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Finished at School campaign

Finished at School was a national campaign which aimed to secure more and better educational options for all young people with autism aged 16 – 25 to enable them to develop skills, gain employment, live more independently and ultimately to live the life they choose.

What were we looking to achieve?

Ambitious about Autism called for young people, parents, professionals, schools, colleges and policy makers to sign up to support our campaign which is calling for:

  • A clear legal right to educational support up to the age of 25 for young disabled people;
  • A funding system that gives young people and families more information, choice and support;
  • A cross-government focus on outcomes and destinations for young disabled people; and
  • A further education workforce with the skills to support young people with autism to achieve their ambitions.

What has Finished at School achieved?

We are grateful to the thousands of supporters – young people with autism, parents, professionals, parliamentarians and others – who have helped us push for significant steps forward since the campaign launched in October 2011. The achievements below are a combined effort, delivered with the support of all our campaign partners.

  • The Children and Families Act:
    • replaces SEN statements and learning difficulty assessments with a single, simpler 0-25 assessment process and education, health and care plan.’
    • provides statutory protections comparable to those currently associated with a statement of SEN up to the age of 25 in further education - instead of being cut off at 16
    • was amended to remove all references to ‘having regard to the age’ of a young person, instead focussing decisions about support on individual needs and a young person’s desired outcomes
    • was amended to ensure young people with SEN who undertake apprenticeships will be able to keep their package of support.
  • A number of steps have been taken to ensure the further education workforce has the skills to support young people with autism to achieve their ambitions:
    • The Autism Education Trust is developing a training programme for professionals in post-16 settings. This will be delivered to further education staff from April 2014 onwards
    • The government announced a bursary programme for SEN staff in further education colleges to develop their skills in areas such as autism
  • Destination measures for all young people are now published, and will in future be broken down by type of SEN, to enable better monitoring of outcomes for young people.
  • Over 30 further education colleges have signed the College Inclusion Charter, which commits colleges to improving their offer to young people with autism and other disabilities.
  • The Department for Education have invested in pilot projects to improve the transition from school to college and community life for young people with autism. This is called the Finished at School Programme.

Read the Finished at School report


Download the Finished at School report (PDF 1,944KB)

Download the Finished at School summary report (PDF 485KB)

Childrens Minister Edward Timpson responds to campaign supporters

Minister for Children Edward Timpson MP responded to emails from Finished at School campaign supporters, setting out what more he will do to create support for young people aged 19-25 through the Children and Families Bill.

Does the work stop here?

Absolutely not. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that every opportunity is taken to create more and better options for young people with autism when they leave school. If you have suggestions, ideas, or would like further information, please contact

In the meantime, you can find out more about the practical work the Finished at School Programme is doing to support young people with autism to achieve their ambitions beyond school.