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Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)

Girl with packing boxes

What does preparing for adulthood mean?

Your child growing into a young adult can be a very worrying time for parents and carers.  Your child will be moving from familiar children’s services to new adult services. They will take on decision-making responsibility for themselves. 

These pages help you to think about the different elements of transition. They can help you to plan and to provide tips to help the process feel as smooth as possible.  

For young people with SEND, planning for adulthood happens throughout their childhood.

Does your young person have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)? If so, during Year 9, Preparing for Adulthood will be part of their EHCP. This is the year in which they have their 14th birthday.

View the Preparing for Adulthood - A Parents Guide

View the Preparing for adult life - A guide for young people document 

'Preparing for Adulthood' means the work carried out by professionals, alongside families. The professionals are from education, health and social care. It supports children and young people to achieve their goals and aspirations.  We have a helpline every month that might help with any questions you may have

Telephone - 07920160256  Email - (First Wednesday of each month from 1-3pm)

Contact the Council's Preparing for Adulthood Helpline

Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) helpline

Young people have to learn to cope with big changes when they leave school.

For some people with learning disabilities, their physical or emotional needs can make moving into adulthood more challenging.

There is information on the Peterborough Local Offer Preparation for Adulthood pages to help young adults achieve employmentindependent living, good health, be part of their community and be supported in making friends.  

Contact the PFA helpline

The PFA helpline is available on the first Wednesday of each month from 1pm to 3pm. Please contact contact Elizabeth Sullivan Ash on:

Telephone - 07920160256

Email -  

Packages of support across five days a week

Who is the 5 day offer for?

The “Five Day Offer” is a supportive framework which focuses on young people aged 16+ (with a learning disability) who are leaving full time education. It helps them to develop links around further learning, independent living skills, volunteering, paid work and leisure in their local community.

You will typically have had an Education, Health and Care plan

  • Be aged 16-25
  • Will have a recognised learning disability

What is the 5 day offer?

The purpose of the 5 day offer in Peterborough is to help prepare you to make a successful transition to adulthood.

Through primary and into secondary school you have been used to doing something every day, Monday to Friday. As you move on to college and 6th form you might find that most further education and post 16 courses are offered over 3 days.

The 5 day offer is a package of provision and support across education, health and care that can be put together to meet your needs to cover up to 5 days a week. The 5 days do not have to be at one provider and can include time in different settings and with different providers and include a range of activities to compliment the education outlined within your education health and care plan EHCP.

There is no requirement to have a 5 day offer and some young people are able to structure their week to build in their existing hobbies, interests, part-time work or volunteering or are able to undertake coursework and homework independently or with other students outside of lessons, as well as socialising with their college or 6th form peers with the education environment.

The package, which does not need to include study towards formal qualifications, can include activities such as:

  • volunteering or community participation 

  • work experience 

  • independent travel training 

  • skills for living in semi-supported or independent accommodation 

  • training to develop and maintain friendships 

  • access to local facilities 

  • physiotherapy 

These activities can tie in with vocational studies, for example, volunteering in a work area you are studying or be different and linked to your hobbies or interests.

What can it cover?

The 5 day offer in Peterborough can be built around your existing post 16 education; for example courses delivered at our 3 colleges 

  • City College Peterborough
  • Peterborough College
  • Stamford College

How to put a 5 day offer together

From year 9 onwards at the annual review of your EHCP the four preparing for adulthood themes will be discussed and focus on the outcomes you want to achieve under each heading:

  • Employment and education
  • Friends, Relationships and Community
  • Independent Living
  • Good Health

Once you have had an offer of a place or started at college or 6th form; you will have an idea of your typical week at college and what days you will do which lessons and any work experience or placements. There will be things in your EHCP that you would like to do/achieve.

Step One

First have a discussion with tutor/EHCP coordinator and build up a typical week taking your college time table as starting point, then think about what else you would like to do.  Write out a timetable for the week and add activities you are doing for each day.  

Step Two

Identify opportunities from a range of sources – this can be existing websites, or through a discussion with your family or others who know you well. You can then add these to your typical week.

You don’t have to do activities across all 5 days and can put together a timetable for 4 days, as the 5 day offer can be up to 5 days. It is also okay to plan in some time with your friends or family or individual study.

Step Three

You might find that something you really want to do (for example swimming or sailing) is only available on a day you are timetabled to be at college. Sometimes college can swap days so talk to your tutor about swapping college sessions if there is only 1 day when an activity is on offer.

Where to find opportunities

There are lots of places to find out about opportunities to include in your 5 day offer. 

