Transition planning during school
Planning for your child’s life after school can begin early in high school.
Your child’s plan for their life after school is called their Individual Transition Plan (ITP).
What is an Individual Transition Plan (ITP)?
Your child's ITP is a document that collects all the information about your child's goals for when they finish school including how they can reach those goals, and their support needs.
It is a working document, and your child and your child’s school can build on it year after year.
What can your child do with their ITP?
Your child can share their plan with anyone who can help them achieve their goals, including universities, TAFE, future employers, the NDIS or any other support organisations. They can use it to make sure everyone is working together towards a common goal.
For example, they can take the plan to Disability Support Services at the TAFE they wish to attend to show them what kind of support they need during further study. Or, they might use it as evidence for goal planning at future NDIS reviews.
Who will help put together your child’s ITP?
There are lots of different people at your child's school that could help make this plan. You can expect any of the school staff who work with your child to be involved.
You can also invite anyone from outside the school who you might think will help with your child's transition to their life after school - for example, an NDIS support coordinator, a regular therapist, support worker, or future employer.
How can you help?
Talk to your child regularly about their interests and their dreams for the future - what they want should always be at the centre of their plan.
You can ask them:
- What is important to them?
- What are they good at?
- What would they like to achieve while they are at school?
- What do they want their life to look like after school - not just their career, but their hobbies, friends and social life, and living situation?
- What do they feel would help them to achieve their goals?
You can also think about what kind of support your child might need after school, and get in touch with the people or organisations that can support them early.
When your child is around 14, you can prompt their school to begin transition planning if they haven’t already started.
Subject selection can be really important for your child's path after school - if the school hasn’t started your child’s transition planning by the time they are choosing their elective subjects, then it’s a good idea to talk to them about it.
What will your child's plan look like?
Different schools will produce plans in different formats and every plan is individual - it is tailored to your child's specific ambitions, strengths and what they need to meet their goals.
However, all transition plans should be built around what the student - your child - wants to achieve.
Your child’s main goal for their life after school might be to move out of the family home and live independently.
After having discussions with the school, you might decide together that your child needs to work on their living and budgeting skills.
The school can then work these goals into your child's learning - for example, practicing preparing meals in Food Technology, or putting into place a money management program so they can practice paying for things in a safe environment.
The school can also start connecting your child with the support networks in your local area.
Your child might have a particular interest in machinery and be good at mathematics and problem solving. After talking to their school’s career advisor they might decide that they want a career in engineering and would like to go on to further study at university.
The school's learning and support team will talk to you and your child, and together you'll work out:
- Different ways they can enrol at university
- What support can the school put in place now to help your child develop the skills and independence they need to get into the course they’d like to do.
- What subjects they can select.
- The strategies that they can learn at school to make sure they'll succeed in further independent study and make friends at university.
- What adjustments your child might need while they’re attending university to help them access their course work.
The learning and support team can also make sure you and your child know how to access learning support at university, and can put you in contact with the relevant student support services.