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Supporting successful preparation for adulthood

With high aspirations, and the right support, the vast majority of children and young people can go on to achieve successful long-term outcomes in adult life. Local authorities, education providers and their partners should work together to help children and young people to realise their ambitions in relation to:

  • higher education and/or employment – including exploring different employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies
  • independent living – enabling people to have choice and control over their lives and the support they receive, their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living
  • participating in society – including having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in, and contributing to, the local community
  • being as healthy as possible in adult life

Planning good transitions

All professionals working with families should look to enable children and young people to make choices for themselves from an early age and support them in making friends and staying safe and healthy.

SEN support should include planning and preparing for transition, before a child moves into another setting or school. This can also include a review of the SEN support being provided or the EHC plan. To support the transition, information should be shared by the current setting with the receiving setting or school. The current setting should agree with parents the information to be shared as part of this planning process. Schools should agree with parents and pupils the information to be shared as part of this planning process. Where a pupil is remaining at the school for post-16 provision, this planning and preparation should include consideration of how to provide a high quality study programme.

As children grow older, and from Year 9 in school at the latest, preparing for adult life should be an explicit element of conversations with children and their families as the young person moves into and through post-16 education. For children and young people in or beyond Year 9 with EHC plans, local authorities have a legal duty to include provision to assist in preparing for adulthood in the EHC plan review.

Introduction to Year 10

In Plymouth, we strongly believe that all young people in Plymouth, regardless of their ability or background, should achieve their full potential.

We are determined that your child should have equal access to excellent education and choice, as well as being safe, healthy, happy and resilient when learning in Plymouth.

A good place to start planning your child’s post 16 options is to think of these three questions.

  1. Where am I now? (What qualifications, skills, and interests do I have?)
  2. Where do I want to get to? (What would I like to be doing in 5 years time – job, house, children?)
  3. How will I get there? (What course or training is likely to get you where you want to go?)

Of course, at 16, young people don't necessarily know the answer to all these questions, but now is the time to start exploring information about careers, jobs and courses.

More information

For further information about Special Educational Needs, including Education Health and Care plans, visit the Local Offer website.

Alternatively, if you need independent support and advice around Special Educational Need visit the Plymouth Information Advice and Support website.

There are a number of pathways into training and employment for young people with special educational needs. Entry requirements to these pathways will normally take individual barriers to learning into account.

Planning for your future

Options evenings and Careers Education Advice and Guidance are critical in Year 9 to ensure that your child chooses subjects that will support them planning for their future. 

By 2020, Technical Levels (T Levels) will be introduced in England as an alternative route to A Levels from Year 12. For further information, contact your School’s Careers Coordinator for further information.

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work. Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

Job types and career ideas in Plymouth    Careers advice

Colleges and training providers    Find a school

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work.  Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

How you can support your child at school

  • Keep in touch with your child’s teachers and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and communicate with them. 
  • Find out about Parent Forums and Parent Voice
  • Keep an eye on your child’s progress and encourage them in all their subjects including English and Maths from year 10. Help them to plan a work and revision timetable if they are due to sit exams this year.  Talk to the school about tips for revision and recommended revision guides.  Ask for additional support if required.
  • If your child is working below an agreed target in English and Maths, ask the school for additional support and intervention. They will have lots of ideas and suggestions.
  • Speak to the school if your child experiences any issues with his/her work or behaviour.   
  • Start thinking with your child about the subjects he/she enjoys most and how they feel they are progressing and can progress.
  • If your child does work experience in Year 11, start thinking about it now. Think about what special requirements you may need to consider.
  • Begin thinking about your child’s next steps after their options and qualifications in Year 11. You and your child can start to attend Open Days at local schools, colleges and training providers. Find out about apprenticeships at different levels.
  • Talk about other skills your child is developing positively, like interpretation and evaluation. Resilience and coping with challenge. Critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Observation and enquiry. Financial literacy, data and statistical confidence. Innovation and strategic thinking. Technical and technological knowledge.

Maths and English

Maths and English are essential skills for helping young people achieve in their lives. These subjects help young people with all the other subjects they are learning. Maths and English build confidence and self-esteem, preparing young people for the world of work in the future. 

It is now a government requirement to be working towards a Grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language. This is also the entry criteria for some apprenticeships that’s expected by many employers.  

Whatever subject or trade young people want to specialise in, those who have not achieved a grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language by 16 years old will continue studying these two subjects.

There are lots of ways to improve your Maths and English. Speak to your child’s teachers for some advice.

GCSE grades are changing

It’s a good idea to understand what your child will be working towards. 

Here’s a quick video to explain:

How qualifications work

Find out more information about qualifications by visiting our qualifications explained

If you're are considering a transition in Year 10 to UTC Plymouth or South Devon UTC in Exmouth, (University Technical College) or Plymouth Studio School or Devon Studio School in Torquay , start to find out about them.  All parents will receive a letter from Plymouth City Council about other education options at different ages each summer. Information about Plymouth Schools is available on our find a school page. There may also be similar colleges in other Local Authorities that take students at Year 9. Find out more information on the Studio Schools website.