FAQs

Here you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions. 

Principles of Good Transitions

ARC Scotland published ‘Principles of Good Transitions 3’ in 2017. They are seven principles based on what the law says about transitions plus what research tells us works best to support young people with additional support needs making the transition to adulthood in Scotland.

The Principles make it easy for everyone to see what organisations should be doing to make sure young people and their families have a good experience of leaving school and moving on to adult life.

They are there to make transitions for young people as effective as possible, but they don’t specify what good support looks like as this will vary depending on the individual.

You can find out more about the Principles of Good Transitions here.

The Principles aren’t laws, but they pull together everything the law says about transition plus what research tells us works best for young people and families.

They have been endorsed by many organisations that provide support for young people with additional support needs, the Scottish Government and national bodies.

Transition is how we describe young people developing from children into young adults.

It isn’t a single event, such as leaving school, but a growing up process over several years. It involves significant emotional, physical, intellectual and physiological changes.

Transition is generally accepted as covering the period from the age of 14 up to 25 years old. Over this time young people assume greater autonomy in many areas of their lives and have to adjust to different experiences, expectations, processes, places and routines.

It is a significant and formative experience both for young people and their parents and carers.

‘Additional Support Needs’ is a legally defined term for the support pupils need to overcome barriers to learning in school. It comes from the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004. This means the legal requirements are in place until someone leaves school, and so do not apply up to the age of 25.

However in the Principles of Good Transitions the term has been applied in a broader sense and extended to include the support needed to overcome barriers related to learning, life and work.

Principles into Practice

Principles into Practice is a draft national framework that offers practical guidance and evaluation measures to improve planning and delivery of support for young people aged 14-25 who need additional support as they make the transition to young adult life.

It is based on the seven Principles of Good Transitions and will help to embed these in policy, planning and practice across Scotland. 

Principles into Practice will enable everyone involved in planning and delivering services and support for young people who need additional support to:

  • Empower more young people to reach their potential
  • Give families the support they need during this important phase
  • Address long running and well documented challenges around providing support for young people with additional support needs
  • Move towards a preventative, rather than reactive, model of care and support
  • Make best use of limited resources and avoid duplicating effort
  • Evaluate the difference being made on a service- and area-wide basis
  • Provide a clear rationale for planning and commissioning decisions
  • Engage with and influence policy developments nationally.

 

Trials are taking place over 2 years in 10 local authority areas.

The Principles into Practice trial programme

ARC Scotland, supported by Scottish Government officials, are trialling Principles into Practice in 10 participating local authority areas over 2 years (2020-2022) to identify, design and test changes that transform how young people with additional support needs are supported in their transition to young adult life.

The purpose of the trial is to:

  • improve the lived experiences of young people (14 to 25 years) who need additional support to make the transition to young adult life, and to ensure young people are at the centre of all transition planning for their future.
  • test and bring Principles into Practice and its associated resources to completion so that by the end of the trial there will be a fully developed and tested framework, and evaluation resources, that will be freely available to every local authority area in Scotland.

 

There are 2 levels of the trial programme:

  • Universal. Eight local authority areas are independently trialling Principles into Practice in their area with some guidance from ARC Scotland.
  • Enhanced. Two local authority areas are participating in a more in-depth trial of Principles into Practice in collaboration with ARC Scotland and supported by Scottish Government officials. These areas are also trialling the web-based application called Compass.

Transitions occur throughout a person’s life. However a large body of evidence suggests young adult transitions can be particularly challenging for many people with additional support needs.

We want to ensure transitions are as straightforward as possible with young people at the heart of any change.

The Principles into Practice trial programme will help make a real difference to the lives of young people aged between 14 and 25 who need additional support as they make the transition to young adult life, and will ensure young people are at the centre of all transition planning for their future.

By the end of the trial we will have a fully developed and tested framework, and evaluation resources that will be freely available to every local authority area in Scotland.

Principles into Practice is being trialled in 10 local authority areas over the next 2 years, with support from ARC Scotland’s Scottish Transition Forum and the Scottish Government. These are:

  • Universal trial areas: Aberdeen City; City of Edinburgh; Inverclyde; Midlothian; North Lanarkshire; Perth and Kinross; Scottish Borders; Shetland
  • Enhanced trial areas: Dundee and Falkirk.
 

Compass, the digital transitions tool

Compass is a web-based application designed to help young people with additional support needs in Scotland to make a smooth transition to young adulthood.

There are two version of Compass – one for young people, and one for parents and carers. Prototypes of both versions are being tested as part of the Principles into Practice trial programme and feedback from young people, parents and carers in the trial areas will help make sure both are the best they can be.

The tool has been designed to provide tailored information and support for young people and their families at the right time for them and gathers feedback to help shape transitions services and policy in their local authority areas. 

At the moment Compass is only available to young people, parents and carers who are taking part in the Principles into Practice trial programme in Dundee and Falkirk.

We want to make sure Compass is the best it can be before it is made more widely available, which is why we are currently testing it with a small number of people.

Eventually we want Compass to be available to all young people, parents and carers who wish to use it.

Compass is only in the early trial stages and it isn’t available across Scotland. Unfortunately unless you’re in Dundee or Falkirk you won’t be able to access it yet.

We are working hard to make sure the application is the best it can be before it is released and we will make it available more widely as soon as we can.