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Transitions in Education


Coloured Pencils in a Wooden Holder


Havering SENDIASS acknowledges that a transition in education whether that be to primary, secondary or post-16 can be a difficult yet exciting process for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).  

Below are some useful hints/tips to support you during this transition period:

How can I help prepare my child for school?

Before the summer break:

1 - If your child/young person requires specific support and resources, you should speak with the SENCo at the earliest opportunity so they can put things in place prior to the start of term to ensure a smooth transition.

2 - Before the end of the summer term, you could request images of the new school environment from the School SENCo. You can show these pictures to your child/young person over the summer break. These could include pictures of classrooms, toilets, lunch area and teachers so your child can familiarise themselves before starting. 

3 - Before the end of the summer term, you could request a map of the new school from the SENCo/school office and share this with your child/young person. This will help them become familiar with the layout of the school prior to starting. 

4 - You could speak with the new school and ask for details of key staff that your child/young person can speak to if they need help whilst at school.

5 - If your child/young person has an education, health & care plan (EHC plan) make sure you understand what support will be in place when they start school.


During the summer break:

1 - During the summer break, undertake activities that help your child/young person with their organisation skills. These could involve activities like packing a bag, reading a timetable. 

2 - Discuss the school environment with your child/young person and highlight all the positive things they will experience such as friendships, new activities and clubs etc.

3 - Throughout the summer break you could have the school uniform on display to help your child/young person mentally prepare for September. You could also encourage your child/young person to wear the uniform for a few minutes each day so they get used to the fabric and fit. 

4 - Show your child/young person the school website and let them explore what is on offer. 

5 - If your child/young person likes advanced warning and preparation, you could use a calendar to mark off the days until the school term starts. Only use this if appropriate. 

6 - Practise the school journey throughout the summer holiday so your child/young person becomes familiar with the walk/bus route. 


Starting the new academic year:

1 - Remind your child/young person that it is perfectly normal to feel nervous about the transition. Give them opportunities to communicate any concerns with you that they might have before starting. They can do this verbally, in writing or through drawing. 

2 - Once term starts, get into the habit of helping your child/young person pack their school bag the night before. You could use a checklist to help your child tick-off what they need each day. Having a copy of their timetable on the fridge is always useful too!

3 - If they need a packed lunch, you could involve your child/young person when choosing and preparing their food. 



What else can I do?

We understand that you may still want some information and advice about the new school/college.  Therefore, we advise the following:

  • Obtain the school brochure or prospectus
  • Visit the school website and view the following policies: 
  1. Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy (SEND)
  2. Behaviour Policy
  3. Bullying Policy
  4. Equal Opportunities Policy - or any other you feel appropriate. 
  • View the Home/School agreement (This can be found on the school website) 
  • Read the Governors' Annual Report to parents (This can be found on the school website)
  • Read the Ofsted Inspection Report (This can be found on the Ofsted website:


Where can I get further information, advice & guidance?

If you stil have further queries regarding transition or have any concerns, it would be appropriate to contact the school first.

You can also contact us via our Contact Form which you can access and complete via this website. 

We also have a range of local & national support organisations which you can make contact with. For information on these please click on the 'Local / National Support Organisation' page.