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Toolkit home / Managing Transitions


Transitions describe the moves children and young people make on their educational journey from home to early learning settings, within and to primary, secondary, further education and employment. The transition process can be particularly challenging for GRT families for a wide variety of reasons including literacy levels, digital capital, unfamiliarity with the education system and concerns about safety. Transitions can be influenced by cultural beliefs at different transitions stages and historical experiences of discrimination and racism has lead to low engagement with institutions. This section explores these issues from the community perspective and from literature and research to provide effective actions that lead to more positive transitions for nomadic learners.

community Experiences

Hear what parents, children and young people from the GRT community have to say about their experiences of education and transitions.

"I spend six months in a house and six months travelling in a trailer. We’d be told off for the gaps in our learning. But we didn’t get any learning packs, but other kids did. And they were just going on holiday or for other reasons. Our learning is not facilitated. It needs to be more flexible."

Supporting flexible learning

Children and young people want to learn but feel that this is not adequately supported by schools. Education needs to offer more flexibility to meet the needs of nomadic lifestyles and routines.

"Travelling ways have kind of changed a bit since I was younger, but... like high school, that still applies... I wouldn't put my kids to high school. But I still want them to get further education."

Concerns about safety

Parents may base their decisions about transitions on their own negative experiences of secondary school. They may fear that their child will also bullying and discrimination.

"I think early education is very important. I think it’s good for children that are home-based who might not be out mixing with non-Travellers. When they go to nursery it’s good that they get their chance to mix. But I do think that the other children who don’t go struggle to understand certain things."

Attitudes toward ELC

Despite the tradition of non-engagement with formal early education settings, many parents are now beginning to see the value and the benefits for their child.


Managing transitions - top tips

Managing transitions into preschool

Managing transitions in primary school

Managing transitions in secondary school

Managing post-14 transitions