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Careers and Transitions


Transition is a key time for any pupil but especially so for pupils with additional needs. For this reason, we prepare carefully for transition at Parkside at all stages whether moving from one class to another, from the Primary to the Secondary department or from School to Pathways or FE College.

Some of our children join Parkside part way through their school career. In these circumstances, we endeavour to make the transition as smooth as possible through meetings and taster sessions.

All children and their families will inevitably need to prepare for transition at some point however and we support pupils this process with a series of transition events at the end of every summer term. Teachers and support staff will use a variety of different ways to assist pupils with this process including using the use of social stories, visits and/or virtual visits to new classrooms or premises, and other useful tools such as learner profiles, with the specific purpose of familiarising pupils with their new class, new staff, and new expectations of learning.

Transition Post 16

Preparing pupils for the transition from school is a key priority in Key Stage 4. Most pupils will have been at the school for many years, for some since Year 3. The school understands that leaving school can be exciting but can also be a source of anxiety and confusion for pupils and parents/carers alike. Pupils begin to transfer over to adult health services at 16 and to other adult services, most notably social care, at 18 but there are other changes that happen at 16. The annual review is also used as a platform to discuss these changes and opportunities for our young people moving on.

Debbie Wicks

Debbie Wicks is the Careers Leader and Transition Teacher at The Parkside School.

Her role is to help us ensure that your son/daughter makes a successful transition onto a college or another provider post 16. She will be able to help with any queries about transition. These may be about choosing a college, a training provider, longer term plans or anything else. If Debbie does not know the answer to your query, she will endeavour to find out and will get back to you as soon as she can.

To contact Debbie Wicks, telephone: 01603 441126

Emily A’Court

Emily A’Court is the Careers Adviser at The Parkside School.

To contact Emily, telephone: 01603 441126

(Available Tues – Weds, term time only)

Natasha Peachment

Natasha Peachment and Vickie Hunter-Lines are our Parent Support Advisers at The Parkside School.

They are available to support families with signposting to specialist services. They can also support with form filling and benefits advice. They will attend meetings with families and help families to make links with other agencies and organisations.

To contact Natasha Peachment PSA Mobile 07553229651
(Available Mon – Thurs, term time only)

Vickie Hunter Lines
(Available Weds – Fri, term time only)

Travel Post 16

Post 16, families are provided with subsidised specialist transport by Norfolk County Council where it is deemed necessary. Some students may be able to lower the cost of travelling to FE provision by travelling independently.

As part of the curriculum at Parkside School we encourage pupils to become as independent as possible by using the TITAN for school programme, throughout the curriculum from the early years.

For those students who are able to travel independently at age 16, we work with Norfolk County Council Travel Training team (TITAN transport support programme). NCC staff will assess the needs of your child and provide a bespoke package of training in readiness to catch public transport to and from college, if they are deemed able to do so independently. Some post 16 providers also provide bursaries which can help with travel expenses.

Leisure Opportunities and Participation in the Community Post 16

Young people with SEND often need additional support to access leisure opportunities and participate in their local communities. There are many different opportunities listed in the directories on the Local Offer website.

As young people move towards adulthood the way they access support will change as they move to adult services. Young people and their families can be supported through this transition phase by the Preparing for Adult Life Team. (PFAL). The contact information for this team can be found on the Local Offer website (please use the Careers and Transition Padlet for a direct link).

Financial Support Post 16

Young people in receipt of DLA are required switch to PIPs, (Personal Independence Payments) at 16. There are other changes to the financial support available to them at 16 including the vulnerable student bursary available to 16-19 year olds. If you need support applying for or claiming for these there are lots of organisations out there that will be able to help you such as Citizen’s Advice or DAB (Disability Advice Bureau). Natasha Peachment and Vickie Hunter-Lines, our Parent Support Advisers would also be able to help or advise you with these changes.

Education & Training Post 16

It is a government requirement that young people remain in full-time education at least until the age of 18.

As part of their preparations for moving on from Parkside, initial visits are set up for Year 9 and 10 pupils to have a chance to visit different Colleges and FE provision according to their needs. Colleges are happy for families to arrange individual appointments to look around and we will signpost families to open days/evenings as and when they take place.

Further information about post 16 provision is provided at our termly parent evenings and at other local events as they take place.

Post 16 Progression Routes

At 16 there are 2 main progression routes: full-time education or work-based learning/training.

Young people can pursue a mixture of work-based and education-based qualifications and all courses are fully-funded by Education Funding Agency until the age of 18 and the Skills Funding Agency after that.

Our pupils at age 16 usually go on to further education college placements in one of these three ways.

Pupils with profound and multiple disabilities may gain a place in a 6th form at one of the Norfolk special schools for 2-3 years (Year 12-15).

Those pupils who intend to go to Further Education Colleges but need to gain further confidence before moving on, may be offered the opportunity to go to Pathways college for one year (Year 12). Pathways is Parkside schools one year 6th form provision.

Those pupils who are confident enough to go straight to further education will usually go to colleges such as East Coast College, City College Norwich or Easton College, depending on their geographical location and the course that meets their individual needs.

