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Preparing for the future

Decisions that need to be made at each age


Year 11 is the last year that you must attend school. If you want to apply for a school 6th form or college place, you will need to check websites for open evening or days.

See Your future and Choosing or changing my next school or college for more information.

If you have reached the end of compulsory school age – the last Friday in June of the school year in which you turn 16 – some rights related to Education, Health and Care plans, if you have one, move from your parents to you.

You will have the right to:

  • ask for an EHC needs assessment
  • make representations about the content of your EHC plan
  • ask that a particular education setting is named in your plan
  • request a personal budget
  • appeal to the SEND tribunal – you will still be able to ask your parents, or others to help you make the decision


Remember, the school year finishes early in Year 11, if you are taking exams or not. This is either on the last Friday in June or earlier because of study leave. Check with school in good time to see if you will need to make alternative arrangements at home.


You may be invited to attend transition clinics which are jointly run by staff from children’s and adult health services.

You may want to prepare a hospital passport as a way of sharing important information about how to best care for you. See Hospital Passports at Somerset Foundation Trust for more information.

If you are over 16 you can provide consent for you own treatment. This means that you can take the decisions over what treatments you do and do not have. A doctor is not allowed to tell your parents, carers, or family members unless you agree.

If you attend a medical appointment by yourself, it is a good idea to write down things so that you remember what was said. Ask the doctor if they have more information, you can take away with you. They have to provide the information in a way you can understand so you can make informed decisions.

A good way to make sure you have understood what the doctor has said to you is repeating it back to them, asking if you have got it right.

Transport and travel

You will need to apply for transport when moving from school to college, even if you have an EHC plan. You will have to contribute to the cost. Applications need to be made each year, it will not automatically continue each year.

See Over 16 student transport for more information.

You usually need to be 17 before you can hold a licence to drive a car, but you can apply for your provisional licence from 15 years and 9 months.

Also, if you received the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, or enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payments, you can hold a licence from the age of 16.

See Learning to drive for more information.

Finance and benefits

You can claim benefits and receive direct payments from the age of 16. If you stay in full time non-advanced education then parents can choose to carry on claiming for you as part of their family. You will need to consider which option leaves you with more money.

If you have been getting a Disability Living Allowance as a child then you will need to be reassessed under Personal Independence Payment. If you need support you can register your parent carer as an Appointee. See Getting help with finances for more information.

If you think you might struggle with the costs for education and training next year you may be eligible for a bursary. This may help you pay for things like clothing, books and other equipment for your course, and transport and lunch on days you study or train. See Bursary Funding for more information.

For parents claiming Child Benefit you will need to tell the Child Benefit Office if your child will be staying in approved education or training after the age of 16, or if your child aged 16 or over has left approved education or training.

Last reviewed: May 13, 2024 by Gemma

Next review due: November 13, 2024

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