Schools admissions guidance for young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) applying for post-16 education

Contents

    Introduction

    Deciding what to do after leaving school and preparing for adulthood can be an anxious time for young people and their families. The aim of this booklet is to provide you with an overview of what options are available to you after Year 11, how to apply for them and where to find more information.

    All young people must participate in some form of education, training or employment with training until they are 18. However, this does not mean you have to stay at school after Year 11 and there are lots of different options available which you can explore. Your SEND Case Officer can help you think about your options and what is right for you. There is also the Next Steps: Your Transition Guide to Local Post 16 Education Options and Support Services booklet.

    You could:

    • Stay at your current school if it has a sixth form
    • Go to your local Further Education College
    • Take up a Traineeship, Pre-Supported Internship, Supported Internship or Apprenticeship
    • Go into full-time employment or volunteering (of 20 hours or more per week if combined with accredited part-time education or training).

    It is important that you visit any school or college that you are interested in during Year 10 and Year 11 and that you follow their application process.

    Hopefully this booklet provides the guidance you need, however if you require further help or advice please contact your SEND Case Officer, the Surrey SEND Information and Advice Service or the Surrey Local Offer.

    Key points to note

    • This process applies to all young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) approaching the end of year 11 and due to transfer into post 16 education.
    • You should follow this process only if you currently have an EHCP. If you are undergoing assessment, you should apply to your local FE College, Sixth Form College or Sixth Form at school as usual and your education setting will be considered when the EHCP is agreed.
    • It is important that your choice for post 16 is preparing you for adulthood. The pathway you choose should help you develop your independence and move you towards your future aspirations.
    • You should also consider how you will get to and from your next placement. There is no statutory requirement for the Local Authority to provide travel assistance for post 16. There is more information regarding Travel Assistance in this guidance.

    What options are available?

    I would like to go to a Further Education College, Sixth Form College or School Sixth Form:

    • Colleges and Sixth Forms offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses to suit individual interests and needs. They have supported learning staff to ensure students receive the support they need to succeed at college. Most young people with an EHCP will attend their local college or Sixth Form with arrangements in place to ensure their needs are met and they are able to work towards their goals for adult life.
    • Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges are run independently and each offer different types of courses. Many have their own Supported Learning Departments where students learn in small groups with specialist teachers. Supported Learning Departments offer a wide range of courses e.g. Employability, Life Skills and Vocational Preparation. They are usually offered at Entry Levels 1 to 3 and can be a stepping stone to Level 1 courses. Additional Learning Support is available, including 1:1 support in class and during break times if needed. Supported work experience may also be offered as part of the curriculum. Further Education courses normally run for one to three years.
    • You will need to apply directly to any Further Education College, Sixth Form College or Sixth Form at School that you are interested in. The local authority will ask whether your Special Educational Needs can be met by the college and help to ensure the right support is in place for you, however we cannot allocate places. It is therefore important that you contact the colleges to discuss the courses available, the support they can offer you and when you will need to apply. Contact details for colleges can be found on the Local Offer website and in the Next Steps: Your Transition Guide to Local Post 16 Education Options and Support Services booklet.

    I would like an Apprenticeship, Supported Internships or Pre-supported Internship:

    • It is important that your choice for post 16 is preparing you for adulthood. Work based pathways such as Apprenticeships, Supported Internships or Pre-Supported Internships can offer a stepping stone to employment.
    • Apprenticeships offer a different way of learning and as an Apprentice you can earn a salary whilst studying for a nationally recognised qualification and receive 'on the job' training. Apprenticeships are available at various levels from Intermediate (GCSE) and Advanced (A Level) and Higher/Degree. They usually take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the level. Apprenticeships can be accessed either at colleges or locally via the Government apprenticeship website.
    • If you are not quite ready for an Apprenticeship and want to gain further skills and work experience, you may want to consider a Supported or Pre-Supported Internship. These are work-based programmes that offer a practical way of learning along with real life work experience. Your EHCP is maintained whilst you are on the Supported or Pre-supported Internship to ensure you continue to receive the support you need.
    • If you think this might be the right option for you, you should contact your SEND Case Officer to discuss. Further information about Supported or Pre-Supported Internships is available in the Next Steps: Your Transition Guide to Local Post 16 Education Options and Support Services booklet.

    I would like to go to a Special school:

    Most young people with special educational needs can have their needs supported in a mainstream school sixth form or college, however some will need more specialist provision. The most suitable provision for your needs will have been discussed with you at your Transition Review.

    Further information about special schools can be found on Surrey's SEND Admissions page.

    How do we allocate places at special schools?

