University of Edinburgh

The Educational Transition Process for Visually Impaired Young People in Scotland

Presented on Wednesday 23 November 2005

Transition of Pre-School Children to Primary Education

Janis Sugden


  • All children and young people go through transition stages in their school education.
  • Early or timely planning is required to ensure continuity and progression between stages or breaks in education.

The education authority and other agencies need to take into account children who have additional support needs when considering new arrangements for school education.

Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act 2004

  • This new concept of additional support needs refers to any child or young person, who for whatever reason, requires additional support for learning.
  • This includes children under 3 (or under 5 if not in a public or partnership nursery) where the child has been referred by a health authority and has additional support needs.

Changes in School Education Regulations.

  • The Regulations specify the action that the education authority must take at various transition points in a child’s school career, for example, when when a child starts preschool education.
  • For Pre school children the timescale is 6months.


  • A 6-month timescale applies for the education authorities passing on information to appropriate agencies ahead of changes in school education, but in the case of a pre-school child the timescale is 3months.
  • The education authority must seek consent before passing on this information.

Good Practice

Education authorities should take account of the following principles of good practice whenever a child with additional support needs is approaching a transition point.

Principles of Good Practice

  • Transition planning should be embedded
  • Other agencies should be involved.
  • The child’s views
  • Parents involved in planning process
  • Early consultation
  • Support should be in place
  • Co-ordinated transition
  • Parents should be notified of any anticipated change iof co-ordinator

Key worker - This may help to ensure a smooth transition.

Key Principles

  • Early consultation, preparation and planning for the transition with all parties involved with the child.
  • It should be recognised that transition can be especially traumatic for young children with ASN and their parents.
  • Support needs to be provided in a sensitive manner.
  • Ensuring there is clarity of roles, structure and supports available providing the parents/carers (young person) with appropriate information so that they can make an informed decision.
  • Parents/carers (young person) should be involved at all stages.
  • A key person should co-ordinate the transition so that it is clear who the point of contact is.

Impact of Effective Transition Process

  • Less anxious
  • More confident
  • Reassured

The children

  • They have the opportunity to become familiar with the environment and have met and began to establish relationships with peers and staff.
  • Appropriate support mechanisms have been put in place.

The Parents

  • Parents are less anxious
  • Are well informed
  • Reassured as they have a support network
  • Have access to a "trusted key-worker"
  • Have been involved in decision making and planning
  • Have had time to identify issues and work through these before the move.

The Establishments

  • Well informed, therefore have put in place appropriate provision. ( resources materials)
  • Confident: Any additional training will have taken place.
  • Staff have been identified and have already started some work with the child. Opportunities to shadow, 1-1 or group work.
  • Open and effective communication between agencies.

Transition Priorities

  • To get to know the children
  • To get to know and reassure parents
  • To begin work with primary school ( or other receiving school).

Aims for Transition Period

  • To continue the work of pre-five team
  • To observe/ work with the child in nursery (or other pre-5 setting) and speak to key staff.
  • To continue to support parents
  • To begin working with primary school and draw up IEP
  • To become a 'kent' face

Transition Planning - Pre 5 to primary 1 2005 - See separate OHP transparencies.