Skip to main content

Transition stages

Starting school

For more information about choosing and applying for a school reception place for a child with an EHC Plan go to:

For tips and ideas to help your child prepare for and settle into school go to:

Moving to secondary school

Choosing a school

Your child’s EHC plan review meetings at the end of Year 4 and in Year 5 should include discussion of options for secondary school placements that would most suit your child and help him/her on the journey to adulthood.

If your child is already in a mainstream school it is likely that he/she will be able to continue their secondary education in a mainstream setting too. For a few children with EHC plans, advice from the mainstream school and other professionals, as well as your and your child’s views, may indicate that a special secondary placement may be the best option to best meet his/her needs.

If your child is in a special school, reviews should consider if his/her needs and progress indicate that a mainstream placement is now suitable or if secondary education should continue in a special school.

It is important that during year 5 you visit different schools to find out more about the different options for your child. For details about how to do this go to: SEND support in schools - Moving to secondary schools: Choosing a school.  

Applying for schools

For children with EHC plans the process for applying for a secondary school place is managed directly by the 0-25 SEND Service.

You do not have to complete the general online application form.

Key dates include:



Summer term – Year 5

0-25 SEND Service send parents form to name three secondary schools that they would prefer.

By end of July – Year 5

Deadline for return of school preference form to 0-25 SEND service; this is earlier than the online secondary school application for children without plans so that the service have as much time as possible to consult with schools that are listed and help to agree placement in one of the preferred schools.

No later than md February – Year 6

0-25 SEND Service will notify parents of the secondary school that has been agreed. The EHC plan will be amended to name the secondary school.

If parents disagree with the named school, they have the right to appeal.

For more information about the process for transferring to secondary school for children with EHC plans see the Moving to Secondary Schools Timeline (Download timeline) or contact your child’s EHC plan coordinator.

Moving to secondary schools – Getting ready.

For tips and recommendations to help prepare your child for secondary school and ensure a smooth transition go to SEND support in schools - Moving to secondary schools: Getting ready.

Moving to post 16

For young people with EHC plans, annual reviews from Year 9 onwards will include planning to support preparation for adulthood (employment, independent living and community participation) as well as considering options for suitable post 16 study programmes.

This transition planning seeks to ensure the right support remains in place when the responsibility for extra help and support moves from children’s to adult’s care and health services.

Your EHC plan coordinator may attend the review meeting to offer advice and guidance.

To find out more about should be included in the EHC plan reviews in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 go to Preparation for adulthood (internal link).

To find out more about the different on options for choosing post 16 options go to Post 16 SEND support.

Once you have decided on where you want to continue your post education this will be recorded in the EHC plan review.

 When a place has been confirmed the EHC plan will be amended to name the college or other setting and make clear the support that will be available to help you.

 This should be completed by 31st March in the year you are due to transfer.

If you require more help to look and apply for post 16 education courses or other study programmes you can talk to the career’s adviser at school or your SENCO.

Preparation for Adulthood
The Department of Education (DfE) has funded the Preparing for Adulthood programme to support arrangements to help young people with SEND to achieve paid employment, independent living, good health and being part of the local  community.
The programme has lots of information and resources to support readiness for life after school. It includes this outcome tool which helps you, and people working closely with you, to identify and plan the things which will help you most to achieve well.

Powered by Open Objects © Idox plc