Transition & Planning For Change

The high majority of Children & Young People in our Care and Previously Looked After Children, and especially those children who have experienced significant relational trauma and loss, find all kinds of transition challenging both at school and home.

Times of change threaten the child/young person’s sense of safety and self. Because changes in the past involved loss and fear even small changes in routine or more exciting things like a school trip can trigger the feeling that bad things may happen and the child/young person becomes overwhelmed.

Most schools take into account key transition times like moving from Primary to Secondary, or Secondary to Post 16 but other flash points could be:-

  • Start and end of term
  • Moving from one year group to another
  • Change/loss of adult
  • Moving child/friend to another seat
  • Settling after break
  • Any change to timetable or routine
  • Key dates e.g. Mother's/Father’s Day, birthdays

Schools who have had Attachment Training will be skilled at both understanding the triggers and strategies to manage these circumstances. It is paramount that Designated Teachers as part of the PEP plan for both long term and daily changes to support the individual needs of the child. Support can be offered from the Virtual School but key actions include:-

  • Manage handovers
  • Give prior warning about changes
  • Be clear as possible why there is a change of teacher
  • Walk through changes
  • Use transitional objects
  • Agreed plan for what should happen when a child/young person becomes overwhelmed


For some tips around how to support your child through periods of transition, please take a look at this guide: Supporting Transitions