Supported transition for older children and young people

Pre-transition: as early as possible

  • Arrange for staff from future schools and settings to attend school events at the child or young person’s current school to support familiarisation.
  • Encourage the child and family to attend open days/visits at the new setting so they can become familiar with the layout and feel of new setting.
  • It can be helpful to help prepare the family and child ahead of the visit. For example, in considering what questions they may want to ask or aspects of the school they would like to see. Some families may also benefit from having a member of staff from their current school at the visit to help them get the most out of their visit.
  • If the child or young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) schedule in the Annual Review dates for the coming year. See ‘Annual Reviews and key transition considerations for children and young people with EHCPs’ page for key considerations by year group. Ensure that SENAT attendance is arranged (where appropriate) and that other agencies involved with the child or young person are invited in a timely way. Schedule dates for EHCP Annual Reviews for the coming year. These need to take place the year before the transfer takes place.
  • Consider how the child or young person’s independence skills can be supported.

Pre-transition: once a school or setting is allocated

After school/college/day provision/work places are allocated:

  • Be proactive and arrange contact between SENCOs. Participate in face to face meetings between settings to discuss pupils’ needs and provision.
  • Organise review meetings that both current and receiving settings, and parent/carers can attend. Develop transition plans for pupils.
  • Involve pupils and parents in this process.
  • Carry out an audit of environmental adjustments and medical needs training. Check the medical training required and who will need it prior to the child or young person starting at their new placement.
  • Prepare additional visits for pupils who need more personalised arrangements alongside the settings generic arrangements.
  • Arrange meetings with other agencies/professionals where appropriate. Liaise with health and social care colleagues to ensure that the information is up to date.
  • Ensure staffing, resources and equipment will be in place for transition (normally September).
  • Check who owns any equipment that the child or young person uses and if it will go with them.
  • Engage with discussions and planning to prepare for transition ensuring that receiving and current settings share the full range of the young person’s needs.
  • Ensure that a personalised plan for pre and post transition is in place – develop this with the the child and their parent.
  • Support the production of a ‘transition passport’ for the young person to ensure pupil voice. Promote the use of multi-media techniques to ensure the ‘passport’ is fully accessible and responsive to the young person’s needs. The passport should include seating arrangements etc. Support any needs identified by the ‘passport’ and ensure that the new setting is preparing for provision to meet those needs. Ensure the ‘transition passport’ makes reference to any other passport the child or young person may have, for example communication passport.
  • Ask the child who is in their support circle and who is important. Ensure this is recorded and planned for.
  • Ensure the receiving setting is aware of young persons needs especially those needs that are less obvious.
  • Discuss any training needs or requests and deliver as appropriate.
  • For older children, encourage and support parents/carers to find out about clinical services and the age this will change to adult services e.g. CAMHS. Find out what the plan is in terms of handover. Consider the role of the parents in this handover.
  • Check transport arrangements and support with travel training when appropriate.


  • Ensure all relevant information has been transferred from the previous setting. Check that this has been shared/disseminated with key staff. Promote dissemination of information across new setting as appropriate to the young person’s needs and wishes.
  • Ensure that staff understand the needs of their pupils. For example, through one-page profiles, pupil passports and EHCPs.
  • Meet with new parents/carers in the first term to discuss how pupils are settling in. It is also good practice to contact the family after a week, perhaps by a telephone call, to answer any questions they may have.
  • Ensure that appropriate support is in place and check how well this is working.
  • Meet with the CYP in the first term to check how they are settling in.
  • Plan a ‘6 weeks in’ meeting with key staff from the two settings/ schools, parents and the CYP to reflect on and celebrate the successes of the transition and show that they are held in mind by the previous setting.
  • Make sure relevant services/teams are made aware if there are concerns or issues at early stage so support can be given to overcome any issues.
  • Feeder schools/setting to offer on-going advice and support to receiving setting as appropriate.
  • Continue to promote discussion of staff training needs and deliver or explore providers as appropriate.