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Professional Resources

Transition

Transition is the word used to refer to the life changes that children and young people go through. In education and in health it refers particularly to the movement between different schools and services as children get older. This begins with the transition from nursery to reception at school, right through into adulthood.

Transition at all stages can be an exciting time, but equally it can be a time when children and young people can present with worries and anxieties. Transition can require great effort – physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Children and young people will go through transition more successfully when they are prepared i.e. they know what they will need to do and they have a meaningful adult to help.

Some children will need particular support at times of transition – including those with additional needs, care leavers and those who have already faced difficult change in their lives -for example bereavement.

Public Health England have identified “seamless transition and preparation for adulthood” as a high impact area. Within their document (2016) they stress the importance of supporting young people on their journey through to adulthood. The trusting and professional relationships that schools are in a unique position to build play a vital role in this.

For young people, the transition to adulthood can be confusing and difficult but through early preparation and planning it can be a positive experience. This will provide a foundation for confidence when facing change and accessing services independently.

Key Points of transition include;

  • Transition into reception. Parents of children starting school could be signposted to our starting school quiz on Just One Norfolk to help them to prepare with their children.
  • Transition into secondary school. Parents of children in Year 6 could be signposted to our transition to high school quiz on Just One Norfolk which helps identify potential challenges and how these might be supported.
  • Transition into adulthood e.g. adult education and adult services.
Dive Deeper

In School

Wherever possible allowing time to prepare children and young people and their families for key points of change will be time well spent.

The support children and young people receive from school around transitions has improved dramatically over time and children clearly benefit from the increased preparation for change.

    • Communication between settings is an important starting point. This is also an opportunity to identify those children and families who may need additional support and allows their needs to be planned for.
    • Children, young people and their families need a balance of practical information and facts, alongside support to manage the social and emotional impact of the change. There is information on Just One Norfolk about emotional health.
    • Giving children and young people the chance to talk together and share their thoughts and feelings about transition can normalise the change and encourage children and young people to problem solve any challenges they face.
    • Whilst for many the transitions that happen throughout school life happen collectively with their peers it is important to be aware of those children who face change outside these times including those who move school frequently. This includes the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and Looked After Children and Young People . They often face transitions frequently and without the benefit of preparation. Being mindful of those children and young people who do make frequent or unexpected transitions can allow staff to meet their particular needs.
    • For staff supporting children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) preparation for transition to adult services should be built into the annual plan review from year 9. Consider what services should be invited to this to ensure a smooth handover and sharing of information.

Resources

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