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Transitions FAQs

What does transition mean?

'Transition' is the process of moving from one school to another or through different key stages and also includes when a child/young person is preparing to move towards adulthood. 

Transition can involve changes that can both be exciting and worrying to both students and their parents/carers. Successful transition is vital to the students emotional and academic development and therefore careful planning is required.

 

PLAYGROUP TO PRIMARY SCHOOL

Q. Will the school staff visit the playgroup?

A. It is good practice for the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to visit early years’ settings of the children who will be transitioning to their school. It is recognised that this may not always be practicable, for example if the child attends a setting that is attached to the parent’s workplace which may be some distance from the school. In such cases the development of pupil passports or individualised booklets can be a very useful way of communicating key information about the child to the receiving school.

Q. Will playgroup staff visit the Primary school to advise and disseminate?

A. It is good practice for a member of staff from the playgroup or day nursery to contact the school the child will be transitioning to. It may not always be practicable for this to be a visit, for example if the child attends a setting that is attached to the parent’s workplace which may be some distance from the school. In such cases the development of pupil passports or individualised booklets can be a very useful way of communicating key information about the child to the receiving school.

Q. How will my child manage break & lunchtimes?

A. Have a conversation with the new school about their arrangements for break and lunchtimes. If you have particular concerns about how your child will manage during these times make sure that the school is aware of these and that they have talked to you about the support arrangements that have or can put in place. If there are things that have been particular effective in supporting your child during these times, whilst they’ve been in an Early Years setting, talk to the setting so that they capture this in the passport or individualised booklet that they share with the school. You can then refer to this in your discussions.

Children’s needs will change over time. It may be that more support is needed initially as the child makes the transition to school, but over time as they become more settled that the level or nature of this support needs to be adjusted. It is important to review the effectiveness of arrangements and to make sure that you, as parents and carers, are part of that review process.

Q. My child gets fatigued easily what provision can be put in place to address this?

A. It is important to speak to the school during the transition process to explore what arrangements are in place or can be implemented to support specific needs?

Q. Will there be a managed/phased transition into the new setting?

A. Transition is process rather than an event. It is about planning and sharing information. This will routinely involve visits to the setting. The transition process will be supported by the setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), who may in turn be supported by the Local Authority Area SENCO and/or EYSFSS.

Q. My child doesn’t have an EHC plan at the moment will they need one at Primary school?

A. An EHC Plan will not be necessary if their Special Educational Needs (SEN) support is meeting all of their needs. To find out further information on SEN support in schools please click on the following link: SEN Support

If a child/young person has been receiving a high level of ‘SEN Support’ and is still not making satisfactory progress, the Local Authority may be asked to complete an EHC needs assessment. This assessment is undertaken when it may be necessary for a child/young person to have support which is only available with an EHC Plan. For further information on EHC needs assessments please click on the following link: EHC Plans

Q. How will my child be transported to school? Will there be support on transport?

A. Most children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) do not have a special transport need. Wherever possible and appropriate, children and young people with SEND should be treated in the same way as those without, i.e. in general they should walk to school/college, travel on public transport or be taken by their parents/carers.

Travel assistance may be available for a child or young person living in Nottinghamshire if they are assessed as being eligible. Special needs travel assistance eligibility is determined by officers of Nottinghamshire Transport and Travel Services (TTS), based upon medical advice and other evidence as required.

A special transport need would be where the child or young person:

  • Lives within walking distance of the school/college but cannot walk or travel to school even if accompanied by a parent/carer
  • Is unable to use public transport when accompanied

For further information on home to school transport please click on the following link: Transport

Q. Where can I find out further information to support my child's transition to primary school?

A. You can find a range of information and resources about Early Years transitions, including the transition from early years’ settings to primary school on the East Midlands Education Support Service website.

PRIMARY TO SECONDARY SCHOOL

Q. Will there be a managed phased transition into the new setting?

A. There should be arrangements in place to support all children to make a successful transition from the primary to the secondary phase of their education. It is recognised that children and young people with special educational needs may require enhanced support to help with this transition. This could for example involve some extra visits or producing a passport to share information both about the individual pupil but also about the new school. This information can be used over the summer holiday to continue to familiarise the child with their new setting ahead of their September start.

Enhanced transitions for pupils on the autistic spectrum are considered good practice, these should be based on individual needs of pupils. Further guidance can be found on the Autism Education Trust website: www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk

The Local Authority has been running a project called “Ready for Secondary”, where they have been sharing information and resources with Nottinghamshire Schools to help them support their pupils to make the move from primary to secondary school. These include tools for helping them identify children who may find the transition more challenging and tips for both the primary and secondary school on managing anxieties. Research has shown that the involvement of parents and carers is also key and information and activities have been collated that families can use to help support their children.

