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Post 16 Transition

Transitions are a key stage of change in a young persons life. It’s important we get the transition to further education and employment right, so that young people are prepared for adulthood.

  • Parents have told us that the process requires efficient handover of the young person’s documents & records and ample opportunities to visit the new provision
  • planning is outcome-focused and provides the support young people need to achieve their chosen goals.
  • PfA should ensure a partnership working approach between practitioners and parents, which will secure quality and consistency of experience for the young person.
  • Young people and their families are consulted and integral to the process.
  • All agencies ensure the model of support and service delivery facilitates early action, joint working, clear decision making, timely communication and information sharing.
  • SEND support should include planning and preparation for transition, well before a young person moves on. This can include a review of the SEND support being provided or the EHC plan.

Research shows that the transition is going well if the young person is:

  • Settling well into Post 16 life, and is making progress in Preparation for adulthood
  • Developing independence and is safe
  • Showing increased interest in Post 16 life and work
  • Getting used to new routines and the Post 16 organisation
  • Experiencing curriculum continuity
  • Developing new friendships and improved self-esteem and confidence

These are keystones of good transition practice.

  • There should be a recognition of the young person’s emerging adulthood, their rights are upheld and their voice is heard.
  • The Post 16 setting has a transition policy in place which embeds consistently good practice, keeping the young person at the centre of all discussion.
  • The current setting should initiate contact with the receiving setting and information-sharing begins
  • Transition is made a priority and seen as an ongoing process throughout the year.
  • A nominated person should co-ordinate transition.
  • Communication- key information to be shared prior to transition, should be agreed with the young person and their parent (CoP 5:7)
  • Information-sharing should be verbal and written and accessible for the young person.
  • Planning for young people and families requiring a targeted or enhanced transition is identified and planned for, as early as possible.
  • Targeted and enhanced transition should be tailored around the young person, taking in to account the voice of the family, their priorities, hopes and concerns and including professionals, already involved.
  • A young person’s friendships are acknowledged and valued and should be considered during the process.
  • A flexible approach with a long-term view, works best, over an extended period of time. Providing opportunities for repeated visits both for the young person and for the receiving setting practitioners to attend the feeder setting.
  • Maintaining a continuous and open link between settings, ensures that opportunities for follow up and review are available.

Current setting

From Year 9 the current setting must:

  • Start early and take responsibility for coordinating the process 
  • Consider how many meetings will be required
  • Ensure the young person’s views are considered at every stage
  • Be the ‘introducer’ for parent, carers and young person, to the new setting 


  • Start early 
  • Ensure that independent advice and guidance on all new settings is available to the young person and their parents/carers
  • Contact the new setting and any professionals involved 
  • Communicate with the young person and their parents about the process 


  • Provide opportunities during the school week to complete applications and provide support where required 
  • Arrange the meetings 
  • Listen to the voice of the young person and their parents 
  • Consider how you will share information see Georgie’s guide to…
  • One-Page Profiles 


  • Share positive stories about transition Ryan’s story
  • Help the new setting by allowing time for visits and transition events 
  • Review how well transition has gone and what can be learnt from it 

New setting

  • Organise meetings and events for young people and families, to share information and begin to build relationships
  • provide booklets with key information (e.g. routines, timetables, buildings, rooms and people)
  • plan settling in visits
  • timetable transition weeks


  • Attend meetings organised by the current setting 
  • Visit the young person in their current setting 
  • Communicate with the young person about the process


  • Manage expectations 
  • Consider how many visits needed and when they will take place 
  • Make any arrangements for reasonable adjustments 
  • Ensure information provided is easily accessible to the young person and their parents/carers 
  • Ensure the young person has access to the full enrolment process to meet new tutors and key staff 


  • Ensure staff/tutors know about the young person before they arrive 
  • Ensure appropriate support and reasonable adjustments are in place prior to the start date 
  • Ensure that any agreed actions are followed up 
  • Review how well transition has gone and lessons learnt 

Specialist Services are services for children and young people with disabilities and/or special educational needs.  These services must be  commissioned following a social care assessment and are part of an individual support or Education, Health and Social Care Plan. They are specialist services tailored to meet the individual needs of a child or young person.

Specialist short breaks services may include:

  • Group based services
  • One to one support
  • Personal budget is a mechanism for delivery of funding to commission the provision
  • Overnight short breaks at Cromwell House, or St Andrews Hospice

A parent/carer or multi agency partner can request an assessment for any child/young person, 0 – 18 years, who meets the criteria for Children with Disabilities and lives in North East Lincolnshire via NELC Children’s Integrated Front Door, 01472 326292 option 2.

Referrals received in the Integrated Front Door will also provide advice and guidance around the Local Offer available and consider Early Help or Early Years Services. However, for children with a disability and parenting or a safeguarding concern, these referrals would be directed to the Children’s Disability Service. 

