Portsmouth parents and carers who have children with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) will benefit from ten top tips for little ones starting primary school in September.

Portsmouth SEND Local Offer, is a council service that provides information for families who have children and young people with specialist needs.

The move from early years to primary can be a challenging time for families as children will be unfamiliar with their new surroundings. This can cause worry for parents/carers as well as anxiety in children.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Moving from nursery to school can be a tricky time for families, if they don’t have the right information when they begin that journey.

“The earlier you take that step from pre-school, the easier it will be. These top tips break down what you need to know into bite size chunks, providing techniques and strategies you can use to help your little person adjust to their new school.”

Top tips include visiting the school they are moving to regularly, organise a play date with other families and creating a scrapbook together.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Portsmouth SEND Local Offer is designed for parents and carers who need advice and support. These top tips provide a starting point when making that move from pre-school to primary.

“It is clear that families value forming support networks during this time as a way to share experiences and learn from each other. The biggest takeaway from these tips is the earlier you start the conversation with primary schools, the easier it will be.”

Alongside these top tips, a local mum has shared her experience of working with professionals to support her three children. While the initial steps were challenging, the advice she received was useful in helping her along the way.

For more information about moving from pre-school/nursery to primary in September, visit www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org/septemberstart