A quick post today to let you know about guidance the Department for Education has published for 19-25 year olds with SEND.
Too many young adults are not getting the provision they are entitled to because of a lack of knowledge or understanding among local authorities in England and service providers. So, the DfE has brought out clarifying information, SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans, designed to explain how to support 19- to 25-year-olds:
- to find a supported internship
- to access further education
- to extend or finish their EHC plan
- who need more time to study
- with their health and social care
What's in the Guidance?
Although it's under the heading of "Guidance" it's really just a round up of the information and legal responsibilities. It's primarily for use by local authorities, but of course families, advocates and young people themselves can use this information to check that what they are being told is correct as well as follow the included signposting links.
It includes information about who is entitled to an Education, Health and Care plan after age 19, maintaining that plan and new applicant assessment as well as ending a plan.
Brief details about training, supported internships and study programmes and where to find further information are included as well as information about benefits and funding for further education after 19.
The guidance also includes brief details about finding for post-19 SEND further education students who do not have an EHC plan.
The guidance is not detailed, but should be used as signposting and comes in 5 sections:
Managing 19- to 25-year-olds’ EHC plans
Education, training and benefits
I would recommend that local authority Local Offer teams include this in their database and that anyone from an LA, college or training provider ensure that they forward it to whoever they think needs to see it. It's also good information for Parent Carer Forums, Independent Supporter providers and advocacy groups to pass on. It's all of our responsibility to ensure that the accurate information is circulated to those who need it, so please do share it on social media too!
Again, you can find the information here: SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans
IPSEA, the SEN legal charity has written a response to this guidance that you can read here. IPSEA is concerned that the guidance creates a misleading picture and that it will be wrongly relied upon by LAs in preference to the CAFA and associated Regulations.
IPSEA says it is particularly concerned about the suggestion in the Guide that: “Young people with SEND are not automatically entitled to maintain their EHC (education, health and care) plans after they turn 19.” This is because every young person’s EHC Plan will continue unless and until:
- They are 25; or
- The LA ceases to be responsible for the young person; or
- The LA determines that it is no longer necessary for the plan to be maintained.
IPSEA believes it’s important that LAs and young people are aware that the legal test in s.45 CAFA 2014 is one of necessity. The LA may only cease to maintain an EHC Plan if it is no longer necessary for the EHC Plan to be maintained.
Again, you can read the whole response here.
Other useful links:
- Mental Capacity and young people with SEND: A quick primer
- The Care Act when transitioning from children’s to adult social care
- What is an “efficient use of resources”?
- How do Apprenticeships support young people with SEN?
- Little or no choice for young disabled people for further education by Kathryn Rudd OBE
- The council want to transfer my 18 year old son to an EHCP, but he has no school
- Don’t let over 16s fall through the EHCP information cracks
- If my ‘Post 19’ daughter gets an EHCP will her college place be funded?
- Parents of children with learning disabilities lonely, distressed and under pressure
- DfE publishes Parents’ Guide to new SEND reform (and some other stuff) (2014)
- My son’s transition to an Apprenticeship is a mess, please help!
- My son with Down’s needs a college place to nurture his talent
- Resilient Parenting - A Guest post by Lesley McCall, NLP & Hypnotherapy Practitioner
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She is also an experienced broadcast and print journalist & author. Tania also runs a PR, web & social media consultancy, SocialOro Media. She is a Rare Disease & chronic pain patient advocate with Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
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