Transition through education

The term ‘transition’ is used to refer to life changes that children and young people may go through.  This information focusses on transition of children and young people through their educational stages.

Starting school can be an exciting time for children as they learn to cope with new experiences and demands, but like all important occasions it needs careful planning.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) support

Some children may have greater difficulty learning than others and, for most, extra support can be provided by the school. For children with special educational needs and/or disabilities this may have extra challenges.

If you are concerned about your child’s development, or if a nursery or school has discussed with you that your child may have special educational needs (SEN) they will assess them and put in place support to meet their needs. This is known as SEN support and can take many forms.

Find more information about the range of support and the additional help (SEN support) available for children with a higher level of need or whose needs are more complex.

Starting primary school

There can be a lot to think about when your child is nearing school age. Transition from early years to primary reception provides more information about what to consider when choosing and applying for a school place for your child with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) including the Education Health and Care plan needs assessment process and the support available to all parents and carers.

Most children with SEND are taught in mainstream schools, placements in specialist settings may be appropriate for children with a higher level of need and who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

Schools follow a strict criteria for access, places are allocated on a catchment basis so will be determined by the area where you live. 

More information about choosing and applying for a primary school.

Find primary schools in Bromley 

If your child is known to the early years SEN advisory team they will be able to offer support and advice and work with your child’s early years setting to share appropriate information about your child.  If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan your EHCP coordinator will be able to support you through the process.

Moving to secondary school

Starting secondary school is a big step for every child, and for those who have SEND, it can sometimes be a bigger challenge. As a parent, you will want to make sure that the new school knows how to meet your child’s needs.

It’s important to keep an open mind at this stage and think about all your local schools.

Most children and young people who have SEND are educated in mainstream schools. In some cases, if a child has a higher level of need, a placement in a specialist provision may be considered.

Transition to secondary school  sets out the transition process from primary to secondary school for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and suggests some practical approaches to support a smooth transition.

Schools can only offer places in accordance with their published oversubscription criteria. These can be different for each school, so it is really important that you look at the admissions policies on individual school websites to understand how likely an offer of a school place will be.  Schools do not normally have defined catchment areas, but the last places offered are usually based on proximity to the school. It is therefore always good advice to name a local school as one of your lower preferences in case your preferred schools are oversubscribed. 

More information about choosing and applying for a secondary school.

Find secondary schools in Bromley 

Moving to post 16 education

For some young people turning 16 may mean coming to the end of formal school life (normally the end of year 11), which is an important milestone in preparing for adult life.

Raising the participation age means that young people must continue in education or training until 18. It does not mean you must stay in school; you can choose one of the following options:

  • Full-time education, such as school, college or learning provider
  • Work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Part-time education or training if you are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

While some students with SEND may follow a study programme which help them achieve academic qualifications, others will follow programmes which focus on high-quality work experience and other non-qualification activities to help them prepare for employment and adult life.

SEND transition to post 16 education and training

Most children and young people with SEN are well supported, and make good progress, in mainstream schools. When it is appropriate to place a child in a special school or specialist provision the council will seek to place a child within the local community.

Please see a list of Bromley’s special schools 

Schools and settings outside Bromley

Occasionally a pupil with SEN may be placed within a setting outside Bromley or within an independent setting.  Where this is the case, the local authority would always seek to make a placement decision in line with the Secretary of State approved list of independent schools for children and young people who have SEN, under section 41 of the Children and Families Act.

You can also find details about schools outside of the London Borough of Bromley boundary via the governments schools finder database

Useful resources

The Foundation for people with Learning disabilities - Transition resources

National Autistic Society - Effective transition to primary school for autistic children.

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and families - Transitions

Transition to secondary school from Young Minds - Finding your feet

Kids Who Know

Information, Advice and Support Service

Details and information regarding access to mediation and disagreement resolution can also be obtained from the Information, Advice and Support Service.