SDS for School Leavers – Key Learning Points
- Schools and social work services need to work out better ways of identifying pupils that may be eligible for social work support from age 14. Local authority transitions teams could achieve this.
- Parents and carers are often assumed to know more about the transition process than they actually do. There is a need for timely and relevant information from age 14 onwards. A Transitions Table at Parents Nights would be a good means of providing this information.
- The prospect of change can be very unsettling for final year pupils, intensely so for those with autism. Close attention should be paid to anxiety management. Relaxation sessions can help.
- Technology can engage young people in planning for the future. Young people are often more digitally literate than practitioners and this can shift the balance of power WITTY (What’s Important to You?)
- School leavers and their parents/carers found visits to support provider organisations helpful in understanding the types of support available.
- Small ‘test budgets’ to try out activities and supports can help final year pupils and their supporters plan for the future.
- Imaginative ways of facilitating school leavers and parents/carers to explore and commission shared supports are needed. Locality-based transitions forums could support this.
- Keeping in touch and sharing information with other parents and young people can be managed through a closed Facebook group.