School operations

Transition — Year 6 to 7

Transitioning to secondary schools — students with disability

The principles and intentions that guide effective transition planning are shared for all children and young people, including those living with a disability.

What may differ for students with additional or complex needs that arise from disability is the need for transitions to be clearly planned over a longer duration, and for schools to recognise the impact that such changes may have on the student, and on their parent/carer(s), siblings, peers and teachers.

When planning transitions for students with disabilities, considerations include:

  • the nature of a student's disability
  • the impact of a disability on a student's access to and participation in the educational setting
  • what modifications the primary school implemented to accommodate the students disability
  • the extent to which exi sting transition programs take account of the individual needs of the student, their family and the receiving school
  • PSDMS fundingExternal Link (this is triggered from within CASES21)

Best practice programs that help with the transition of primary school students with additional or complex needs arising from disability to secondary school:

  • begin well in advance of the point of transition
  • are person-centred and tailored to the individual needs of students
  • are collaborative and involve the student and parent/guardian/carer(s) as vital partners
  • provide the student and parent/carer(s) with information to make an informed choice about future educational settings/options
  • are adequate ly resourced
  • are facilitated by a Transition Coordinator who can communicate across all sites to ensure collaboration is effective and that all aspects of the transition planning process are addressed while supporting students and parent/guardian/carer(s)

Key people involved in the student’s transition

A trained and experienced Transition Coordinator can be a great resource for a student and their family throughout the transition process. Other key people involved may be:

At home

  • the student’s parent/carer(s)

At primary school

  • Year 6 teacher
  • assistant principal and/or principal
  • Transition Coordinator
  • education support officer
  • student support services
  • visiting teacher

At secondary school

  • Year 7 teacher
  • year level coordinator
  • assistant principal and/or principal
  • Transition Coordinator
  • education support officer
  • student support services
  • visiting teacher

Student support group

It is recommended that all students with a disability have a student support group (SSG).

The SSG plays an important role in planning and monitoring a student’s transition from one school to another. They also make sure the student gets the personalised learning and support they need.

Key considerations in a successful transition process

See Transitioning from Primary to Secondary School: Supporting students with additional or complex needs that arise from disabilityExternal Link for full guidelines on supporting students with disabilities to transition from primary to secondary school.

Students with disability may have complex transition needs, and schools may need to be mindful of how they engage with students and their families. This may include:

  • helping families identify their role in the transition to secondary school
  • updating the student’s parent/carer(s) about their child’s progress
  • understanding the developmental needs facing students
  • recognising and acknowledging how moving from primary to secondary school may impact a student
  • considering the school environment. For example, students with physical and mobility difficulties may experience difficulty because of distances and/or stairs between their classrooms.
  • making sure signage is clear, and school staff are easily identifiable at orientation days
  • having additional opportunities for the student and their families to visit the school and meet their teachers before the start of the school year
  • providing professional development for school staff to help them understand the additional needs of the student

Transition planning overview — suggested roles and timeline

The following planning timeline gives suggested steps for the transition of students with additional or complex needs. Schools may use these steps with consideration to the unique needs of the student and their educational settings. The student’s parent/carer(s) are also involved in the transition process.

  • Year 5, term 4

    • start talking to the student’s parents/carer(s)

    Year 6, term 1

    • identify potential secondary school to invite to a future student support group meeting

    Year 6, term 2

    • submit Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) application, if applicable (Year 6 review or new applications) and consider inviting the secondary school to the application student support group process
    • support parent/carer(s) as required in the nomination of secondary school preference
    • begin gathering transfer information including health and wellbeing reports

    Year 6, term 3

    • coordinate and submit PSD applications, for new applications if applicable
    • receive notifications of Year 6 Review applications and notify parent/carer(s)
    • identify a Transition Coordinator to help the student to prepare their ‘student profile’
    • develop Transition Statement
    • organise a SSG meeting with the secondary school to help them in preparing supports for the student

    Year 6, term 4

    • Finalise the Transition Statement at the SSG
    • Complete the student’s transfer information. This may include:
      • details about the student’s support needs
      • PSD eligibility
      • potential receipt of PSD Transition Support Funding for Year 7 students in 2019 who are no longer eligible for the PSD after their Year 6 review

    Year 7, term 1

    • confirm dates for the SSG to meet in term 1 at the secondary school
  • Year 6, term 3

    • identify staff professional learning needs
    • consider planning for student access needs

    Year 6, term 4

    • begin school orientation
    • consider strategies for preparing the student for timetables, larger classes and facilities
    • make sure transfer information includes details about:
      • the student’s support needs
      • PSD eligibility
      • potential receipt of PSD Transition Support Funding

    Year 7, term 1

    • receive student’s transfer information including Transition Statement from the primary school
    • talk to student’s parent/guardian/carer(s) in the SSG and develop of personalised learning and support planning
    • consider access needs of new student. For example, storage of medication, a private area for personal care and planning for Year 7 camp

Information on transition timelines for all students is updated annually and available on the Resources tab.

Transition statement

Schools are responsible for managing information for students during times of transition.

Transferring student information to the student's next Victorian government school is in their best interest because it helps the new school provide the best education and support.

A transition statement provides an overview of the student's support needs and profile.

For template Transition Statements and further resources and guidance on implementing positive and effective transitions for students with a disability and additional needs, refer to the Resources tab.

Transition support funding

Transition support funding is available to government secondary schools to support students starting Year 7 in 2019 who are no longer eligible for the Program for Students with DisabilitiesExternal Link after their Year 6-7 Review.

See Student Resource Package — Equity Funding (Student Based Funding) for funding to support the delivery of personalised teaching and learning programs to meet the student’s needs.


Refer to the Resources tab — Transition for students with a disability, for additional information and resources to support the transition from primary to secondary school for students with additional or complex needs.

Guidance chapter on additional planning and support for students with disability transitioning from primary to secondary school

Reviewed 11 June 2020

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