Transitioning / Leaving School

Transition Services and the Transition Plan

Transitioning from school life is a significant milestone or rite of passage for young people. It is the process of deciding where and what they want to do with their life once school finishes. Transition Services funded by Ministry of Social Development seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes: participation in employment, and/or participation in the community.

Participation in Employment

Transition Services will be focused on linking young people into paid employment opportunities with the same rights, conditions and obligations as other workers. Employment may include full-time or part-time work, temporary or casual work, or self-employment.

Activities that the Transition Services Provider may refer participants to may include:

  • Job search and confidence skills
  • Career support guidance
  • Assistance in gaining skills and work experience

Participation in Community

Transition Services will also be focused on enabling young people with disabilities to participate in and contribute to the wider community including activities such as:

  • Voluntary work
  • Activities, services and facilities that are part of the daily lives of New Zealanders
  • Support to people to achieve valued roles in the community (eg student, team mate, colleague, volunteer work, teacher, parent)
  • Activities that develop skills for daily living and participating in the community.

What is a Transition Plan?

A Transition Plan assists the Transition Service, school and student with understanding where he or she is going and allows:

  • The Transition service to co-ordinate a wide range of activities that are aligned with the student's aspirations and goals.
  • The student to participate and take responsibility for the achievement of Transition goals
  • The school to include skills required to reach his or her goals into their educational activities
  • The Transition service to work closely with both the student and their support networks (including school, parents and personnel from other agencies) to achieve Transition goals.
  • Referrals and linkages to other services/community agencies to assist the student with achieving their Transition goals.

The actual type of coordinated activities provided by a Transition Service can be complex and varied. Typically Transition Services provide information and support around:

  • Further adult education
  • Work Experiences
  • Community experiences
  • Movement into or towards paid employment
  • Living and accommodation arrangements
  • Community participation and involvement (including recreational and leisure needs)
  • Acquisition of daily living skills needed for living within the community
  • And skills that will assist with achieving employment goals.


Funding for Transition Services and Disability Supports

The Ministry's Disability Support Services (DSS) are responsible for the planning and funding of disability support. Funding for services can be accessed through a Needs Assessment & Service Coordination (NASC) agency.

The following NASC agency's service the areas below:

The regional NASCs provide:

  • Assessments
  • Referrals to services
  • Provide funding
  • Manage payments



In Auckland, exists a Parent & Family Resource Centre called Disability Connect, they hold regular informative Seminars around Auckland to assist you with navigating the Transition process. They also outline the different funding streams, along with the legalities around welfare guardianship once your child moves onto adult life. You will begin the Transition process usually a year before your child is ready to leave education.

In certain areas outside Auckland a system transformation under a new model is beginning to be rolled out called Enabling Good Lives (EGL) which will affect the future direction of disability support. You can read more about this system transformation by visiting the Office of Disability Issue's website and reading the New Zealand Disability Strategy This strategy will guide the working government on disability issues from 2016 to 2026.