Following the acceptance of the referral to the Children with Disabilities Service an assessment of support required for the parent and/or assessment of child/young person will be completed by a Social Worker within 45 days of receipt. 

Where the assessment concludes that services are required, it may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Advice and guidance around access to the Local Offer
  • Early Help Services
  • Early Years Services
  • Short breaks (overnight stays) that can either be provided by a Local Authority Resource – Cromwell House or St Andrews Hospice
  • Direct Payments so that the parents can source their own provider of support
  • Education, Health & Care Plan jointly with Health and Education

Council for disabled children has some useful resources for PfA: Preparing For Adulthood (

Download the checklist for Key topics to cover at annual reviews from year 9.
It has been designed around the four life domains that are widely used to think about planning for an adult life in the community.

The Final Annual Review is a good time to celebrate what the young person has achieved and focus on what they want next in a way that is personal to them.

You can download and print our Preparation for Adulthood guide so that parents and carers know what to expect and when. This is a general guide that takes you from Early Years through to post 16.

January- April

  • Introductory phone call with young person and to gain an   understanding, from the parent’s view, of the young person’s needs – name of keyworker and SENDCO where relevant.
  • Where appropriate arrange a telephone consultation with home/current setting within the next month.
  • Gain an understanding of the Young person’s entitlement, SEND Status and current provision and involvement of outside agencies.  

March- May

  • Gain verbal/written consent from parents to contact other agencies the young person has been involved with.
  • Develop a contact list of agencies and email them with setting/school details so they have a point of contact.
  • Set up a ‘sharing’ meeting that includes the young person, parents and professionals. The key person and the SENCO should also be present.
  • Set date to review of the young person’s documentation.
  • Set dates for transition visits and invite agency support staff, where appropriate.


  • Transition days where the young person is able to explore the Post 16 provision, with or without parents or key worker.  Set date for transfer of records.
  • Resources audit of anything that may need to be purchased or transferred from the previous setting.
  • Decide where specialist equipment will be put and who will take care of it.
  • Ensure all necessary referrals that can be completed, have been submitted and new contact details are included.
  • Final review of any outcomes.

October or one month post transition

  • Review meeting with young person and parents to determine how well they have settled, as well as issues arising.
  • Courtesy email to previous setting where applicable, to let them know how the young person has settled and a thank you.
  • Arrange for additional specialist training, if required.
  • Review of any additional support needs and resources. 

Teachers, Young People, their Parents and Carers

In September – all settings will have been informed which EHCPs need to have an Annual Review. These must be completed by the end of the Autumn Term.

Transfer between phases of education

9.179 An EHC plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a young person moving between key phases of education, to allow for planning for and, where necessary, commissioning of support and provision at the new institution.

By 31 March

Deadline for local authorities to have held a transition review and issued a decision in relation to the EHCP for a young person who is due to move from secondary education to either a post-16 placement or apprenticeship in September. Ideally the Review should take place before 4th January.

9.180 For young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship, the review and any amendments to the EHC plan – including specifying the post-16 provision and naming the institution – must be completed by the 31 March in the calendar year of the transfer.

9.181 For young people moving between post-16 institutions, the review process should normally be completed by 31 March where a young person is expected to transfer to a new institution in the new academic year. However, transfers between post-16 institutions may take place at different times of the year and the review process should take account of this. In all cases, where it is proposed that a young person is to transfer between one post-16 institution and another within the following 12 months, the local authority must review and amend, where necessary, the young person’s EHC plan at least five months before the transfer takes place.

9.182 In some cases, young people may not meet the entry requirements for their chosen course or change their minds about what they want to do after the 31 March or five-month deadline. Where this is the case, local authorities should review the EHC plan with the young person as soon as possible, to ensure that alternative options are agreed and new arrangements are in place as far in advance of the start date as practicable.

Preparation for Adulthood in reviews

9.184 All reviews taking place from Year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society.

9.185 As the young person is nearing the end of their time in formal education and the plan is likely to be ceased within the next 12 months, the annual review should consider good exit planning. Support, provision and outcomes should be agreed that will ensure the young person is supported to make a smooth transition to whatever they will be doing next – for example, moving on to higher education, employment, independent living or adult care. For further guidance on Preparation for Adulthood reviews, see Chapter 8, Preparing for adulthood from the Earliest Years.

DfE Preparing for Adulthood

Families First Information Service

Sense. Transitioning into Adulthood

Make social story’s and visual plans on Boardmaker

Transition tips for pupils with SEND (Young Minds)

Young Minds transition for students with SEND

Transition toolkit (Autism Education Trust)

Interpreting and translation services

Further Reading

Securing Good Transitions – a resource pack to support the next steps of Key Stage For students with SEND – by Whole School SEND  – Nasen

Suffolk 16 + Transition guide Transfer from secondary school to post-16 Education – Best guides for settings – Norfolk