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Transitions Guide - Young adults (age 19 to 25)

Being supported towards greater independence and employability can be life-transforming for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This preparation for adulthood should happen from their earliest years and no later than by Year 9 (age 13 or 14). Because the transition to adulthood can be more challenging for young people with SEND, some support may be available to them up to the age of 25.

This article covers the support that may be available in the following areas:

  • Education and training
  • Transport and travel
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Social care

Last reviewed: 11/03/2020

Education and Training


Young people with SEND are not automatically entitled to maintain their EHC plans after they turn 19. It is expected that most young people with EHC plans will have completed their further education by the age of 19, but the Government has recognised that some need longer to complete and consolidate their education and training. The length of time will vary according to each individual up to the age of 25.

When a 19-to-25-year-old continues with an EHC plan, the local authority must review it at least annually. The plan must contain outcomes which should enable the young person to complete their education and training successfully and move on to the next stage of their lives.

Ending an EHC plan

One of the reasons for not maintaining an EHC plan is that the young person no longer requires the special education or training provision specified in the plan. When making this decision about a young person aged 19 or over, the local authority must take account of whether the education or training outcomes specified in the EHC plan have been achieved. Local authorities must not cease to maintain the EHC plan simply because the young person is over the age of 18.

When a young person is close to finishing their education and training, the local authority should use the final annual review to agree the support needed to help them engage with adult services.

Special School

Young people aged 19 cannot remain in a special school unless they are completing a secondary education course started before they were 18 years old. They will need to move to college to continue their education or training.

Higher Education

Help with daily living and personal care at university is normally funded by adult social care.

There is more information about support for university students with special education needs and disabilities on the following advice page: Support at University.

Transport and travel

Sheffield City Council does not fund Travel Support for 19-25-year-olds. If your child is aged 19-25 years and has an EHC plan, arrangements will be made for the college or other education provider to support their travel where appropriate. Independent Travel Training is an option that parents/carers may want to consider. If you require clarification, please contact the education provider they are planning to attend.


For information on housing options, please see Help with Housing.



There is information about employment support on the following advice page: Finding and keeping a job.

Social care

The move from children’s to adults social care happens when young people are aged 17 to 19. See the Transitions guide – age 17 to 19 for more information.

If you need help to find support for your adult care needs, please contact Sheffield City Council’s First Contact Team

The team helps hundreds of people every week, connecting people to activities, groups and services, all in your local area.

The team can also explain how equipment and home support can help you maintain your independence.

The team will explain how the council can assess your needs and help you plan support if you think you need help to organise or pay for some services. Unlike NHS healthcare, adult social care is not free. Most people pay for some or all of their support. If you have care and support needs, the team will talk to you about your finances and work out what you can afford to pay towards your care and support, and if the council can contribute. More information

From the rest of the 14 to 19 Transitions Guides

You can find advice for other stages in transition on the following advice pages, which include specific advice on the topics listed:

Preparing for Transition in Year 9 (age 13 to 14)

  • Education
  • Health

Preparing for Transition in Year 10 (age 14 to 15)

  • Education
  • Transport

Preparing for Transition in Year 11 (age 15 to 16)

  • Education
  • Transport
  • Health
  • Legal Matters
  • Finance and Benefits

Transition in Years 12 and 13 (age 17 to 19)

  • Education and training
  • Health
  • Social Care
  • Finance and Benefits
Last Updated: 13/11/2020
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