Moving from early years to primary school

Moving your child from an early years provider to a primary school is called transition.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) often find change difficult. As part of transition, schools and families must work together to create a plan for your child. The plan should address your child's:

  • specific needs
  • strengths
  • interests
  • potential anxieties
  • learning styles.

The move should be part of a process, not a one-time event. This will let your child feel confident and happy when the time comes.

Help from your child's early years provider

The phase transfer is important to your child's emotional wellbeing and achievements. The move can be full of excitement and anxiety for you and your child. You should keep an open conversation with your child which allows them to:

  • become familiar with the idea of moving on to school
  • have the time to talk about it the move with their family
  • absorb new environments and information
  • discuss their needs, wants, likes and dislikes.

Transition plans

Your child's key person will help you. They will help you make a plan for the move to your primary school. A meeting will take place to make sure that your child gets all the support they need. Remember, you know your child best. Make sure that you share your thoughts, wishes, aspirations and the support you need. Your key person knows that sharing the information may feel hard, but they are there to support you and your child.

Attending your meeting will be:

  • your child's new teacher
  • the school SENCO
  • your child's key person
  • specialist teacher
  • Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund Practitioner (SENIF) who may also attend.

Transition dates

MonthsWhat will be happening
April to May

Meetings will take place with early years and school SEN support and inclusion teams, including:

  • Portage management
  • SENIF Lead Practitioner
  • SEN Inclusion Advisers
  • Specialist Teaching and Learning Service early years teachers
  • specialist nursery managers.

Learn more about these roles.

June to JulyTransition planning meetings are held with the school SENCOs to plan the help for those starting in September.
SeptemberFollow up meetings are held to ensure successful ongoing transition into school.

Learn about the process of moving from early years to primary school:

Advice for parents

The move from nursery to ‘big school’ can feel like a huge step, for you as well as your child. To help you, we hope these helpful tips will make the transition as seamless as possible.

Read our tips.