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Additional support for positive transitions

It is important to prepare children and young people who are more likely to struggle with moving to a new school. These include children and young people with:

  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Social and emotional challenges
  • Limited parental support
  • Experience of transient living, such as being in care
  • Anxiety
  • Experience of being bullied
  • Children who don’t feel that they belong in their school; who struggle to develop good relationships with school staff and peers; and who struggle with changes to a routine may also find this transition challenging.


  • Two in five pupils fail to reach expected academic progress after transitioning to secondary school.
  • Feeling like you belong has an impact on achievement and how well a CYP transitions.
  • Children with SEND are more likely to feel isolated and vulnerable if they don’t have a smooth transition.

Useful Websites:

The website has some useful tips for school staff to help children settle when starting primary school or to support those who change school regularly.

Autism Transitions: An autism transitions project. This project is a collaboration between The University of Southampton and Aviary Nursery in Eastleigh.

Autism Education Trust, funded by the Department for Education (DfE): Supporting learners with autism during transition: Practical strategies, resources and case-studies to support transition from early years to primary school and from primary to secondary school – with examples and templates.

PAC-UK Education Service

Bridging the Word Gap

Bridging the Word Gap at transition: The Oxford Language Report 2020: This new report, Bridging the Word Gap at Transition, builds on the previous report from 3 years ago, Why Closing the Word Gap Matters. The latest research reveals that all of the consequences of the word gap identified in the first survey still remain.

Last updated 3 August 2021

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