    • Places at special schools are allocated in accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014, which requires the Local Authority to take into account a young person's special educational needs, your requested school and the formal view of the school/s requested before making a decision.
    • If you are requesting a special school or special college placement for the next key stage, the Local Authority would need to satisfy itself that this type of provision is appropriate in order to demonstrate that such a placement would be an efficient use of resources and the right pathway to develop your independence and prepare you for adulthood.
    • The Local Authority may also approach an alternative college or mainstream sixth form even if it is not your preferred placement, if this is identified as your nearest appropriate placement.
    • Places will be allocated based on your requested placement wherever possible, unless:
      • the placement is unsuitable for a young person's age, ability, aptitude or SEN
      • the placement would be incompatible with the efficient education of the other young people with whom you would be educated, and
      • the placement would be incompatible with the efficient use of resources.
    • If a particular school is oversubscribed, then places will be allocated to Surrey students first based on and in order of the below criteria:
      1. Suitability: Age, ability, aptitude or SEN
      2. Looked After Children/Young People & Previously Looked After Children/Young People
      3. Siblings that are already in attendance (if criteria 1 is also satisfied)
      4. Distance order to home address, measured as a straight line
    • You can request schools outside Surrey that are academies or are maintained by another Local Authority. You should find out as much about the school as you can, in the same way as you would for a Surrey school. We would also encourage you to discuss your request with your SEND Case Officer. Surrey County Council is not responsible for admissions to schools that are maintained by another Local Authority; however, we will make an application to that school on your behalf.

    Your home address:

    • This is your current permanent place of residence which will usually be your parents' address.
    • If your parents do not live together, the address is where you spend most of your time. If your parents have equal shared custody, it is left to your parents to decide which address to use.
    • You should not use a business or carer/childminder's address. Nor should you use a relative's address unless you live at that address as your normal place of residence.
    • We will not accept a temporary address if your parent/carer still owns or rents a property that has previously been used as a home address, nor if the local authority believes it has been used to obtain a placement when an alternative address is still available.
    • If you move to a new house during the admissions process, you or your parent/carer should inform your SEND Case Officer as soon as possible, with proof of your new address.
    • If a placement is allocated on the basis of an address that is subsequently found to be different from your normal permanent home address, then that placement may be withdrawn.

    Looked After and Previously Looked After Children/Young People:

    • Looked after children and young people are those who are in the care of a local authority or provided with accommodation by a local authority in accordance with section 22 of the Children Act 1989 at the time a preference for a placement is expressed, for example, children who are fostered or living in a children's home.
    • Previously looked after children and young people are those who have previously been in the care of a local authority in accordance with Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 and who have left that care through adoption, a child arrangement order (in accordance with section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014) or special guardianship order (in accordance with section 14A of the Children Act 1989).

    Siblings:

    • You or your parent/carer should inform your SEND Case Officer if you already have a sibling currently attending the placement you have requested. Providing the placement is also suitable for your special educational needs approaching transition, this will be taken into account when the Local Authority allocates places.
    • Siblings are defined as:
      • Brother or sister with the same parents whether living at the same address or not.
      • Half brother or sister living as part of the same family unit at the same address, Monday to Friday.
      • Adopted or fostered brother or sister living as part of the same family unit at the same address, Monday to Friday.
      • Stepbrother or sister living as part of the same family unit at the same address, Monday to Friday.

    What you need to know

    • At your Transition Review there will be a discussion about preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. You will have the opportunity to discuss with school staff and your SEND Case Officer, suitable options and choices for your next phase of education or training.
    • You or your parent/carer will be able to request a particular school, college, post 16 placement or employment programme by responding to the draft amended EHCP which will be issued in the Autumn Term of year 11 by your SEND Case Officer.
    • The Local Authority will then carry out a formal consultation to your requested school, college, post 16 placement or employment programme who will be asked to confirm if they are able to provide an appropriate study programme and the support specified within your EHCP.
    • Colleges have their own application process and the Local Authority will therefore ask whether your Special Educational Needs can be met by the College and help to ensure the right support is in place for you, however we cannot allocate places. You will therefore need to apply directly to any colleges you are interested in. It is important that you contact the colleges to discuss the courses available, the support they can offer you and when you will need to apply. Contact details for colleges can be found on the Local Offer website and in the Next Steps: Your Transition Guide to Local Post 16 Education Options and Support Services booklet.
    • The Local Authority may also approach another suitable school, college, post 16 placement or employment programme and undertake a formal consultation if this is identified as your nearest placement to confirm if they are able to provide an appropriate study programme and the support specified within your EHCP even if this is not your preferred placement. This will be taken into consideration alongside your requested placement and your placement will be confirmed in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice (2014):
      • the placement is suitable to a Young Person's age, ability, aptitude or SEN
      • the placement would be compatible with the efficient education of the other young people with whom you would be educated, and
      • the placement would be compatible with the efficient use of resources.
    • You will be given the opportunity to make representations and to discuss any queries you have with your SEND Case Officer about the placement allocated or the content of your EHCP.
    • You will be issued with your final EHCP with your placement confirmed by 31 March, in line with the SEND Code of Practice (2014).
    • If you disagree with your final EHCP, you have the right to request independent mediation and subsequently appeal to a SEND tribunal. Details of this process will be provided to you with the final EHCP.
    • After the 31 March, you may change your mind about what you would like to do, or you may not meet the entry requirements for your chosen course. Where this is the case, your SEND Case Officer should review your plan with you as soon as possible to ensure that alternative options are agreed, and new arrangements are in place as far in advance of your start date as practicable.
    • Your SEND Case Officer will be liaising with you throughout this process and will be able to discuss any queries you may have about this process with you at any time.