Careers Guidance

‘Schools should ensure every pupil, whatever their level or type of need, is supported to fulfil their potential. The overwhelming majority of young people with SEND, including those with high levels of need, are capable of sustainable paid employment, with the right preparation and support.’ (DfE Careers Strategy: Making the Most of Everyone’s Skills and Talents, 2018)

At Parkside, we strive hard to prepare our pupils for an adult life which is rich, rewarding and meaningful and to encourage them to become responsible and active members of the communities they live in. We welcome this strategy as we recognise that providing our pupils with meaningful opportunities that match their talents, abilities and interests is not always easy. We are tasked with not only raising the aspirations and widening the horizons of our own pupils but of raising the aspirations and challenging the stereotypical thinking of society at large.

Below, we outline how we have responded to this strategy and how we have fulfilled our statutory duties in this area.

Our Careers and Transition Team

Debbie Wicks
The Parkside School Careers Leader, transition teacher and careers advisor
If you are a provider wishing to request access for the purpose of providing information about your training or education offer, please contact Debbie on 01603 441126 or deborah.wicks@parksidemail.co.uk

Natasha Peachment and Vickie Hunter-Lines
The Parkside School Parent Support Advisers

Emily A’Court
The Parkside School Careers Adviser

Madeleine Matthews
Enterprise Coordinator

Responsible for supporting schools and colleges in the Norwich Opportunity Area

Parkside School does not currently have its own Enterprise Advisor but is supported by employers from the Careers Hub. 

The careers team meet termly. We use ‘COMPASS+’ to identify and plan how we can develop and improve our careers provision by assessing us against the Gatsby Benchmarks. We are striving to meet all of the eight benchmarks in line with best careers practice.

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges.


Starting Early

Careers provision for pupils with SEND ‘should be based on the pupils’…abilities and needs…differentiated…and based on high aspirations and a personalised approach.’ (DfE 2018) The DfE also suggests that transition planning should start early. This happens at Parkside through the annual review process and our individualised programmes of study.

Partnerships Working in the Community

We seek to build partnerships with businesses and other employers, employment services, and disability and other voluntary organisations, to help broaden our pupils’ horizons. We also value opportunities for our pupils to have encounters with the workplace and work experience for pupils for whom it is appropriate to take part.

Work Experience

When the pupils are in Key Stage 4 we seek to facilitate practical work experience opportunities both in school and in the workplace. We work with WEX, Norfolk County Councils work experience team to provide bespoke work experience placements linked to pupil interest, aspirations and abilities.

We have been able to set up placements with a number of local businesses and also local schools working in conjunction with WEX over time, and many of these placements are used by different pupils each year.

Some pupils have also taken advantage of in-house work experience placements, work shadowing the site team, catering staff and supporting in the primary classes.

A log book is kept by each pupil to provide evidence of their placement and that evidence may be used in future interviews at college or for a job interview.


All classes take part in at least one enterprise project during the academic year. These projects allow participation from each member of the class. It helps pupils gain an insight into the world of work and an understanding of what it means to run a business. The practical opportunities we offer our young people are a really important part of our provision, as many would find it difficult to conceptualise different workplace environments without direct experience of them in class.

Employers and Employees

Parkside encourages visitors to the school to share their work experiences with the hope of inspiring our pupils to raise their ambitions and pursue their ambitions. Each class is encouraged to have at least two of these kind of visits each year.

If you have experience that you would like to share with pupils at Parkside please get in touch with Debbie Wicks, the careers leader.

Careers Learning

Careers learning is built into the curriculum in a variety of ways depending on the age and ability of the pupil.

Our topic based curriculum includes aspects of the Gatsby Benchmarks from Year 3 onwards with a direct focus on meeting all the benchmarks from Year 7 onwards, as appropriate to the needs of the pupils.

Careers skills, such as enterprise skills are taught explicitly to some pupils through mini-enterprise projects and customer service skills are taught through opportunities such as class pop up shops such as class cafes providing hot drinks sales to staff, and growing our own plants and produce sales. For those pupils for whom it is appropriate to do so, we have the opportunity to take part in conservation work with The Broads Authority from year 10 onwards. Their education team work with us weekly providing hands on practical work experience out in The Broads National Park.

Careers knowledge, skills and understanding is built into the curriculum is being progressed within the development of the topic based curriculum.

Experiences are captured for each pupil and shared with parents and carers through our Assessment tool called ‘Earwig’. Earwig is able to track and report careers learning and experiences across the curriculum and throughout all of the years that the pupil is at Parkside School.

Pupils and their families are regularly signposted to other sources of relevant and helpful information via the Careers and Transition Padlet.

Provider Access Statement

Any provider wishing to request access should contact our careers leader if they wish to organise a bespoke visit, (see above) In addition, there are a number of parents evenings and other events every year to which providers are welcome. These are on our school calendar.

Parkside School reserves the right to refuse access where the provision is inappropriate for the needs of our children and young people. All providers must adhere to our safeguarding policies and all visits must not impact on the day-to-day organisation of the school in a way that is detrimental to the needs of the children and young people. Parkside School will make available any reasonable requests for resources or facilities that would support the visit and the delivery of information. This includes use of the school hall, classrooms and meeting rooms, AV and any other specialist equipment as appropriate to the activity. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Leader.

Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course literature with our careers leader who will ensure the information is shared with pupils and their parents/carers in a timely and impartial way. Please see our policy page for our Provider Access Statement.

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