Post-19 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities
Produced in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers and Laxmi Patel

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers and Laxmi Patel provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Post-19 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • What should ‘education’ look like for 19-25s with SEND?
  • The Local Offer
  • Mainstream placement
  • Specialist placement
  • EHC plans not available to assist in pursuing higher education
  • What should a local authority consider when deciding on post-19 provision?
  • Role of aspirations and outcomes
  • Relevant considerations when deciding whether to maintain an EHC plan
  • Capacity: who makes the decisions?
  • More...

Post-19 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014) sets out primary legislation in relation to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England. It introduced 'Education, Health and Care Plans' (EHC Plans) which sets out support that must be provided to meet educational needs. This support can be available to young people up to the age of 25. See Practice Note: Special educational needs in England under the Children and Families Act 2014.

A young person over compulsory school age, but under 25 is a ‘young person’ for the purposes of the CFA 2014.

Young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who wish to undertake further education will be entitled to have their EHC Plan maintained up to the age of 25, where their learning outcomes have not yet been met, and where further education is appropriate and necessary to enable them to access the educational provision of their choice.

The fact that young people can retain an EHC Plan into their early 20s should mean that many could remain in educational provision for much longer than would otherwise have been the case. In practice, the difficulty for young people is finding a suitable course or placement with the specialism to meet the young person’s SEND. Options for this age group are

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