Get Yourself Active is a national programme which aims to find ways for disabled people to get active in their local area. It is run nationally and supported by Inspire Peterborough and Disability Peterborough. Click on the blue links below to go to the websites to find lots of information about local sporting activities.

You can also put disability peterborough into the keyword search box on the top of any of the Local Offer pages, to find a list of things to do. Here are a few examples:

Riding for the Disabled

Peterborough Disabled Angling Academy

English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS)

Peterborough Sailability

Disability Sports Programme - Peterborough Adapted Cycling Scheme

Access to Work grant scheme

Access to Work is a government grant scheme which supports disabled people in work. Access to Work might pay for:

  • a British Sign Language interpreter
  • specialist equipment
  • extra transport costs, such as a taxi where no public transport is available

Access to Work can also pay for assessments to see what you need at work. You can apply for Access to Work up to 6 weeks before you start work.

Find lots more information on the SCOPE website

Money and claiming benefits as a young adult

Young  people may be able to claim benefits as they become adults.  For some benefits this might be when young people are 16 or 17 and for others it may be at age 18.  You can find out more about universal credit, other benefits and where to get advice and support in the money section on our Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer) | Peterborough Information Network page and on the Adults Welfare Benefits page.

Peterborough Post-16 Offer

Post 16 Survey 2023

Welcome to the Peterborough City Council SEND Team survey!

We have pulled together some questions to help us understand how you feel about the services that support you once you get to be a young adult at 16.

This is part of our wider work on improving things for young people aged 16 – 25.

Your views and answers will help us to make things better for you. Part of our work is related to helping us to complete a plan with the Department of Education that shows we are supporting young people aged 16-25, which they asked us to complete following the last Local Area Inspection.

The Department of Education will be coming back to speak to us about what we have learned and what we have done at the end of February, so please let us have your answers before then so we can share what you think with them.

Take the survey

Transitioning to college

Peterborough Post 16 Education Offer 2023. For any young adults who are transitioning to college this academic year and have not decided on a place this may help.

City College Peterborough Post 16 Offer

Watch this video

Hear their Vice Principal talk about 16+ opportunities

Find out about their post 16 offer open evenings 

City College Peterborough will ensure any learners with SEN have access to individualised learning and support programmes that ensure accessibility across our diverse curriculum. This includes ensuring any existing exam arrangements are in place and that EHCP provision is followed.

You can go to one of their Weekday open evenings from 3-6 pm

  • 19th of July 2023

Find out more about the college's post 16 offer on their website 

Post-16 Courses designed to help you enjoy a better future.

Find out about their 2022-23 choices

View a  copy of their brochure

Mencap’s Traineeship Programme

Mencap’s Traineeship Programme supports young people with a learning disability or autism, aged 19 – 24, to develop the skills and experience needed to find a job. This could be paid work or an apprenticeship.

View their leaflet Mencap’s Traineeship Programme:trainee’s guide which is published on their website.

You need to:

  • be aged 19 to 24 (but you don’t need to have an Education, Health and Care Plan)
  • have no qualifications above level 3
  • have a learning disability, learning difficulty or autism
  • want to find a job or move onto an apprenticeship.

view more details on their website page What is a traineeship?

Consultation and co-production with young people

Young people sitting round a table

Preparing for Adulthood - Young Persons Consultation Spring 2021

In response to our consultation with young people and a continuation of that dialogue with them, we have produced an online learning resource.

The Preparing for Adulthood - Young Persons Consultation Spring 2021 learning resource may also be useful to parents and staff who need some training in SEND and PfA. The target age group is 13-25. (Please note the voiceovers and videos don't work on the presentation - if you want a copy of the original powerpoint presentation please email Marya Ali ( or Elizabeth Sullivan Ash (

Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)

The learning resource has also been replicated in several pages on our Local Offer for Young People website

Preparing for Adulthood - employment and getting a job

Working in a shop

Early planning

It's often hard for a young person to think about what they may want to achieve from their adulthood when they are in their early teens. But early planning is the key to success and so it's really helpful if parents and carers can work with their young people to start thinking about this.

All young people should be helped to develop the skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need to succeed.

To find out more, take a look at our 'Preparing for Adulthood - Employment' page

Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living

Man in wheelchair at the sink

Independent Living is all about young people having choice, control and freedom over their lives. This includes where you live, your money, support you might need and developing independence skills.

You can find out more on our page Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living.

Preparing for Adulthood - Friends, Relationships and Community

Young people sitting on the floor

Get involved

Friendships, relationships and being a part of the community,  are important to a young person's quality of life. There are many ways to get involved other than being in education or employment.

