As well as the transitions discussed on this page, you might also like to read more about preparing your child for a smooth transition to the next stage of their lives, known as preparation for adulthood.

What educational transitions are there?

The main educational transitions (known as phase transitions) are: 

  • early years to primary school
  • primary to secondary school
  • secondary school to further education or employment

There are also year to year key stage transitions, such as KS1 to KS2, KS2 to KS3 and KS3 to KS4. It may be helpful to think about annual or key stage planning, especially if your child find changes to teaching staff and/ or rooms difficult. 

A child may also transition within any school year, due to things such as house moves or changes to their SEND that require different provision or support to be made for them. 

How should schools and settings plan for transition?

It is important to plan and prepare for transition as part of a child or young person's special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support. They should be planned for as early as possible so that all relevant information can be shared to prepare the new school or setting.

The Equality Act 2010 is an anticipatory duty to not treat disabled people less favourably and to make reasonable adjustments. This means that the new setting should be ready for your child to start their placement. 

The current school or setting should share information as soon as possible, including: 

  • pupil profiles
  • past reports
  • provision maps
  • Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
  • attendance and behaviour data
  • mobility and communication needs
  • special measures to support learning, supervision and visual aids

It’s also important that your child's voice is also heard and included in any planning. Does the school or setting know how they feel about the move and if there is anything they are worried about?You might find the following video from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) helpful: 

How can i be involved with the planning?

If you are feeling concerned about a future transition, you can speak to your child's school or setting. You could ask for a meeting to discuss this and to identify any planning and support that is available. We can help you to prepare for a school meeting

Make sure you know who is responsible for the transition work and planning at the current school or setting. You should be in regular communication them, so that you know what is being shared and put into place for your child. 

You could make suggestions for things that you feel will help your child with the transition. This could include asking for things such as: 

  • A transition book with photographs of the new classroom, setting or staffing
  • Information on what to expect and who will be your new contact in the new class, school or setting
  • A copy of the transition plan that you can share with your child to help them feel prepared. Including visual aids and photographs if needed.
  • whether there will be any visits or settling sessions to the new environment, and how these will be supported.

It’s also important to make sure that your child's voice is also heard. We advise talking to them about how they feel about a transition and think about what might make them feel more prepared for it. 

Useful resources

Leeds Sendiass are not responsible for the content of sites or services offered by third parties.

You can find more links on our Useful SEND resource page.