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Preparing for the future

Decisions that need to be made at each age


If you are at school you will need to choose which subjects you want to study, which may include GCSE exams. You must take some set subjects and some other subjects will be your choice.  This will be different for each school so speak to your class teacher for more information.

If you are not working at the level needed for GCSE s then ask the school about other options that might be available.  This may include entry-level qualifications, functional skills qualifications or BTEC qualifications.

EHC plan Annual Reviews from year 9 onwards include a focus on preparing for adulthood.  This can include support to:

  • Prepare for further or higher education and/or employment
  • Prepare for living on your own
  • Stay healthy in adult life
  • Take part in society, including support with making and keeping friendships and relationships


If you have a learning disability, make sure that your doctor records this on their notes.  From the age of 14 you will be able to get an Annual Health Check.

If you use hospital services, ask at your next hospital appointment about plans for change.  Each clinic will vary how they do it, but they will all follow the NICE Guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and start preparing from Year 9.

It should be:

  • Lead by a named worker, often a nurse
  • Based on what you can do and need, not your age
  • At a time when you are not going through big changes – such as when you are moving from school to college
  • Reviewed each year

If you are under 16 you can take decisions over what treatments you do and do not have – if you can fully understand what the options are and what a treatment involves. This means you can also say no to a treatment if it does not feel right for you and ask about other options.

See moving between children’s and adults healthcare for more information.

Social care

Is the support you get still relevant to you now you are a teenager? If you qualify for support, you might want to think about changing how you receive it.  You can ask for direct payments to pay for a Personal Assistant (PA) who can help you access social and leisure activities.

See Personal Budgets and Direct Payments for more information.

Finance and benefits

If you haven’t already opened a bank account to safely store your money you can.  It is good to practice managing your money before you start earning a wage.  It is also much easier to open a bank account before you turn 18 due to the ways of proving your identity.

See banking for more information.

Last reviewed: November 16, 2023 by Gemma

Next review due: May 16, 2024

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