Advice and guidance provided on the role of the Early Years team to empower and support families and children with additional educational needs, developmental delay or disability in all aspects of transition throughout the early years. 

SEN support should include planning and preparing for transition, before a child moves into another setting or school. This can also include a review of the SEN support being provided or the EHC plan. To support the transition, information should be shared by the current setting with the receiving setting or school. The current setting should agree with parents the information to be shared as part of this planning process.

- Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (2015)

Aspects of Transition

Transition from home to setting

Early Years SEND Team Home Visitors (Portage) offers practical and emotional support, learning activities, help and advice in the care and development of children in their Early Years (0 to 5) with additional educational needs, developmental delay or disability. The role of the team is to empower and support families and may support the family and child in transitioning from home to a setting.

Transition between rooms

Practitioners should be aware that even when children are happy and settled it can be a big step for them to move to a new room within the provision with older children or different activities and routines.

Room-to- room transitions also require planning and staff should ensure that children are fully supported in this move. Key points to consider include the following:

  • introduce a new key person to the child and his or her parents before they move rooms
  • organise settling-in sessions in the new room so that children can adjust to the new environment and staff gradually
  • consider how a child’s friendships will be affected by moving rooms
  • transitional objects such as special teddies or blankets may help the process

Transition from childcare provider to school

The process of transition into school tends to be more standardised than transition into a setting and many local authorities have standard transition policies. Schools themselves will vary in their approach to transition but many allocate time to outreach visits to settings in order to prepare for children’s transition into school. Schools and settings may also agree shared learning projects and this will help to create continuities for children with SEND.

Settings should expect to gather together their records of how they have supported children at SEND Support and agree with parents what needs to be shared as part of the transition process. There may be opportunities for mutual visits and settings will want to welcome class teachers and school SENCOs to see how children are learning and developing in the setting. Where parents are involved at the same time, this can be a helpful way of introducing them to school staff and of building up new relationships.

Waltham Forest's transitioning into school timeline
April Parents should know the school their child will be attending as they would have received an offer of a school place.
May Setting SENCO should contact the schools SENCOs and arrange a visit to discuss the child’s needs. Parents should be invited to attend. This is an opportunity to share information about the child as an individual and the child’s addition needs. It is also an opportunity to discuss the services involved with the child e.g. SEND Support Plan and Outcomes, request for EHCP started, EP Assessment, SALT Report, SACC Report or any other professional reports.
June Settings ‘Transition Report’ is sent to the named contact at the school by the end of June.

Role of Early Years Team


The role of the settings SENCO:

Checklist of action for transition to setting or school:

  1. Gather as much information as possible about the child. Use admission forms, All About me booklets, transition records and one page profiles.
  2. Talk to parents and plan a home visit for relevant staff. 
  3. Arrange a transition meeting with parents setting or school staff, parents and any professionals involved before the child starts.
  4. Think about who would be a suitable key person. Support and create opportunities for them and the SENCO to build a relationship with the parent and child.
  5. Ensure staff receive any training that may be needed before the child starts at the setting or school.
  6. Have in place any specialist equipment the child may need, plan ahead as this may take time to source
  7. Audit toys, books and other resources to ensure they are suitable and accessible for the child.
  8. Consider the room layout to ensure mobility, the provision of a quiet area, toilet adaptations, changes to lighting, flooring or furniture
  9. Where a child has an EHCP or top-up funding, plan for any additional staff who may need to be recruited, inducted and given the opportunity to get to know the child and parents.
  10. Agree an admission and settling in plan with parent.



The role of the Area SENCO:

The code of practice states:

  • the Area SENCO helps make the links between education, health and social care to facilitate appropriate early provision for children with SEN and their transition to compulsory schooling
  • developing links with existing SENCO networks to support smooth transitions to school nursery and reception classes
  • the Area SENCO plays an important part in planning for children with SEN to transfer between early years provision and schools

For transition into school, the Area SENCO may play a more   significant role in planning and co-ordinating transition support and advice to the setting SENCO. For children with identified SEND the Area SENCO can support the setting in providing any additional details for the receiving teacher outlining:

  • the identified SEN
  • the previous involvement of the Area SENCO
  • the intervention provided in the early years setting
  • recommendation on the strategies that would support a successful transition
  • the contact details on any services supporting the child or who have been contacted.


Guidance on completing "All About Me Transition" form with parents

Last update: Monday 19th of August 2019 01:55:47 PM