Parent Partnership Service

Transition and Post 16

Transition is a time of change, and for children and young people with ALN, transition requires careful planning. Your child or young person should be at the centre of this process, parents and carers should also be involved at all stages in the process.

What is transition?

Transition is moving from one stage or phase of education to another. Sometimes this might include moving school or setting.

Parents can ask for advice from supporting professionals for children moving from one stage to another, including from:

  • Advisory/specialist teachers
  • Health visitor
  • Therapist (occupational/physiotherapy and speech and language)
  • Early years setting leader
  • Class teacher
  • ALNCO/ EYALNLO Local authority professional
  • Parent Partnership officer

Below is a table of the different ‘School Stages’ children and young people progress through:

  • Early Years: 0-3 years: Pre-school or nursery optional
  • Foundation Phase (FP): 3-7 years: Infant, Preparatory or Primary
  • Key Stage 2 (KS2): 7-11 years: Primary
  • Key Stage 3 (KS3): 11-14 years: Secondary
  • Key Stage 4 (KS4): 14-16 years: Secondary - GCSE years
  • Key Stage 5: 16-19 years: Sixth form, Secondary, further educational college, work based placement 

ALN Transition Guidance


The purpose of this guidance is to develop equitable transition arrangements for all pre-school pupils across Pembrokeshire where emerging needs have been identified. This replaces our existing support arrangements and guidance which has focused specifically on Flying Start Children.


'Smooth transitions are important for all children and young people in terms of their wellbeing and their educational and social outcomes. There is a link between poor transitions and less successful outcomes, for example, less successful transitions from home to school may lead to subsequent poor attendance and disengagement; and less successful transitions between primary and secondary school are associated with lowered self-esteem and decline in academic progress, combined with increased anxiety and depression.'

Our Early Years transition guidance in Pembrokeshire reflects the ethos that emotional well-being is imperative in order for any learning to be able take place. The main aim of managing transitions effectively is to ensure that all pre-school children and their families will experience practical and emotional support through all transition stages to:

  •  facilitate continuity in their care;
  • support progression in their development and learning;
  • enhance their well-being; and
  • ensure that they have a positive experience of change

Good transition practice emphasises the importance of transitions being managed and planned carefully with a consideration of children’s rights and respecting parents as partners in supporting
children’s learning and transitions. Successful transitions are dependent on a commitment from all staff involved in the transition process to develop effective communication systems and information sharing protocols.

Research suggests that, like adults, children often find transition and change stressful, which can have a significant impact upon their emotional well-being and ability to engage positively in learning and social interaction (O’Connor, 2006; Drake, 2006; Welsh Government, 2008). Some children entering a child care setting may be overwhelmed by the size of the building, unfamiliar routines and bigger groups of children and adults than they are used to experiencing. In addition, it may be their first experience of a prolonged separation from their parent. Children should be seen as active participants in the transitions process. Staff should take time to listen to children and ask them about their concerns.


In this policy, ‘Transition’ describes the movement that takes place from one familiar setting (including the home) to another. It is defined as the process where policy and practice has been
adapted to support children in settling in to their new learning environment in preparation for future learning and development.

Transition for Children with additional learning needs

For families with children who have additional learning needs, particular consideration needs to be given to how transitions are managed for the child and family. The local authority stresses the importance of ensuring all children with additional needs, including Young Person Looked After (YPLA) are identified and supported through all transitions to ensure effective tracking. Early identification ensures the setting can plan effectively to meet the unique needs of the child and to prepare a plan for transitions. Any documentation from the child’s health visitor should be passed on as early as possible, through discussion with the Early Years ALN Lead Officer, who will arrange a multiagency meeting with all relevant professionals, which includes parents/carers and adopts a person centred approach.

When transitioning into school, the Early Years ALN Lead Officer will identify children with additional or emerging needs by completing appropriate documentation.

Transition from Pre School Setting to Primary School

The move to ‘big school’ is an exciting and important time for children and their parents. Families often see it as marking a significant milestone where children embark on a new phase of

The first days and months in primary school present so many new experiences and challenges, and children often respond with an accelerated spurt of development, thriving on the challenge and adapting well. This kind of response depends on the resilience of the individual child as well as on factors such as the network of friends and supporters that children can draw on. Research shows that how well children adjust to the challenges of the new environment can have a significant and lasting impact on their learning in school.

To ensure parents, children and practitioners have adequate information relating to transition and children begin their new setting enthusiastically and ready for learning the following minimum
requirements must be met.

