When should transition planning start?
National guidelines in Scotland say transition planning should start “at least 2 years before the school leaving date.” That’s because it often takes a long time to get the right support agreed, funded and in place.
Many people find it’s a good idea to start collecting information well before then, so they’re prepared. Starting early means you can take your time, look at more options, and give yourself the best chance of getting the right support in place.
Every family is different, but planning starts with putting together a picture of your young person – their likes and dislikes, any ideas they may already have, and what they’ll need in future to help them thrive. The clearer you are, the more likely you’ll be to make decisions that work well.
Most young people won’t know what they want to do after school when they’re 14, so focus on making sure that when school comes to an end your young person is spending their time in a way that’s worthwhile for them, and gives them the best possible chance to go on developing their awareness, knowledge and skills. And don’t forget it’s OK for someone to change their mind – so flexibility is an important part of planning too.