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Guide to transition planning for parents of pupils with additional support needs.

All pupils go through transition stages in school education. Most children do not need any special transfer arrangements. However, some children with additional support needs will require a more planned transition.

Transition planning will begin at least 12 months before the move, or six months for pre-school children. Advice and information will already have been gathered from relevant agencies.

The receiving centre or school will be given relevant information six months before the move, or three months for pre-school children.

Transition planning principles

Transition planning is vital for children with additional support needs. Some of the principles behind the planning process are listed below:

  • transition planning will start early
  • a named person will be available to guide you through the process and make sure you get the help you need
  • other agencies should be involved when needed, e.g. health and social work
  • a lead professional will be appointed to coordinate the planning where there are a range of professionals involved
  • you and your child will be part of the planning process
  • schools will make sure they have the necessary support in place for a successful move
  • we will have a post placement review during the first three months after the move
  • the majority of pupils in West Dunbartonshire are supported in their local mainstream school.

Early years: transition into pre-school (age 3)

We have a duty to provide support to pre-school children with additional needs.

Children under three

The Council must provide additional support when your child has additional support needs arising from a disability. The Pre-School Assessment Team (PRESCAT) gathers information on children under three with additional support needs. These additional needs are often complex and severe.

The PRESCAT decide how best to support your child until they are aged three.

Children from age three

Once your child attends an early education centre the staged intervention process will identify the level of support your child requires.

Early year centre staff have a key role in identifying additional needs in children from age three.

Early years: transition into primary school

Transition planning will begin at least six months before the child starts Primary 1.  The new school will receive relevant information when possible at least three months before the start date.

The transition planning process is as follows:

  • a review meeting the September before your child starts school will decide on your child's needs and adaptations or support required to meet these needs
  • between August and September the school and early years centre exchange information and documents related to your child's needs
  • the transition plan will include details of visits by you and your child to the school to meet school staff, etc.
  • school staff will receive appropriate training and environmental changes are made the summer before your child starts school
  • we will have a post placement review in September or October after your child starts school.

Transition into secondary school

Transition planning will begin in the second half of your child's Primary 6 year (February to May).

The transition planning process is as follows:

  • at the your child's Primary 7 review meeting in January we will discuss the plan and agree timescales
  • we will seek your and your child's views about the transition to secondary
  • we will highlight any staff training and any adaptations required in the secondary school
  • the transition plan will include details of your child's educational support needs and of visits by you and your child to the school to see it, to meet school staff, etc.
  • we will have a post placement review in the September or October after your child starts school.

Find out more about

Specialist schools

The majority of pupils in West Dunbartonshire are supported in mainstream schools. In addition, there are five specialist educational establishments or bases for children and young people who have additional support needs.