Skip to content

Please note: every line of text on this website has a speaker symbol next to it. This will allow you to listen to an audiotext if reading it is difficult.

Transition Planning

Visually impaired child

Transition Planning Between Education Settings for Children and Young People With SEND

The term ‘education transition’ can be used to describe any changes for when a child or young person with special education needs and disability move into, within, between and out of educational settings.

The key educational transition stages are:

and, the move from:

Good Practice for Transitions

Transitions can be very exciting but for some children and young people may cause anxiety. It is important for parents, education staff and other professionals to work together and give them the help and support they need. Transition planning should also be discussed and planned for when a child or young person moves between classes or years. This can help to ensure a smooth handover into their new class or year group. Speak to the child or young person's educational setting or school to plan for this.

When  the child or young person is supported with their SEND, before every transition stage, the current educational setting will organise a planning meeting. This should happen regardless of whether the child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities has an Education, Health and Care Plan or not. The planning meeting will help everyone to discuss the needs of the child or young person and decide on what support is required.

It can help with the transition between settings if they have:

Further guidance regarding supporting the needs of pupils and their families when moving into, between and out of educational settings, is available on the NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs) website:

Outdoor Play

Transitions (Phase Transfers) With EHC Plan

Transitions when a child or young person has an EHC Plan are called Phase transfers and are covered on our EHCP: Phase Transfer page.

The advice above remains useful, but it can also be useful to consider holding an annual review in your child or young person's new educational setting.

If you have any concerns about the child or young person's progress when they have started school or college, arrange to meet their teacher or the school Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo).

The Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA) provide further information on planning the move to a new school for children with SEND on their website:


A guide has been produced to help children with the transition to secondary school and is available on the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities website:

If you have any concerns about the child or young person’s progress when they have started school or college, you should arrange to meet their teacher, Head of Year or the educational settings Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).

Preparing for Adulthood - Transition Planning Around Year 8/9

From around year 8/9 your child should be encouraged to think about what they may like to do in the future. This includes:

By the age of 13-14, someone from your child’s school will be responsible for co-ordinating a meeting to discuss plans for the future. This should involve your child and have details of their hopes, dreams and a plan of how they will be supported to achieve them.

The Careers East Sussex website outlines various opportunities for young people with SEND, including finding help with educational courses and work. To find out more, please visit this websites section on:

The Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) programme provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years. PfA ensures that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living and housing options, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion as they move into adulthood. You can visit their website by clicking the link below:

EHC Plans and Preparing for Adulthood

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, their planning for the future starts at age 13 (Year 9).

As well as the statutory requirement to review the plan, it will also include planning for transition into adulthood. This allows enough time to start thinking and planning for their future options.

To ensure you get the most out of the preparing for adulthood review and transition planning, it is important to help your child or young person to think about what they like and their hopes for the future. Some children or young people will need more support to do this, therefore it may be helpful to ask others who know them well what they think. 

At the Year 11 EHCP review meeting, decisions about post-16 options will need to be made. Applications for school or college should be made in the autumn term of Year 11 (at age 15).

To find out more about EHCPs, please visit our pages on:

The Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) programme provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years. PfA ensures that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living and housing options, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion as they move into adulthood. You can visit their website by clicking the link below:

Services for Transition to Adult Life

Our directory on 1Space provides services that may help with transition from the age 16+, into adulthood. Services include:

Click the below link to visit our 1Space directory:


Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, 'Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms':


Get in touch