New agreement to make moving schools a better experience for pupils

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A consistent approach will help pupils settle better and improve their learning outcomes - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Schools across Ipswich and Felixstowe are signing up to a new charter which will ensure the process for pupils moving from one phase of school to another is the same in both towns.

Ipswich Opportunity Area has launched a ‘transition charter’ – a set of principles that schools sign up to that allows pupils to move as easily between school phases as possible.

The charter, launched officially last week, is aimed at those moving up from pre-school or nursery to primary school, and primary to secondary – with ambitions in the future for that to extend to secondary on to college or sixth-form.

It hopes to achieve a similar process regardless of which school a child moves from or two, to make it easier for school staff, parents and pupils.

Project bosses hope that 100 schools will be signed up by the end of August, but want it to become the blueprint for school transitions across the county.

An IOA spokesperson said: “We are all aware of the impact that a supported and positive transition for pupils between education settings has on not only the initial settling in period but also the pupil’s long term academic achievements.

“We have been keen to work collaboratively to ensure that we have consistency with approaches and are able to provide the support to pupils, settings, and parents to enable a positive transition process.”

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Last year, schools in the opportunity area agreed a single transition window for those moving up from year six to year seven to visit their new school, set at the last Wednesday and Thursday in June, which would be in place for at least two academic years.

The opportunity area said that provided consistency and was “incredibly encouraging” schools were keeping to that.

A common transfer document is also produced as part of the charter, and piloted last year. It provides key information about a pupil for their new school, including social needs, special educational needs requirements, literacy and maths level and medical needs among others.

The opportunity area said the pilot had an “overwhelmingly positive response”.