  • Each term for any child that has emerging or identified needs, the Early Years ALN Lead Officer must arrange a multiagency transition meeting with the feeder school which should involve all services and professionals who are involved with the child and family. This should include the ALNCo of the feeder school. It is the duty of the school to ensure that key information from the meeting is disseminated to relevant staff in the school.
  • For children where the multiagency panel agree that transitional support is required the school will then receive funding for a staff member to provide support for a maximum of 6 weeks or half term to support the child’s transition to their new setting.
  • The hours of support offered to the feeder school will match the hours of support the child has been receiving in their EY setting / appropriate to level of need and will be funded from the CCG grant as detailed in the Flying Start childcare guidance for transition and the Families First guidance on Disability Focus.
  • The school should use the 6-week transition period as an assessment period, to demonstrate strategies and techniques that support the child with emerging need and will determine is the child needs additional catch up, has an ALN and therefore will require an ALP.
  • Additional funding from the CCG will not be available beyond this transition period.
  • Where necessary the school will need to use devolved ALN funding or on an exceptions basis apply to the Local Authority’s inclusion panel.
  • The setting leader should collate a Transition to School pack for all children. This pack must contain a copy of all relevant transition documents including a copy of the FPP scores, SOGS ll assessments if relevant, SALT Transition Report, and where required ALN, LAC and Safeguarding forms. Original copies must be retained by the setting. During the setting/school transition meeting all documents must be discussed and the Transition. Checklist completed and signed with a copy retained by both parties

In addition to the above requirements we also advise that settings organise additional activities and visits with their link schools which support the emotional wellbeing of the children in their care. These could include:

  • All children receiving a booklet about their new classroom and the adults who will be working with them.
  • The nursery teacher visiting the Pre School setting to meet the children who are due to start and liaise with the manager. For children with additional needs, this is strongly encouraged for best practice.
  • Children are invited to their link school for a play session during the term before they are due to start

Transition targets

Our aim is to provide effective and equitable support to all children and their families.

Monitoring and review

It is the duty of the Early Years ALN Lead Officer to lead the transition process in the child’s new setting. Ensuring they gather comprehensive information from their key workers to share with the link school. Transition procedures will be monitored by the Early Years ALN Lead Officer and processes will be reviewed and evaluated in accordance with this policy. This policy will be reviewed every two years, or earlier if considered necessary.

Post 16 and school leavers

Leaving school and moving on to adult life can be a worrying time for all young people and their families. For pupils have ALN a planning system and a transition protocol is available to help make that transition as smooth as possible.

The following points should be considered for young people as part of Transition Planning:

The Young Person:

  • The young person’s wishes and feelings should be at the Centre of their plan
  • What are the young person’s hopes and aspirations for the future? How can these be met?
  • How can the young person be encouraged to contribute to their plan?
  • Alternative methods of communication should be considered, if necessary.
  • What is working well and what is not working well for them at the moment? 

The Parents:

  • What are the parent/ carer’s hopes and aspirations for their young persons adult life?
  • How can parents/ carer’s continue to help to contribute to the development of their young persons skills? 

Post School Opportunities for Young people with ALN

A successful transition planning process will help give a clear understanding of what opportunities are available for young people post school. Young people can leave school legally at the end of June in the school year when they reach the age of 16.

From here, they can usually make their own decisions about what they want to do. Some will, however, need support with making plans.

The main Post 16 options are:

  • Staying at school can provide many opportunities and be a positive choice. Some young people are able to stay at school until they are 19. The adviser from Career Wales can give you detailed information about the courses and qualifications on offer locally.
  • Attending a local college of further education while living at home is often the next step. Colleges can offer a very wide range and level of courses, both academic and work-related, which can be full or part-time. Many courses are designed to prepare young people for adult life by offering a range of vocational taster courses, the chance to gain qualifications and improve skills in maths, English/Welsh and communication. Some students remain in their local college until the age of 25.
  • Specialist residential colleges – Nearly all Young People with Additional Learning Needs and/or disabilities can go to their local college. Where no local college is able to meet a Young Person’s needs, the special school in conjunction with Social Care and the Careers Adviser will work together to consider the most appropriate specialist provision. 
  • Higher education will be an option for some young people whoseacademic ability enables them to access courses on offer. This could be at university, college or distance learning.
  • Supported Work and Training – A young person can enter the world of work through supported employment or a training program. There are a number of organisations that can help them find opportunities in real work situations. Many of these programs can lead to nationally recognised vocational qualifications.
  • Employment – Only a small proportion of young people go straight into employment from school. If this is the most appropriate option, the Careers Wales adviser can help with job–seeking skills.
  • Day Service opportunities may be the most appropriate option for some young people. These are usually arranged in places where young people with a learning disability can pursue all sorts of interesting day time activities (often out of the day centre and in the local community). Here, they can make new friends, gain their own independence and become a valued member of the community. Day services are usually provided by Local Authority social services or voluntary organisations.



ID: 7873, revised 13/05/2024