Getting Transitions Right for Children and Young People

**Please note that this event will now be held on June 27th**

This event will look at how we work with children, young people and their families to manage the transitions and changes that are an inherent part of educational development.

Transitions for success

From first moving from the home environment to nursery, then between each successive school phase, the educational journey is defined by key moments of transition. It is our responsibility to get these critical moments in a child’s life right, delivering timely intervention, effective support, and keeping their success at the heart of decision making.

In line with the priorities of GIRFEC, this requires a whole school and whole system approach to transitions, as well as the building of positive relationships with parents, carers, pupils and service providers. Join Holyrood as we examine priorities around ensuring successful transitions at every stage.

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Your responsibilities when ensuring positive transitions for children and young people
  • Effectively identifying pupils with additional needs and providing timely support
  • Transitions in policy: GIRFEC and Curriculum for Excellence
  • How teachers, parents, and children themselves can work together to ensure every change is an opportunity rather than a challenge
  • The importance of monitoring for effective interventions and post-transition support

Who should attend?

This event will be of interest to professionals working with children and young people on both a front-line and strategic level. Issues will be relevant for those working to identify and support vulnerable and disadvantaged youngsters, responsible for boosting life chances and raising attainment, largely based in schools, local authorities, health services, and cross-service delivery.


9:15 Registration and Refreshments

9:55 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

Brian Donnelly, Director, Orbis Training and Consultancy

10:00 Session 1: Context and Current Landscape

  • The importance of getting transitions right
  • Putting young people at the heart of decision making
  • Transitions in policy: GIRFEC and Curriculum for Excellence
  • Children’s transition to formal schooling as an ongoing process of change

10:00 Facing the Future Together: The Lived Experience of Transitions in Scotland

Rebecca Williams, Policy and Development Worker, Scottish Transitions Forum (ARC Scotland)

10:20 "Voice is not enough” – A children’s rights approach to transitions

Margo Mackay, Talking Mats Lead Associate for Children and Young people, Talking Mats Ltd

10:40 Questions and Discussion

11:00 Refreshment Break

11:30 Session 2: Communication and Collaboration

  • The role of service providers, schools and parents – collaborative working as key
  • Communication between early years practitioners, primary teachers and secondary teachers
  • Familiarisation with new environments: providing clarity to parents, children and young people on what to expect, when, and what they are entitled to
  • The importance of clearly defined responsibilities for putting policy into practice
  • Effective intervention for those for whom mainstream education is not successful

11:30 Effective Communication for Successful Transitions

  • Transitions across all contexts
  • Ranges of practical ways to support transitions

Pauline Haggarty, Speech and Language Therapist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

11:50 Play across the Early Level

Kate Johnston, Vice Chair, Upstart Scotland​

Martine Leitch, Headteacher, Croftfoot Primary School 

12:10 Remember about us - parents are transitioning too

Joanna Murphy, Chair, The National Parent Forum for Scotland

12:40 Questions and Discussion

13:00 Lunch and Networking

13:30 Session 3: Providing Effective Support

  • Assessing and responding to the needs of individual children and young people
  • Providing support for those who need it most – from ASN and abuse to poverty and pregnancy
  • Post-school transitions: sustained monitoring, support and the move from children’s to adult services
  • What works in transition?

13:30 No Straight Lines

Laura Battles, CEO, and Billy Anderson, Service Manager, The Donaldson Trust

14:00 The Outdoors – A Natural Place for Vulnerable Young People 

A Partnership Project involving young people with autistic spectrum diagnoses, exploring the therapeutic benefits of the outdoors while developing skills and qualities for the world of work

Dave Spence, Chief Executive, Scottish Outdoor Education Centres

14:30 Questions and Discussion

14:55 Chair’s Closing Remarks

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


COSLA Conference Centre, Verity House, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635 

27 June 2018
United Kingdom



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