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Primary Phase Transition

Read the principles of effective transition, the calendar of events with key milestones and current legislation.

  1. Having settled so well in school life, the youngsters cause no concerns to their parents.
  2. Showing increased interest in school and schoolwork.
  3. Getting used to new routines and school organisation with great ease.
  4. Experiencing curriculum continuity.
  5. Developing new friendships and improved self-esteem and confidence.

Transition should be seen as a process and not an event.

Effective transitions rely upon good planning and good communication. Parents have told us it requires efficient handover of the child’s documents and records and ample opportunities to visit the new setting or school.

Transitions should ensure a partnership working approach between practitioners and parents, which will secure quality and consistency of experience for the child.

Transition should underpin equality of opportunity ensuring that every child is included and supported.

SEND support should include planning and preparation for transition, before a child moves into a setting or school. This should include a review of the SEND support being provided or the EHC plan.

To support the transition, information should be shared by the home or current setting with the receiving setting or school Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care (2015) SEN and disability code of practice: 0-25 years, para 5.4

  • The school or setting has a transition policy in place which embeds consistently good practice as children move from class to class and from school to school.
  • The current setting should initiate contact with the receiving setting and information-sharing begins. A member of staff from the receiving setting should have the opportunity to visit.
  • The setting or school has a transition policy in place which embeds consistently good practice as children move from class to class and from school to school.
  • Transition is made a priority: transition should be seen as an ongoing process throughout the year.
  • Nominated person: there should be a nominated person who co- ordinates transition.
  • Communication: key information is shared prior to the child starting in the setting/school, including entry / exit data and documentation of the support that is being put in place.
  • Planning: children and families requiring a supported transition are identified and planned for as early as possible.
  • Tailored: individually around the needs of the child involving all organisations supporting the child and ensuring that services are informed of child’s transition.
  •  Personalised: taking in to account the voice of the family, their priorities, hopes and concerns.
  • Children’s friendships are acknowledged: consider how your groupings support children’s existing friendships.
  • Flexible: giving support through a change that takes as long as is individually appropriate over an extended period of time. Providing opportunities for repeated visits both for the child and for receiving setting practitioners to attend the home environment and/or current setting.
  • Continuous: maintaining an open link between home, agencies, and/or settings/school in case further information is required  and to provide opportunity for follow up and review.

Home or current setting

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


  • Start early 
  • Contact the new setting and any professionals involved 
  • Communicate with parent carers and outside agencies about the process


  • Arrange the meetings 
  • Listen to the voice of the child and their parents 
  • Consider how you will share information


  • Share positive stories about transition
  • 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 child 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 
  • Observe the child in their current setting
  • Communicate with parent carers about the process


  • Manage expectations 
  • Consider how many visits needed and when they will take place 
  • Make any arrangements for reasonable adjustments 


  • Ensure staff/tutors know about the child 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 

January- April

  • Initial phone call with parents to introduce self/setting/school and gain an   understanding from the parent’s view of the child’s needs – name of child’s key person and SENCO where relevant.
  • Where appropriate arrange a telephone consultation with home/current setting within the next month.
  • Gain an understanding of the child’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 child 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 parents as well as the professionals where the child currently attends school. The key person and the SENCO should also be present.
  • Set date to review of the child’s documentation.
  • Set dates for transition visits and invite agency support staff, where appropriate.


  • Arrange transition days where the child is able to explore the new setting/school both with/without key person and/or parents.  Set date for transfer of records.
  • Arrange transition days where the child can be observed in the home and/or current setting/school by the new setting/school.
  • Undertake resources audit of anything that may need to be purchased or transferred from the previous setting (Early Years Inclusion Funding consideration).
  • 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 parents to parents and send a courtesy email to previous setting where applicable, to let them know how the child has settled and a thank you.
  • Arrange for additional specialist training, if required.
  • Review of any additional support needs and resources. 


All settings/schools should have been informed which EHCPs need to have an Annual Review.


By 31 October all SEND support children in Year 6 should submit their common preference form; there is a different process for a child with EHCP, however they will still be requested/and are advised to complete the common preference form (especially those going through an ECHAR)

Early January

All parents of children due to transfer to a reception class are required to submit their first admissions preference. See the Council’s website for School Admissions.

15 February

Deadline for local authorities to have held a transition review for a child in receipt of an  EHCP and issued its decision confirming the placement named in Section I of the EHCP for the child to start in the following September. Ideally the Review should take place before 23rd November.

There are a number of school transitions where this deadline of 15 February will apply for children in receipt of an EHCP:

  • early years provider to school
  • infant school to junior school
  • primary school to secondary school

Mid April

Parents find out which primary school they have been allocated a place.

Apply for a School Place.

Parents – When should they start to plan for a transition?
Parents of SEND children should start researching schools (e.g through websites, Family Information Service and Ofsted)  at least a year before their child is due to start. By starting early, they will allow time to gather evidence, and put forward their preference to the local authority, ahead of any transition review.

(Children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 will be starting school for the first time (Reception year) in September 2022.)

SEND Local Offer in North East Lincolnshire the place that provides and directs you to information that will support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Early Help includes childcare and funding, group sessions and programmes for your child’s development as well as local information, and links to support for both parents and professionals.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s page on Schools and Education includes information to apply for a school place, admission policies, in year transfers, term dates, children missing from education, exclusions.

Families First Information Service brings together services to offer help and support to children and young people aged 0 to 19 and their families.
Learn about your local Family hub
Contact 01472 326292 (option 1) or
Follow them on Facebook @FamiliesFirstNEL.

Enabling Environments. An enabling environment is a rich and varied space where risks are minimised and well managed, and children are protected from harm and abuse.

Whole School Approach support and challenge those who commission and deliver services to co-ordinate their work better so they can meet children’s needs and aspirations.

Total Communication Environment. The total communication approach is about finding and using the right combination of communication methods for each person.

Social story. A social story is a learning tool that helps parents, professionals and children with special educational needs (SEN) to exchange information with each other in a way that’s meaningful and understandable to the child. They were invented in the 1990s by autism consultant Carol Gray.

My new school photo book. A fun, image led way to get to know your new school. Where do you eat? Who is your teacher? What does your playground look like.

INTRAN interpreting and translation services

Interpreting & Translation Services | LanguageLine UK

Transition tips for pupils with SEND (Young Minds)

Transition toolkit (Autism Education Trust)

Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school – GOV.UK (