The Schools and Families Specialist Services (SFSS) have pulled together the information and resources gathered through the “Ready for Secondary” project and have published these as part of a wider tool kit, called “Inclusive Transition”, which explores transitions throughout the child’s educational journey to adulthood. The Ready for Secondary information and resources are available to schools and families and can be accessed via the following link: Ready For Secondary

Q. Secondary school settings are much larger than primary. How will my child navigate around the school? Is there any support available to help?

A. Transition visits before your child starts the school can help start the process of orientating them in their new setting. Depending on the needs of the pupil support from TA’s/school support staff should be available. Navigating buildings is usually covered in transition visits.

Resources such as passports, which can include photos of key rooms and locations around the school, may also help. These can be used over the summer to support your child with this over the summer break. Maps of the school can be a useful reference and schools may operate a buddying system for children who may have been identified as needing assistance with navigating the school. There are also activities such as the “Timetable Challenge” within the Ready for Secondary resources, which schools’ can tailor to help children to familiarise themselves with the layout of the school they’ll be moving to. (See the Ready for Secondary page on the East Midlands Educational Support Services website.

Q. Will all the equipment my child currently uses still be available at the secondary school?

A. The type and range of equipment that children and young people use in secondary school may be different from the primary school, as they move towards a more subject based curriculum.

If however, your child has had specialist equipment provided by the local authority to enable them to access the school curriculum, then they will continue to access that equipment whilst their level of need requires it.

Q. Will the same external staff continue to work with my child and the school for consistency?

A. Where a child/young person continues to meet the threshold for educational support service involvement following the move from primary mainstream to secondayr school, the Local Authority will try wherever possible to ensure the continuity of staffing. This may not be possible due to staff turnover or if the child is transitioning to a school in a different catchmeent or a different part of the county. Education support service staff do not routinely provide on-going support to children and young people who have transitioned to special school.

Q. My child is moving to an Academy/Independent setting, will the same external staff continue to work with my child and the school?

A. When a child/young person is moving to an academy school the arrangements for providing support remain as they would do for a maintained local authority mainstream school i.e. whilst the child/young person continues to meet the threshold for educational support service involvement, the local authority will try wherever possible to ensure continuity of staffing. This may not be possible due to staff turnover or if the child is transitioning to a school in a different catchment or a different part of the county.

Nottinghamshire Education Support Services do not provide support to independent (i.e. fee charging) schools and settings. They are expected to use the fees that they charge to provide the support that is required.

Q. How will my child be transported to school? Will there be support on transport?

A. Most children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) do not have a special transport need. Wherever possible and appropriate, children and young people with SEND should be treated in the same way as those without, i.e. in general they should walk to school/college, travel on public transport or be taken by their parents/carers.

Travel assistance may be available for a child or young person living in Nottinghamshire if they are assessed as being eligible. Special needs travel assistance eligibility is determined by officers of Nottinghamshire Transport and Travel Services (TTS), based upon medical advice and other evidence as required.

A special transport need would be where the child or young person:

  • Lives within walking distance of the school/college but cannot walk or travel to school even if accompanied by a parent/carer
  • Is unable to use public transport when accompanied

For further information on home to school transport please click on the following link: Transport

Q. My child eats very slowly. Is this going to be an issue when the timetable in a secondary is so stringent?

A. Communication is a key part of the transition process. Parents and carers have will have a good idea of the sorts of things that their children may need help with and support at lunch times is one example. It is important that the current school are aware that this may be an issue (it may not present itself as one in the primary setting), so that this can be shared with the new secondary school, for example in a Pen Picture. It may be that access to a lunch time buddy, an alternative quieter place to eat lunch, or having a packed lunch rather than a school dinner may help address the concern. The important thing is to raise and discuss it in advance.

Many pupils with a diagnosis of autism have eating challenges - adjustments should be made by school to accommodate any issues a pupil has either with slow eating, environment of the dining room/hall e.g. noise, smells etc, or variety of foodstuffs a pupil will eat. These challenges are part of the condition.

Q. What arrangements can be put in place for lunchtime/unstructured time supervision?

A. It is important to make sure that both schools are aware of your concerns if you feel that this is likely to be a difficult part of the school day for your child. The primary school can share this information with the secondary school for example, as part of a personal profile or a passport. There activities that they can undertake with the children to learn more about what they feel with be challenging for them and what things they think could help support them with those challenges. Schools will look to run sessions during the transition process which are aimed at nurturing friendships. They will consider their arrangements for lunchtime supervision in light of the information that they receive from the primary school and what they observe during the transition and after.

