Pilot evaluation of Transition Support at Hartlepool Borough Council

A pilot evaluation of the Transition Support programme.
Children leaving school

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) appointed the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to conduct a pilot evaluation of the Transition Support programme, which was developed and delivered by Hartlepool Borough Council. The programme provided support to children who are on a Child in Need or Child Protection plan during their transition from primary to secondary school. 

About the Study

The pilot involved training for schools and social workers; an administrative tool for schools known as the Transition Planning Profile Tool; and Person-Centred Planning meetings involving parents/carers, pupils, social workers and primary and secondary school staff. The pilot supported children who were in Year 5 and Year 6 and started delivery in February 2021.

NatCen’s evaluation aimed to evaluate the early implementation of the Transition Support Pilot to answer questions framed around the pilot’s feasibility, evidence of promise and readiness for trial. It also aimed to gather learnings for the planning of a larger evaluation.


The evaluation adopted a mixed-methods approach consisting of qualitative interviews, a pupil survey and analysis of administrative data, including the Transition Planning Profile Tool. The pilot evaluation involved observations of Teacher training and Person-centred Planning meetings and interviews with Hartlepool Borough Council pilot leads, school staff, social workers and pupils in Year 7. A pre and post survey with children in the pilot cohort was part of the evaluation design. However, the baseline survey was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results from the endline survey are included in the evaluation report.

The evaluation only included children who were in Year 6. There were 55 children from 21 schools in the evaluation cohort (this reduced to 47 by the end of the evaluation period due to attrition). The evaluation ran from January 2021 to March 2022.