Transition Support

At Ellen Tinkham, all transitions are personalised to individual students and their families or carers.

A transition is seen as any change from one situation to the next for a young person, and our aim is for each transition to be well prepared for, and to ensure that the student and their voice is central to every transitional decision made.


Transition at the end of Key Stage 4 to Post 16 Provision

By the end of Key Stage 4, students and their families will need to have considered, and planned for, a Post 16 provision which will best meet the young person’s needs.  It is important that all options are considered, not only the Ellen Tinkham Sixth Form provision. CSW is able to advise on the available options and families are encouraged to make contact with local providers prior to the young person’s Year 11 Annual Review.  If it is decided that a student will transition to a new placement at the end of Year 11, Key Stage 4 staff will support with this in the form of sharing information with the new provision and, if offered by the provider, supporting with transition visits.

Who is CSW?  Sarah Baker is our nominated Careers Adviser from CSW Group. CSW is a not-for-profit organisation, contracted by Devon County Council, to assist families through key transition points. Alongside this existing support and as part of our Careers Programme offer, Ellen Tinkham has commissioned CSW Group to deliver our impartial and Independent Advice and Guidance meetings (IAG) to all students in Years 10 and 13.  CSW Group help families and young people to explore and consider possible future options.

Transition from Children’s to Adult Services at Age 18

Children’s & Adult Services along with the school, work collaboratively with families to ensure a smooth transition between services.

Families who are unable to identify a member of Adult Services to lead this transition have individual support from the Transition Lead, Emma Kenshole, and the CSW Advisor in order to address this.

All agencies involved in a young person’s transition have an open invitation to visit the students in school and to share school based information which may help with assessment (with parental/carers permission).

The Transition Lead, school advocate and class teams ensure that the student is central to the process and that their voice is heard, in order that what is important to them, and for them, drives the process. Work takes place to decide whether students have the Mental Capacity to make their own decisions (for each specific decision) or whether decisions will be led by a ‘Best Interests’ decision.

Transition to or from Residential Settings/Care Provisions

Some students will move to or from full time residential/supported living provisions whilst in the department. Where this is the case, transition planning takes place to ensure that the student is central to the process.

The school work closely alongside Social Services to ensure that any Mental Capacity assessments are led by those who know the student well.

When provisions are identified, they are invited into school in order to meet and find out more about the young person and share information.

Students are supported by the school, where appropriate, to visit their new providers and plan their transition.

Transition from Sixth Form

Students may spend up to three years in the Sixth Form department.

Transition planning begins when students enter the department. This involves transition related target setting, transition objectives included into their personalised learning programmes, transition planning and advocacy sessions. As the process evolves, the families/carers will be supported to prepare a personalised transition plan for their child.

Students will have opportunities to visit post school provisions and services available to them, supported by their core team. Some students will be able to directly communicate choices and decisions regarding their future provision. For other students, their reactions to places will be observed and fed back at transition planning meetings.

Students are encouraged to be proactive within the transition process.

We organise annual Careers Fairs and providers are invited along to share information and showcase their services.  It is our aim to ensure that all students have equal access to opportunities and choices and support to achieve their aspirations, and that families are also empowered in this process.

When students have definite transition plans in place and funding confirmed, the Sixth Form Department support a positive personalised transition programme for them. This can include supported visits to placements to take part in taster sessions, supporting students to choose and appoint personal enablers, providing post school provisions with information, (following consent from families/carers) and provide any relevant training specific to a young person’s needs.


Alongside the individual personalised transition meetings which take place, the Transition Lead organises transition support group meetings.

The Transitions Support Group is a forum where families can attend information sessions relating to various aspects of transition. Guest speakers from a range of services are invited to attend and present to families followed by a Q&A session. These forums are promoted through our school communication channels.

We are aware many families may be unable to attend forums during the day due to work commitments.  Unfortunately, unlike school staff who are able to run meetings starting late afternoon into early evening, this is often not the case for other agencies. Information from meetings will therefore be made available on our website and information shared on our school newsletter and social media platforms.

Meetings have covered a wide range of issues led by speakers from a wide variety of different agencies. Topics discussed have included:

  • Transition from Children’s to Adult Services
  • The Mental Capacity Act and related issues (such as Power of Attorney)
  • Talks from Post School Providers

Information from previous meetings:

Previous presentations and resources from our Transitions Support Group:

The Transitions Lead at Ellen Tinkham School is Emma Kenshole.  Emma can be contacted on 01392 467168 or email

Everyone will be the best they can be; Everyone has a voice; No-one is excluded.