    Timetable

    By the end of the summer term (year preceding transfer):

    • At your Transition Review there will be a discussion about preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. You will have the opportunity to discuss with school staff and your SEND Case Officer, suitable options and choices for your next phase of education or training.
    • Your SEND Case Officer will amend your EHCP following your review where applicable.

    By 31 October 2021:

    • You should contact or, if possible, visit any colleges, sixth forms and specialist provisions you are interested in, with support from your current school SENCO or other relevant professional if necessary. If you have any queries about post 16 provision, please contact your SEND Case Officer.

    By the end of the autumn term:

    • Your SEND Case Officer will issue your draft amended EHCP with a letter identifying any changes. At this point, you or your parent/carer will be able to request that we consult with a particular school, college, post 16 placement or employment programme and request any other amendments to your EHCP.
    • You will need to apply directly to any Further Education College, Sixth Form College or School Sixth Form that you are interested in.

    By 30 November 2021:

    • The Local Authority will consider continuing the placements for young people currently attending all through maintained special schools which have a sixth form and are still deemed appropriate to continue.

    By 31 January 2022:

    • The Local Authority will send a formal consultation to your requested school, college, post 16 placement or employment programme. The Local Authority will also formally consult the nearest appropriate placement if that is different to your requested placement for a view on whether they can meet your needs.

    By 31 March 2022:

    • You will be issued with your final EHCP with placement confirmed by 31st March, in line with the SEND Code of Practice (2014). If you disagree with your final EHCP, you have the right to request independent mediation and subsequently appeal to a SEND tribunal. Details of this process will be provided to you with the final EHCP.

    Representation

    • You will have the opportunity to speak to your SEND Case Officer before the EHCP is finalised.
    • If you have concerns or questions about the content of your EHCP or the provision that has been allocated, your SEND Case Officer can work with you to resolve any issues and identify a best way forward.
    • If you disagree with your EHCP, you have the right to request independent mediation and subsequently appeal to a SEND tribunal. Details of this process will be provided to you with the final EHCP.

    Mental capacity

    • The right of young people to make a decision is subject to their capacity to do so as set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. From age 16 a young person should be assumed to have Mental Capacity to make a decision about their educational placement. Whilst the decision-making process can involve parents and family, the final decision must be the young person's, where appropriate. The young person can request support from a family member in any way, such as nominating them to receive correspondence on their behalf or accompanying them to meetings.
    • If Mental capacity is questioned, then a capacity assessment may be required to ascertain this. If after the assessment it is agreed that the young person doesn't have capacity, then it will be the parents that take on that decision on behalf of the young person. If parents are concerned about their child having capacity, they should first liaise with their SEND Case Officer as it should be the Local Authority that, in the first instance, seeks a mental capacity assessment.

    Travel assistance

    It is important to consider how you will get to and from your next placement. Most young people aged 16-19 will be able to reasonably access their education or training independently and will not need any support with travel arrangements. For those pupils moving into year 12 who may require home to school travel assistance, there is a different policy for Post-16 pupils which includes a contribution towards the cost of assistance. It is important that a new application is submitted by April 30 (if your placement has been determined) to ensure appropriate arrangements and eligibility is in place for September 2022.

    If the Local Authority has complied with a preference which is not the nearest placement to your home address that does the same course, then it is the responsibility of you and your parent/carer to ensure you get to your placement.

    All young people in Year 11 receiving travel assistance must apply for travel support for their post 16 education or training and thereafter you must submit a new application each year.

    For further information on the travel assistance policy and how to apply, please contact the SEND Travel Assistance Team:

    Additional help

    Your local authority SEN teams are responsible for the formal statutory assessment process, the issuing of EHCPs and appropriate educational placements. The teams each cover a specific area of Surrey, and look after arrangements for young people living in that area. You can contact your relevant team at:

    South East team (Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Tandridge) 01737 737990

    South West team (Guildford, Waverley) 01483 517890

    North East team (Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Spelthorne) 01737 737940

    North West team (Runnymede, Surrey Heath, Woking) 01483 518110

    SEND Advice Surrey provides independent and impartial advice and support to parents/carers of young people with special needs regarding issues concerning the authority and with schools. You can contact SEND Advice Surrey for further information and advice on the process at any time:

    If you have a sight difficulty or any other support needs and need help reading this booklet or filling in the form, please phone:

    Surrey Schools and Childcare Service

    0300 200 1004

    Minicom: 020 8541 9698 Fax: 020 8541 9575

    If English is not your first language, and you have difficulty understanding this document and would like help translating it into any language, please contact the Woking Interpreting Translating Service Linkline on 01483 750970.