Starting adult life can be a time of opportunity for young people. The transition to adult life should be a positive experience with young people leading the planning process towards adulthood. Thinking about the future and making plans about what they want to do when they leave school can be a challenge.
Your child's school will have reviewed your child's progress each year, but the Year 9 review is special as it begins to look at your child's dreams and ideas for the future.
Leaving school may seem a long way off, but the Positive Transition Review gives your child the chance to think about, and say, what they want now and in the future. Starting now gives an opportunity for you and your child to work together with the school and other professionals to plan for adult life.
The school will give your child a booklet explaining about the review.
You will receive a letter inviting you to a meeting. The letter will tell you when and where the meeting will be but it's usually held at your child's school.
Preparing for the meeting
All the other people involved with your child's care and education will be invited to the meeting. These people will have provided written reports about your child. It is important that you read all the reports, with your child, before the meeting: you can then decide what each of you wants to talk about.
To make sure that your (and your child's) concerns are covered, you may use these meeting preparation questions to make a note of your thoughts beforehand:
- What are your child's achievements or successes?
- What is important to your child now?
- What is important for your child's future?
- What support does your child need to achieve their goals?
- What is working for your child?
- What is not working for your child?
During the meeting
The facilitator will manage the meeting, asking everyone to introduce themselves, and will support both you and your child. The meeting will be quite informal, but there are some basic rules to follow to make sure everyone can have their say:
- All contributions are valuable;
- There is no such thing as a silly question;
- Use plain English - no jargon;
- Listen - without interrupting;
- Smelling mistooks r OK;
- Five-minute rule;
- Mobile phones must be turned off.
There will be time for people to talk to each other and to write down their thoughts, ideas and comments. The thoughts, comments and ideas will then be discussed by everyone. A decision may be made that people need to discuss specific issues in smaller groups at a later date. This date will be set at the meeting.
What happens next
You will receive a report based on the main themes and ideas discussed at the meeting. This report will also contain a Transition Action Plan which is individual to your child. It will give a written record of planned actions over a period of time. It will also show a structure and positive steps to work to.
It will say:
- what needs to be done;
- who is responsible for each particular action and how you can contact them if you need to;
- when it needs to be done.
The Transition Action Plan will show the commitment of everyone involved in your child's education, show that there is control over the learning process and make it clear where this process is going. It will be clear about who does what with clear deadlines.
In about a year this Action Plan will be reviewed to see if the plan has been successful so far. If necessary the plan can then be changed to make it more appropriate for the next year.