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25. By 2015, all young people will continue in education or training until the age of 18. Schools and colleges play a key role in helping young people make successful transition to adulthood, but young people also need wider opportunities and support to make the most of their future and give them the best chance of a fulfilling adulthood with employment, good health and independence. However, many young people who are disabled or who have SEN can face additional challenges during their teenage years. Too often the opportunities and support available to disabled young people and young people with SEN fall short of what they need to make a successful transition to adult life.
26. Like school-aged children, young people who are disabled or who have SEN and their parents tell us that to get the help they need they have to cope with disjointed and confusing assessment processes from their local authority, school or college and health providers. Too often, professionals working with these young people are not encouraged to focus on young people’s ambitions for adulthood and how best to help them prepare. Such poor planning of support is exacerbated by a lack of choice and opportunities for young people: for example, a limited choice of entry-level courses in further education that do not build on
what has gone before, or prepare young people for life and work; poor quality work experience; and a lack of supported employment opportunities to help them prepare for, find and retain work. In addition, the transition from children’s to adult health services is often badly coordinated, which can lead to a deterioration
in young people’s health.
27. Our goal is for disabled young people and young people with SEN to have the best opportunities and support so that as far as possible they can succeed in education and their careers, live as independently and healthily as they are able to and be active members of their communities. For a small number of young
people, independent living may not be possible, and their families may be anxious about their ongoing care responsibilities. For these young people, we want to ensure the best quality of life with support for them to fulfil their potential and support for their parents and carers.
28. We recognise the challenge of realising our ambitions, and we will take forward a programme of action across government and with local partners, setting out more detail by the end of this year, so that by 2015 disabled young people and young people with SEN will have:
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