When a child or young person with a special educational need or disability (SEND) approaches a change in their educational setting, or a new phase in their education, they may experience a range of emotions including excitement, anticipation and anxiety. This can affect both the child or young person and their parents/carers. This move or phase change in education is commonly called 'transition'. It is important to help prepare the child or young person for this, to ensure that the experience is as positive as it can be and the transition is successful.
There are many transitions that take place including moving from:
The child or young person is the most important person to be prepared for transition. This is called 'person-centred planning'. But it is also very important that their parents/carers are involved too.
There are several tools which parents/carers can use with their child or young person to help them gather and collect information which will be useful for transition planning:
Good transition planning is important for all children and young people. But children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) will require additional planning and preparation. Transition planning should start early to ensure it is successful.
All educational settings must adhere to the Equality Act 2010 which means that they have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so as not to place disabled learners at a disadvantage. Settings should anticipate needs and make any reasonable adjustments in advance.
People from the current and new setting should talk and work together to plan for a positive and successful transition for all children and young people.
The Virtual School for SEND recommend settings use the Norwich Opportunity Area Common Transfer Form to ensure the consistent transfer of pupil information.
Additional support for children and young people with SEND could include:
Their parents/carers should help the young person to think about the things they want to do and plan for their future. Help them think about all the people who could be involved. They could be teachers, transition or guidance advisers, social workers (if they have one), plus anyone else who the young person and their parent/carers think can help them to make choices. If the young person wants to, these people could be asked to join of a circle of support.
If the young person is continuing their education post-16, planning and preparation needs to be given to what their study programme will involve.
If specialist help and support is needed to plan for the young person, it may be appropriate to make a referral for the Preparing for Adult Life (PfAL) service.
Download the transition resources linked to on this page for even more information and ideas that will help support good transition planning.