Transition is the process of changing from Primary to Secondary School or Secondary School to College/Post 16 Provision. It can be a daunting time for any family but here is some information you will hopefully find helpful.
When visiting any new school/college try to keep an open mind and trust your own instincts rather than relying on what others have told you as the needs of your child will be different.
Look at the approach to Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) – is it obvious what provisions are made for SEND children and young people.
Make an appointment to meet the SENCO (Learning Support Manager (LSM) in College) to discuss any worries or concerns you may have
Can staff tell you the name of the SENCO/LSM and what their role is within the school. SEND aware staff will all know the answers.
Make an appointment to visit during the normal school/college day (some schools will ask you to make an appointment via the SEN Team)
Take a list of questions you want to ask (about your child and the school/college)
Ask different staff questions to see what they know about SEND, their answers will tell you whether they really understand it.
Give a general description of your child’s needs.
• Explain that your child has an Education,Health and Care Plan/Statement
• What kind of support do they currently receive?
It is helpful to highlight any specific interventions your child receives.
Some questions to ask
How would the receiving school support your child?
• Are there specific interventions in use that could be used to help your child?
• Does the school have smaller or supported groups that might be of benefit to your child?
• Would the school withdraw a child from certain subjects to work on areas of specific need?
• Does the school group the children according to ability?
Once a child enters Year 8/ 9 they must choose Options, for a child with specific needs this is an important time.
• Does the school offer a Support or Study option?
• What alternatives are available to GCSEs should they not be suitable for your child?
What alternatives are available to paper and pen recording if this is an area of difficulty for your child?
How would the school support your child during Public Exams?
Are Subject teachers willing to differentiate Class and Homework?
What support could your child access to help with homework difficulties?
How does the school report back on your child’s progress, apart from the usual reports?
Who would you be able to contact in the event of any difficulties?
Open days are held from the beginning of September. To find a list of the dates click here
Visit 2-3 different schools and take your child with you (if possible).
Write down good and bad points about each school as a reminder as you may forget them if visiting lots of schools
You will be contacted by the Admissions Team at the Local Authority detailing the online application process
A letter from the Local Authority SEN team will be sent asking you to state 2 preferences for schools
Write to the SEN team stating your choice of 2 schools (if you really can’t decide contact the SEN Team for help)
Submit the online application form that all parents must complete
The Local Authority will consult with the schools you have expressed a preference for to see whether they are able to meet the needs of your child.
SEN Team inform parents of placement
Special School Pupils
If your child is in a special school you will still need to apply as above but can state their current school if you wish them to stay there
Post 16 Provision
The application process is the same as schools – see above
Open days are held until the end of the year – check individual College websites for details
Be aware that if not enough people sign up for a course it may be cancelled so try to have more than one choice
Make an appointment with the Learning Support Manager to discuss any worries/concerns you may have.
Apply to the college directly (you may apply to more than one college). Inform the SEN Team by 31st March where possible so they can consult with the college to make sure needs can be met. After 31st March you will need to inform the SEN Team as soon as a choice has been made.
Education, Health & Care Plans
If your child/young person has a statement they should begin the transfer process to change to an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) in the first term back at school. A draft plan at least should be in place by the end of December as the EHCP is the document sent to your chosen school to see whether they are able to meet the needs and offer them a place.
If you haven’t been given a date for the transfer process to start by half term it would be advisable to speak to the school SENCO to arrange a date as the whole process can take up to 20 weeks.
If you haven’t made a decision regarding a specific college but are intending to choose one, let the SEN Team know and your EHCP will be finalised with Section I stating that the next placement will be ‘a place in a Post 16 provision’. The EHCP will be amended when a college has been consulted and has agreed to take the young person.
Information about all aspects of Transport can be found on the Havering Local Offer.
To check whether you are eligible for travel assistance and how to apply click here
Travel training is available for those who may be able to travel independently either now or in the future but need extra help – contact the SEN Team for more details
During the summer holidays try to prepare your child for their new journey to school where possible. Take small steps towards travelling independently eg learning to recognise dangers, speed of cars, where to cross safely.
Practice the route to the new school until they are familiar with it and know what to do if their journey is diverted/the bus stop is closed.