See the Key Stages in a child’s education
Which Year Group is your child in?
For all children, change can be stressful. For Looked After Children it can touch on feelings of insecurity and loss.
The key transitions for children and young people in care are:
- moving into early years/nursery provision
- starting school – reception class
- moving from primary to secondary school
- moving from year 11 to a 6th form college, training, employment and training
Starting at Nursery
Attendance at pre-school / Early Years is not statutory, but there is a lot of evidence that shows how beneficial access to this provision can be.
For further information:
The Two Year Old Scheme entitles young children in the care system aged 2–3 years to up to 15 hours per week (up to 570 hours per year) of free nursery provision.
All 3-4 year olds are entitled to free early education and childcare for 5 hours per week during term time.
Applications for funding under the 2 year old scheme need to be made via the local authority where the foster carer lives. Once approved the foster carer will be given a list of local nurseries with vacancies who are registered with the scheme. All other nursery applications can be made directly to the provider.
In order to ensure a smooth transition into nursery, the needs of the child are integral to the bespoke transition plan. Foster carers can expect to spend time in the nursery to settle their child in.
Transition from Nursery to Reception
Foster carers should visit local primary schools when their child is in the autumn term of Nursery / a year before their child would be due to start at school. Applications for a school place need to be made to the local admissions team online by the end of the autumn term . In accordance with the admissions code, children who are looked after or previously looked after will be automatically entitled to their first choice of school. School places are offered the following spring term in April. There may be a phased transition into school and foster carers can expect to spend time with their child settling them into this new environment.
Transition from Year 2 to Year 3
At the end of Year 2, children who are attending an infant school transfer to the junior school, which may involve changes such as a new headteacher, new teachers, new buildings and playground. For the majority of children this will not apply.
Transition from Year 6 to Year 7
Foster carers should visit local secondary schools (rated Ofsted 2 or above) when their child is in the Autumn Term of Year 6, apply for a school place and follow the secondary transition process in line with other Year 6 children. In accordance with the admissions code, children who are looked after or previously looked after will be automatically entitled to their first choice of school. School places are offered in March of the following spring term.
For children with an Eduction, Health and Care Plan, the SEN Team within the local authority where the child resides will manage the secondary transfer process. Foster carers will be asked to submit a secondary school preference form to the SEN Team who will consult with the preferred schools.
Transition from Year 9 to Year 10
Attendance at parents/carers evenings meetings is important and expected, even more so during Year 9 when young people need support in choosing their Key Stage 4 options/pathway. There may be a change of Head of Year between Year 9 and 10 along with an increased expectation of independent study skills and time management.
Transition from Year 11 to Year 12
Year 11 is a crucial time for young people to apply for an appropriate course that is matched to their interests and desired career pathway and is within reasonable distance of their placement. They should attend open evenings, open days and access careers advice to ensure their education placement at Year 12 is realistic in terms of their educational attainment and is meeting their aspirations and needs.