Preparing for Adulthood Focus Month 2021

Pilot PFA Month 2021

Bolton Parent Carers are part of a small working group that are developing a PFA Focus Month that will aim to gather the future aspirations of Year 9’s, with SEND, across all the principles of Preparing for Adulthood – Employment, Independent Living, Health and Community Inclusion. For 2021 this is running as a small pilot in order to be able to fully develop it for a full roll out across Bolton next year. 4 schools, will be participating with a small group of Year 9’s from each school.

PFA Forum

This is part of the work of Bolton’s SEND Preparing for Adulthood Forum which is chaired by Director of Children’s Services, Bernie Brown, it is a multi-agency working group with the purpose of improving the opportunities available for Bolton’s SEND children and young people as they become adults. A crucial part of the work of the forum is to understand what children, young people and families would like for their futures. Understanding these aspirations helps the local area better plan for the future. Bolton Parent Carers are key members of the forum.

Why a PFA Focus on Year 9?

Discussions for SEND pupils around PFA should have started by the time pupils are in Year 9. We understand that when discussing future plans with pupils, it can be difficult for those in secondary settings to have a broad understanding of all that moving into adulthood involves for young people, and quite often conversations can be quite limited to where the next educational setting will be. However, there is far more involved with PFA than just education, for instance, how benefits change, support for work, supported living, moving to adult social care etc. Therefore, to enable these conversations to be the best that they can, settings and parents included in the pilot are being provided with a variety of opportunities to learn more about adulthood possibilities. Year 9 is a key time as it can inform decisions made over the next couple of years, and also isn’t too early to seem a bit overwhelming. We hope that following a successful pilot, this will become something that all SEND pupils will benefit from as they move through their Year 9.

What will happen during the month?

PFA Planning Month starts with a series of online sessions that staff and parents can both attend, which will provide attendees with learning on topics such as mental capacity, support to work, benefits and finance and transitioning to adult health and social care services. The sessions will be open to any Bolton parents (ideally year 8-10, but older age groups may benefit) to access. Click here for more information and booking.

Following this initial week, in their settings, pupils will work through a PFA booklet to discuss their future aspirations, where necessary via their parents and/or advocates. Parents and carers should also be included in the sessions. The results of the sessions can also be used to inform the pupils’ Year 9 Annual Review if they have an EHC Plan, or to modify their SEN Support.

How Parents and Carers are involved…

As part of the PFA Week, Bolton Parent Carers are hosting two of our “How is Bolton Doing?” listening sessions that will focus purely on PFA, for parents and carers of Years 8, 9,10 and 11 SEND pupils. This is a great opportunity to meet with local SEND professionals and share what you would like the local area to be able to offer for you child as they become adults. For more information about these sessions click here

Parents and carers of SEND pupils in years 8-10 are also invited to join webinars on a range of PFA topics, these are open to all Bolton parents of years 8-10 with SEND, not just those talking part in the focus week. Click here for the webinar information If your child is in Year 11 or above, we welcome you to also join the webinars, however please be aware that the content is aimed is aimed at the very start of the journey.

Aims of PFA Month

The aim of the Planning Month is to gather the future aspirations of our current Year 9’s, with SEND, across all the principles of Preparing for Adulthood – Employment, Independent Living, Health and Community Inclusion. The information gathered will support the individual pupils with their future plans as well as help shape future opportunities in Bolton.