Local practice examples
This summary tells us what works in ensuring all children and young people make sustained
progress and remain fully engaged through all transitions between key stages. It
is based on a rapid review of the research literature involving systematic searching.
It summarises the best available evidence that will help service providers to improve
services and, ultimately, outcomes for children, young people and their families.
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) carried out the review and
compiled the data on behalf of the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children
and Young People’s Services (C4EO).
Children and young people should be involved in the development of transition practices
and policies. Preparation is an important aspect of a successful transition and
therefore children and young people need to be consulted about their needs and concerns
before, during and after transition.
Parents and carers should participate in transition practices. This may include
attending transition information sessions or open days. Parents and carers can help
support their child by discussing what will happen and providing reassurance and
support. They can also help their children to be prepared for new experiences and
monitor their responses during the transition phase.
Local authorities need to work across the EYFS sector, schools and the post-16 education
sector to encourage good communication and partnership working. They can help to
develop joined-up transition strategies across different establishments so that
children and young people experience a smooth transfer in terms of curriculum continuity
and induction. They can plan more targeted approaches to support parents and children
from more vulnerable groups.
Education staff play a key role in supporting children and young people directly
when transferring from one establishment to another. Staff should recognise that
transition can be a stressful time, be sensitive to the needs of individuals and
willing to communicate with children, parents and staff in partner organisations.
School and service leaders should work with the local authority and other managers
within Children’s Trusts to provide cohesive strategies to manage transition. This
can include exchange of information, providing continuity of curriculum and pedagogy,
introducing children and young people to their new teachers prior to transition
and ensuring that transition offers positive opportunities.
Relevant data was identified from national datasets and national cohort studies.
Comprehensive data on educational outcomes (attendance and attainment) is currently
available from the Early Years Foundation Stage to key stage 5. However, only a
very limited number of longitudinal analyses have been undertaken using this data.
There is no published analysis of existing national datasets to examine children’s
trajectories over time and assess at which point difficulties may occur, or to identify
which transitions may be particularly problematic for specific vulnerable groups.
There is adequate evidence relating to what works in improving transitions for children
and young people. The quality of this evidence is generally good and continues to
grow. However, there are weaknesses and the following gaps were identified: