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.


Joint Professional Duties

Transitions may present a wellbeing concern for some young people. If a wellbeing concern is identified through consideration of the Section 96, Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 wellbeing indicators 19, a targeted intervention may be necessary under the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) framework, found in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and may require a Child’s Plan. Each professional has a role to play in this process to ensure young people with additional support needs are enabled to achieve their ambitions, personal outcomes and potential, with no one professional having sole responsibility.


Some children and young people with complex additional support needs may also have a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP) in place if they meet the criteria for one: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, Chapter 5 p67. This enables professionals from multiple agencies to plan together to meet a pupil’s needs and to co-ordinate their support towards agreed learning targets. Many Scottish Transitions Forum members believe 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.

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, if it is operating in your Local Authority Area, might be best placed to begin the transition planning process and to ensure that appropriate agencies are involved. Part 4 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 set out a duty to provide a Named Person Service, but this did not come into force. At time of writing it is the role of education to begin transition planning and coordinate the process.
  • Part 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 sets out duties in relation to a child’s plan. Again, at time of writing this is not yet in force.
  • The Additional Support for Learning (Changes in School Education) Scotland Regulations 2005 governs transitions within a child or young person’s school career.
  • Chapter 6, p95, of the ‘Supporting Children’s Learning’ Codes of Practice and Sections 12 and 13 of the 2004 Act set out the authority’s post-school transition duties.
  • These duties ensure 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, and Code of Practice, chapter 6, paragraph 15 – 17 and 20).

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).
  • Attend Transitions meetings section 12(6) Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and Chapter 6 paragraph 37 in the associated codes of practice.


  • Work alongside social work and social care staff to ensure that information is shared to support planning for the young person’s transition post-school: Section 13 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and the National Institute for Care Excellence Guidelines.
  • Health representatives should attend the transitions planning process meetings as an ‘appropriate agency’ following a request for help from education: Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, sections 12 and 13 and chapter 6 paragraph 37 of the associated codes of practice.
  • Respond to the request for help if asked through the Child’s Plan process to involve adult health services (one year prior to young person leaving school).

Third Sector

  • To proactively engage and work in partnership with the health and social care Joint Improvement Boards via the Third Sector Interface: (Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act (section 31 (1)).
  • To attend transitions meetings if asked (Chapter 6 paragraph 37 and 38 of the Supporting Children’s Learning Guidance (2017)).
  • Ensure they are included in planning processes where appropriate: National Institute of Care Excellence transition guidelines; Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act guidelines.

Local Authority

  • Using the Joint Commissioning1 approach and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (section 6 (1)-(4)); Public Sector Equality Duties under
  • the Equality Act, 2010, section 149, Children and Young People (Scotland)
  • Act 2014 (Part 3), Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (section 58 and 4(1)- (2)), services should focus on the wellbeing of service users. This means commissioned services must anticipate and prevent needs from arising where possible.
  • Ensure that people who use services are central to the commissioning process: Public Bodies (Joint working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (section 4. (1) (b) (i – xii)); NICE Transitions Guidelines; Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, section 9. (Equality Act, 2010, (section 149, (4) and associated public sector duties).
  • Provide information to support the transitions process. Examples that provide approaches include the Equality Act (section 149, (4)) and associated regulations; Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014; Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 section 9.


1 Social Work Inspection Agency: Guide to Strategic Commissioning: Taking a closer look at commissioning in Social Work services. Publications/2009/09/17112552/2