or independent living, Newham’s educational and social care providers offer a range of training opportunities, which include fully equipped training flats and kitchens.

Friends, Relationships and Community

Whilst young people have opportunities to spend time with their peers both inside and outside of College or other place of study. Newham educational providers together with Newham Social Services can help to support young people to develop and maintain friendships and to be able to feel safe and confident to access their community to enjoy leisure facilities and activities.

Good Health

Support is available to young people to manage their own health as they move into adulthood in partnership with Health and Social Care.