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Key principles for transitions

In a ‘supported transition’ there should be substantial preparation, planning, adjustment and support.

  • Clearly explain transition processes so that parents, carers and young people can make informed choices.
  • Make views of the child or young person and parent/carers central to and evident in the planning for transition.
  • Use person-centred techniques to support the child or young person’s mental capacity to participate in decision making.
  • Co-ordinate a multi-agency approach to reduce the need for children, young people and families to repeat their stories to multiple agencies.
  • Consider holding transition/planning meetings using online platforms to enable a wide range of professionals to attend.
  • Consider the diverse needs and vulnerabilities of families. Identify children, young people and parents carers who may need additional support for the transition process as early as possible.
  • Be aspirational and promote independence and life skills in children and young people. Have a long-term view for transitions and the pathway to adulthood throughout all education settings.
  • Ensure the individual needs of children and young people are known and supported with personalised approaches. For example, some children will need support to manage all the mini transitions throughout the day.
  • The needs of children and young people should be met within their home communities as far as possible. This will enable them to remain part of their established families, local communities and networks.
  • Recognise that transition is an ongoing process, not an isolated event, and that support in settling continues to adapt in response to individual needs.
  • Ensure that records and information about the child or young person are sent securely between settings in a timely manner. This includes safeguarding records sent between Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) and SEN files between SENCOs. See ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021’ for further information. It will also include information related to health and therapies.

A child or young person will experience many transitions during their education journey. These changes may take place on a daily basis between their home and setting or between class and break. Other transitions occur less frequently such as a change in school or year group. The way in which transitions are managed is central to the child or young person’s development and emotional well-being. This will have a significant impact on the child’s or young person’s capacity to cope with change in the short and long term.