Key Duties and Recommendations

The legislative and policy environment for transitions is complex. The transitions process is not only supported by clear duties but also underpinned by rights. To help those who are supporting young people through transitions we have developed a  flowchart which highlights the key duties and recommendations during this time. We have also  summarised some of the key duties within relevant legislation which you can find below.

The information we have provided is not a substitute for taking appropriate advice on the legal implications of specific situations. Where references to legislation are made, we have done our best to accurately state the legal position as at 31 August 2016. Our thanks go to Cairn Legal Ltd, who have provided advice on the legal aspects of the text.

References for all of the legislation referred to in this section can be found at the end of the ‘Introduction’ section of ‘Principles of Good Transitions 3’ which can be downloaded here (insert link).


Joint Professional Duties

Transitions may present a well-being concern for some young people. If a well-being concern is identified through consideration of the wellbeing indicators, a targeted intervention may be necessary under the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) framework and its associated wellbeing indicators, found in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and may require a Child’s Plan (Part 5 – Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014). Each profession has a role to play in this process to ensure that young people with additional support needs are enabled to achieve their ambitions, desires and potential, with no one profession having sole responsibility.

Some children and young people with complex additional support needs may also have a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP) in place: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, section 2. This provides certain legislative protections, such as access to the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2004) Section 17. Professionals must comply with both processes and their attached duties. Many Scottish Transitions Forum members believe that the CSP and the Child’s Plan should be streamlined into a single plan to cut down on administration and reduce the number of processes families must understand. Some alignment is already being undertaken and provided for in terms of the Child’s Plan (Scotland) Order 2016.

Human Rights

The PANEL Principles below have been taken from the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 guidance. They focus on fundamental Issues in applying human rights based approaches in practice. The rights they enshrine should underpin all policies and interventions relating to transitions.


PANEL Principles:



Everyone has the right to participate in decisions which affect their human rights. Participation must be active, free, and meaningful and give attention to issues of accessibility, including access to information in a form and a language, which can be understood.



Accountability requires effective monitoring of human rights standards. For accountability to be effective there must be appropriate laws, policies, administrative procedures and mechanisms of redress in order to secure human rights.



A human rights based approach means that all forms of discrimination must be prohibited, prevented and eliminated. It also requires the prioritisation of those in the most vulnerable situations who face the biggest barriers to realising their rights.



People should understand their rights, and be fully supported to participate in the development of policy and practices which affect their lives. People should be able to claim their rights where necessary.



A human rights based approach requires the recognition of rights as legally enforceable entitlements, and is linked in to national and international human rights law.



  • The Named Person Service would be best placed to begin the transition planning process and to ensure that appropriate agencies are involved. Currently Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 part 4 and associated guidance: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 section 33(1)-(3): Children and Young Peoples (Scotland) Act 2014. regulation 3(2)a; Additional Support for Learning (changes in school education) Scotland Regulations chapter 6. paragraph 6 ASL codes of practice and sections 12 and 13 for post school transitions.


  • Ensure that the relevant information is available at least one year before the young person is due to leave school. This will mean working with partner agencies before this time to gather the appropriate information: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2004) (section 12, codes of practice p119, chapter 6, paragraph 31.)

Social Work

  • Explore personal outcome planning with young people who meet the eligibility criteria: Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 (GIRFEC guidance)


  • Provide an indicative budget for services to enable planning (Self-Directed Support guidance, paragraph 7.12)


  • Comply with requests for assistance to adult services (potentially one-year prior to young person leaving school) if laid out in the Child’s Plan: Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Part 5


  • Assist the Named Person Service where requested, subject to certain exceptions: Children and Young Peoples Act (2014).


  • Work alongside social work and social care staff to ensure that information is shared subject to consent from parents or the young person: Education (Additional Support for Learning) Scotland Act (2004) and the National Institute for Care Excellence Guidelines; Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (duties relating to information sharing are currently being reviewed)


  • Health representatives should attend the transitions planning process meetings as an “appropriate agency” following an invitation from education: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2004), sections 12 and 13


  • Respond to the request for help if asked through the Childs Plan process to involve adult health services (one-year prior to young person leaving school): Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (section.40 (1) – (6))


  • Assist the Named Person Service where requested to, subject to certain exceptions: Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, subject to parliamentary review.

Third Sector

  • Work in partnership with the health and social care partners via the Third Sector Interface: (Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act (section 31 (1))


  • Ensure they are included in planning processes where appropriate: National Institute of Care Excellence transition guidelines; Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act guidelines).

Local Authority

  • Under the Community Empowerment Act (s.6.(1)-(4)), Public Sector Equality Duties (Equality Act (2010) S.149, Children and Young People Act (Part 3. S.10 and S.7(1)), Public Bodies (Joint working) Act (S.58. S.4(1)- (2)) services should focus on the wellbeing of service users. This means commissioned services must anticipate and prevent needs from arising


  • Ensure that people who use services are central to the commissioning process (JPBW Act S.4.(1) (b)(i – xii), NICE Transitions Guidelines and Section 9 of the Self Directed Support Act.) (Equality Act (S.149. (4) and associated public sector duties)


  • Provide information to support the transitions process (Equality Act (S.149.(4)) and associated regulations, Children and Young people Act and section 9 of the Social Care (Self Directed) Support (Scotland) Act.