Secondary schools will provide a range of activities and places to go during breaks and lunch times. They should for example, be able to provide a safe area at these time, which may be supervised by SEND staff.  Schools will often have ‘clubs’ that pupils can attend that are more structured.

Q. Where can I find out further information to support my child's transition to secondary school?

A. You can find a range of information and resources about primary to secondary school transitions on the East Midlands Education Support Service website.

SECONDARY TO FURTHER EDUCATION

Q. My child still needs 1:1 support. Will this be available at Further Education Placements?

A. In college as in school, provision is made on the basis of assessed needs. If a young person is assessed as requiring 1-1, Colleges can apply to their home Local Authority for funding for this to be provided. An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan is not required to access 1-1 support.

Q. Who will advise my child on Post 16 options and longer term plans?

A. The responsibility for providing advice and guidance on post-16 options rests with schools, who should also be well placed to advise on longer term plans in partnership with other services and professionals as appropriate.

Q. Where can I find out further information to support my child's transition to further education?

A. You can find a range of information and resources about preparing for adulthood, including further education, on the East Midlands Education Support Service website.

EDUCATION TO WORK SETTING

Q. What advice/support is there available to help my young person make a move into a work placement?

A.  In Nottinghamshire the following organisations can provide direct support with accessing employment, work placements and training opportunities:

Engage2Employ - Tel: 01623 476830

IWork - Tel: 0115 9632638

Work Choice

If you have a disability or long-term health condition and you are seeking advice to find employment you may be eligible for support through the Work Choice programme.  In Nottinghamshire this is provided by the Shaw Trust.

To find out more about the programme please ask to speak to a Disability Employment adviser at your local Job Centre.  To find where this is please click on the website Job Centre Search.  You will need to put in your postcode.

The GOV.UK website also provides links to different sources of support such as Access to Work and Special Employability Support.

Q. Is it feasible that my young person (who has needed support throughout their time in education) will be able to have a job?

A. Yes! Clearly it depends on the complexity and severity of the young person's special educational needs and disabilities and their consequent support needs but there are a number of pathways that can provide a route into paid employment. If the young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, a Supported Internship could be appropriate. These study programmes, which last for a year, mean that the young person is on roll with an education provider (usually an FE College) but spends the majority of their time in the workplace doing a real job with support from a job coach. Traineeships and Assisted Apprenticeships are potential routes for young people with less significant support needs. You can find details of services who offer employment opportunities and support by clicking on the following link: Employment Support

Employment support includes Nottinghamshire's I-Work Team who support people with autism, aspergers and learning disabilities into paid employment. They help with application and interview and offer bespoke one to one support to enable the jobseeker to work independently. For further details click on the following link: I-Work

Q. Will staff from my child’s school/ college share information to the proposed work setting?

A. The decision on that rests with the school/college in question and will depend on the nature of the placement. The consent of the young person/parent should be secured in advance and any personal data shared safely in accordance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).  

Q. Will support be available if there is a break between education and finding work?

A. Young People who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) can access support and advice to return to education, employment or training through Futures: https://www.the-futures-group.com/

 

How do I find out more information on transitions for children with special educational needs?

There is a range of material and resources available, which have been designed by the East Midlands Education Support Service to support the transitions of children and young people with SEND at the various stages of their educational journey towards adulthood. To access these resources please click on the following link: Transitions Support

How can I best support my child with transition?

For further details on how to support your child with transtions you can click on the Transitions infomation page, which includes a guide for parents/carers on planning for transitions.

Are there any materials that can be used to help my child’s transition be successful?

The East Midlands Education Support Service has a range of information, resources and materials that can support your child's transition.

The Moving Up document below has a range of activities for a child transitioning from primary to secondary school to ensure they will be ready.

Moving up

What support can my child expect as they move towards adulthood?

Nottinghamshire has a Multi-Agency Transitions Protocol and an interactive Transitions Pathway for Young People Aged 13-25, which have been produced to provide information on the transition towards adulthood and what support should be expected at different stages from education, health and social care.

How do I find out more information on transitions for children with SEN?

You can find find a series of tips from the Schools and Families Specialist Services (SFSS) for parents/carers of children with specific special educational needs by clicking on the icon below:

Quick read transition tips for parents of children with SEN

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