Post 19: Education, health, care and training support for disabled young people

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

Education health care training support post 19s with disabilities

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:

  1. Managing 19- to 25-year-olds’ EHC plans

  2. Education, training and benefits

  3. Funding

  4. Considering health and social care needs

  5. Including young people in decision making

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's response

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:

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Tania Tirraoro
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Tania Tirraoro

Founder, CEO at Special Needs Jungle
Founder of Special Needs Jungle. Parent of two sons with Asperger Syndrome.
Journalist & author of two novels and a guide to SEN statementing. PR & social media expert. Rare Disease & chronic pain patient advocate.
Tania Tirraoro
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  • Carrie

    Helpful in some ways but how can travel training possibly be described as ‘non-educational’? Surely travel training ‘must’ be deemed educational provision because it trains and educates an adult who could otherwise not access education or training?

    Interesting also that adult social care ‘care and support plans’ are deemed social provision regardless of whether they educate or train (s4) .
    Overall a bit of a stitch up IMO. A definite move away from the notion that health and social care provision that trains or educates ‘must’ be identified in as educational and put in section F.

    And this comes at a time when adult social care budgets are being completely slashed… What a missed opportunity to finally get things right.