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Supporting your child through transitions

Planning for transition is important and can help make your child’s move between settings and services as smooth as possible.

What is a transition

Transitions take place when a change happens. This might be when a child moves from one school to another, if they move house or when they turn 16 and seek employment. Any change to a school or setting can be considered a transition and should be prepared for as part of a child or young person’s SEND support.

Education transitions

There are 3 main educational phase transitions:

  • Early years to primary school.
  • Primary to secondary school.
  • Secondary school to further education or employment.

There are also year to year key stage changes like KS1 to KS2 or KS3 to KS4. It can help to think about these transitions, especially if your child finds changes to teaching staff or rooms challenging.

The SENDIASS website has lots of information on supporting a child or young person to move through schools and different educational settings, including how you can be involved in the planning and how to prepare for a school meeting.

Preparing for adulthood (PFA)

Preparing for adulthood is the process of your child moving from their childhood to adulthood.

This transition should start being considered from Year 9 (aged 13 to 14) in any SEND planning and if your child has an EHCP there should be a focus on this in their Year 9 review.

The PFA aims to prepare for:

  • Higher education or employment, including different options such as support from employment agencies and becoming self-employed.
  • Independent living, so that the young person has choice, control and freedom over their lives.
  • Participating in society, including having friends and being a part of their local community.
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life.

Find out more about PFA on the SENDIASS website.

Tips to help you prepare

Think ahead – Think about any upcoming changes that may be difficult for your child and how you can support them with their transition.

Make a plan – Try to plan as early as possible so that all relevant information can be shared with the new school or setting.

Talk with your child’s school about transitions. This can help you find out about any support that is available.

Additional support

Our Family Support team at Leeds Mencap are here to help, call us on 0113 235 1331 or email info@leedsmencap.org.uk for further information and advice about transitions.

The Family Information Service has a dedicated Transitions team who provide specialist advice, guidance and support to young people aged 14 to 25. The team supports families, parents and carers during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Referrals to this service can be made by social workers.

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