Enquire is a lifeline for parents who are struggling and need help as far as educational policies and law are concerned
ASL Myth: If a pupil with additional support needs stays on at school after the age of 16, the school does not have to provide additional support for learning.
Enquire receives a number of queries each year about this topic and it can be a difficult time for young people and their parents.
There should be learning planning in place for all pupils and any extra support needed by a pupil should be planned and discussed with the pupil and their parents at all stages of their school education.
All children have a legal right to school education until the age of 16. This changes after the age of 16 and young people aged 16-18 have no specific right to a school education (there are also no legal duties to provide school education after that age).
Pupils can remain in school if they are already on a school register. Once a young person is attending school, they cannot be made to leave because they have turned 16. The only way they might have to leave is if they are excluded
(pupils can only be excluded if the school think that the parent of the pupil has not followed the school’s rules, and have allowed the pupil to break the school rules or if school thinks that the order and the discipline in the school and
the education of the other pupils will be badly affected if the pupil continues to attend).
If a young person with additional support needs stays on in school the education authority has duties towards them. The authority has to continue to provide ‘adequate and efficient’ support that meets the pupils needs and to regularly review that support.
If a school feels it is not able to meet all the pupils needs after the age of 16, they should in partnership with the parents, discuss with the local education authority what other options may be available. Other opportunities such as a part-time placement or joint placement at a college or other school may be available.