Last Updated: Thursday, May 05, 2022

Scottish Early Childhood and Families Transitions Statement

What is this?

​The Scottish Children and Families Transitions Position Statement recognises the value of working together with children and their families, positive relationships, positive continuity, learning, play and wellbeing.​ It seeks to inform and support the further development of local policy and transitions practice. This approach acknowledges that each learning community, setting and school will be working from a different starting point in their improvement journey.

Who is this for?

​The statement has been developed both as a call to action and as support for all those who place an importance on early childhood experiences. This includes educators, researchers, policy makers, families, associated professionals, educational systems and local and national government embracing the significance of transitions for children’s lives.​

The Position Statement is informed by a shared understanding of the importance of transitions and the need to address the impact of transitions in children’s lives.

The statement was developed in partnership between The University of Strathclyde, The Scottish Government, Education Scotland, The Scottish Childminding Association, Early Years Scotland and Glasgow City Council as part of the Transitions as a Tool for Change (TAATFC) project.

TAATFC was informed by the work of the Scottish Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET) Project. A series of Scottish Government funded national seminars and conferences for parents, practitioners, leaders and policy officials from across Scotland took place between 2015 and 2019.

The contributions of seminar participants at events led to the development of a paper from each event to support the sharing of key learning. Participant contributions from the series of events were then used to develop the national position statement.

The Six Principles

The statement elaborates six principles with the intention that they are all valued and respected through mutual knowledge sharing:

  • ​​aspirations
  • entitlements
  • expectations
  • participation
  • opportunities
  • contribution​


  1. Use the six principles in shaping policy and practices.
  2. Focus on children’s and families’ strengths, creativity, capability and competence.
  3. Recognition that attention given to transitions is part of ensuring quality in ELC and early Primary School.
  4. Confirm child, family and educator participation in transition approaches through mutual consultation and support.
  5. Include all families in transitions processes, providing appropriate support to ensure equity.
  6. Leadership and support for educators involved in transitions process, with a particular focus on play, pedagogy, curriculum and reflection.
  7. Recognition that the transitions that are part of our system can be opportunities and tools for change.
  8. ​Continued commitment to the entitlements of children, families and educators during the process of transitions.​​

Improvement questions

  • How does The Scottish Children and Families Transitions statement reflect your setting’s current transitions understanding, shared vision and practice?
  • How will you use the recommendations to improve your practice in supporting children and families at times of transition?​


PDF file: Summary statement - Scottish Early Childhood and Families Transitions Statement (182 KB)

PDF file: Scottish Early Childhood and Families Transitions Statement (812 KB)

PDF file: Transitions as a Tool for Change: Briefing 1 (110 KB)

PDF file: Transitions as a Tool for Change: Briefing 2 - Learning Journeys (116 KB)

PDF file: Transitions as a Tool for Change: Briefing 3 - Leading the Way (116 KB)

PDF file: Transitions as a Tool for Change: Briefing 4 - Family Engagement (130 KB)

PDF file: Transitions as a Tool for Change Conference Programme (654 KB)

PDF file: Transforming Lives: Succeeding against the Odds (846 KB)​​​​


See ​11 videos from the final TAATFC event, held at Strathclyde University in May 2019, in the following YouTube playlist (see small menu at top lef​t of video).​