To find out more take a look at our 'Preparing for Adulthood - Friends Relationships & Community' webpage

Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health

Health professional with patient

Looking after yourself

Growing up and becoming more independent it is important to be aware of your health needs and how to look after yourself.

There are a range of health services available for young people with special educational needs and disabilities such as: GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists, and opticians. In some cases, you may need to access specialised services which may be different depending on your need.

To find out more, take a look at our  'Preparing for Adulthood -  Good Health' webpage.

Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide

Transition to Adulthood - A Parents Guide

Parents have also asked for a comprehensive guide to transitions and we have worked with Family Voice to produce the Preparing for Adulthood - A Parents Guide which you can find on this page.

Support from Adult Social Care

When you are over 18 years old any social care support you might need is organised by adult social care.

If you have been getting care and support from children's social care services, you may be eligible for support from adult social care.

If you have not been receiving support, but think that you might need it, this page explains what you need to do.

Find out more on our 0-25 Disability Social Care page and on the 

Adult Social Care for young people aged 18 plus page.

Making decisions for someone who lacks capacity

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It applies to people aged 16 and over.​ 

​It covers decisions about day-to-day things like what to wear or what to buy for the weekly shop, or serious life-changing decisions like whether to move into a care home or have major surgery.  Examples of people who may lack capacity include those with:​ 

  • Dementia​ 

  • A severe learning disability​ 

  • A brain injury​ 

  • A mental health illness​ 

  • A stroke​ 

  • Unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident​ 

Find out more about how capacity is assessed and the role of carers in the process 

Someone can lack capacity to make some decisions (for example, to decide on complex financial issues) but still have the capacity to make other decisions (for example, to decide what items to buy at the local shop).​ 

The Mental Capacity Act says:​ 

  • assume a person has the capacity to make a decision themselves, unless it's proved otherwise​ 

  • wherever possible, help people to make their own decisions​ 

  • don't treat a person as lacking the capacity to make a decision just because they make an unwise decision​ 

  • if you make a decision for someone who doesn't have capacity, it must be in their best interests​ 

  • treatment and care provided to someone who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms​ 

Mental Capacity Act - NHS​ 

You can find out more about the Mental Capacity Act, how we meet the requirements in Peterborough and local support on the Adults pages of the PIN.

Becoming an appointee for someone receiving benefits

If someone who is over 16 lacks capacity to manage their finances, you can apply for the right to deal with their benefits for them.  This is called appointeeship.​ 

Only one appointee can act on behalf of someone who is entitled to benefits (the claimant) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).​  An appointee can be:​ 

  • individual appointees, such as a friend or relative​ 

  • corporate appointees, such as a solicitor or local council​ 

You can find out more on 

Power of attorney 

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets your young person appoint people to make decisions on their behalf if they became unable to make their own decisions.  It can be about finances or about health and social care.​ 

​Your young person must be 18 or over and have the ability to make their own decisions when they make the lasting power of attorney. If they do not have mental capacity you may need a court-appointed deputy.​ 

A deputy is someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who is unable to do so alone. They are responsible for doing so until the person they are acting for dies or is able to make decisions on their own again.​ 

You can find out more at 

Mental Health Act (MHA) 

The Mental Health Act is a law that can be used to provide support and treatment to people with a diagnosed mental illness.​ 

​Being detained (also known as sectioned) under the Mental Health Act is a legal process that starts when an approved mental health practitioner has assessed that someone is not safe to be at home and needs to be kept safe while they are being assessed/treated. This law protects people’s rights.​ 

You can find out more on the NHS Easy Read guide to the Mental Health Act. 

Deputies: make decisions for someone who lacks capacity

You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made. They may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.

People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities

As a deputy, you’ll be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.

There are two types of deputy.

  • Property and financial affairs deputy - You’ll do things like pay the person’s bills or organise their pension.
  • Personal welfare deputy - You’ll make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after.

Find out more about becoming a deputy at

Wills and Trusts

our will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.  If you make a will you can also make sure your beneficiaries don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to.​ 

​You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will isn’t straightforward.​  

​You need to get your will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid.  If you want to update your will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new will.​ 

It is always best to seek independent advice as the best course of action for you and your family will vary depending on your circumstances.​ 

​If you die without a will, the law says who gets what.​ 

You can find out more at​ 

Preparing for Adulthood resources

NDTI logo

The National Development Team for Inclusion has produced some resources for Preparing for Adulthood.

You can view them here.

Preparing For Adult Life - Easy Read guide for young people