A stage by stage approach to transitions

Supporting young people through transitions can require different approaches at different stages.

  • Schools may need to work with other agencies to ensure that there is adequate home or on-site liaison.  Many families may have no experience of pre-school education.
  • Links with health visitors are vital to ensuring that children’s records are passed and maintained.
  • Initially, some families may not be able to provide personal information such as birth certificates meaning schools may not have a record of a child’s exact chronological age.  In this situation, families should be treated sensitively, and be given time to develop a relationship with the school before discussing solutions.
  • Where families are unfamiliar with school they may be surprised that children will be taught by chronological age rather than within family groups.  Show flexibility and reassure parents that there will be opportunities for siblings and friends to meet and work together.
  • Work with Traveller Education Services (TENET) or home link staff to make contact with families who are not engaging in other services.
  • Identify a member of school staff as the main point of contact for the whole family.
  • Invite Traveller parents to attend parents’ introductory sessions and if that fails create opportunities for individual visits.
  • Be flexible and allow phased integration into school such as offering a reduced timetable.
  • Provide cultural awareness training for staff.
  • Put in place ‘enhanced transition’ strategies by primary 6 stage as this is known to be the period when young people are most likely to withdraw from mainstream education.
  • Develop long term curriculum planning in partnership with secondary curriculum staff to maintain interest and bridge the transition period.  Create opportunities to meet secondary staff and find out about their subjects. Build on pupils’ existing interests.
  • Involve families in discussions about potential concerns such as bullying and discrimination and reassure them with clear explanations about school procedures.
  • Identify an older pupil buddy by P6 who can continue to act as a key support for the pupil.
  •  Many young people from Gypsy/Traveller families may leave primary or secondary school at an early age and attempt to re-engage through CLD or college courses when they are 14 or 15. Support young people to continue to engage with education services by signposting flexible options.
  • Identify opportunities for young people to develop skills-based courses such as driving theory or make links to colleges or work experience where there is relevance to family life.

Visit our Professionals pages for ideas on building relationships, supporting mobility and helping Traveller parents support learning.