For a child with Special Educational Needs, or a disability, transition from post primary provision can be very challenging both for the child and their family as they consider the next stage of their lives.
The Transition planning process will usually begin when your child moves into Year 10.
While it may seem very early to begin to think about the future, we know that there is a strong link between the support and preparation which a child receives before leaving school and their subsequent quality of life.
As a parent or carer, you have a central role in planning for your child’s future. During the next few years you and your child will be making important decisions and life choices.
It will be important that you attend and participate in the Transition Planning meetings. These will take place within the Annual Review meeting. It will also be important that you encourage your child to be as fully involved as possible in the decisions being made about their life and future and to help them express their views as openly and as early as possible.
It is at this point that the Authority’s Transition Service will begin to work pro-actively with you to help you plan for your child’s future, beyond school.
The Transition Service was created to help young people and their parent or carers access appropriate information, guidance and support to help them make informed choices about the future.
Our aim is to provide a high quality, collaborative and fully inclusive service for all pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs at 14+.
The Transition Service also provides support to schools and works to promote pupil and parent or carer participation in the Transition planning process. We work closely with the Northern Ireland Careers Service and other statutory and voluntary agencies.
The Authority has ten dedicated Education Transition Co-coordinators.
Every young person age 14+ with a Statement of Special Educational Needs will have a named Transition Co-ordinator whose role is to provide advice and support to you and your child as preparations begin for adult life.
During the first term of Year 10, you and your child will be introduced to your named Education Transition Co-ordinator who will support you and your child throughout the Transition process.
These individuals will work with you, with schools and other relevant agencies:
- To support the your child throughout the Transition planning process and to advocate on issues which directly affect them;
- To ensure that a Transition Plan is compiled, maintained and reviewed on a yearly basis.
- To liaise with and support schools in the implementation of the Transition Plan;
- To collaborate with statutory and voluntary agencies
- To work to overcome any obstacles which may be prohibiting effective and smooth transition
- A Transition Plan is a formal document which draws together information from a range of professionals and others within and beyond school.
- The Transition plan is a ‘living’ document which will be reviewed and amended as your child grows or as their needs change.
- The Transition plan will outline your child’s skills, talents and aspirations as well as their special educational needs.
- It is important that your child’s voice is heard as the Transition plan is drawn up and we would ask you to encourage your child, as far as possible, to be fully involved in this process.
- We would also ask that you try to find out from your child, in whatever way possible, what their hopes and wishes for the future might be.
- The Transition Co-ordinator can help you, or you may wish to nominate else someone to speak on your behalf, (an advocate), in the Transition planning meeting.