Understanding children’s, parents’ and teachers’ experiences of primary-secondary school transition in the context of Covid-19 lockdown: how can this inform transition provision now and in the future?

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Transition to secondary school is a major life event for eleven-year-old children in the UK, where they face simultaneous environmental, social and academic changes. Following the outbreak of covid-19, transition pupils face additional uncertainty on top of this. My previous research (Bagnall, 2020) suggests that without support, and if these discontinuities exceed the child’s coping capabilities, negotiation of the two major changes (school transition and covid-19) are likely to negatively impact children’s short- and long-term school adjustment and mental health. This is especially concerning given that the timely and sensitive emotional centred support, which we know that children need in the lead up to this period (Bagnall et al., 2019) is also threatened by the outbreak. There is need to take steps now and develop evidence to allow schools and policymakers to make evidence-based decisions to support children, especially given stretched child mental health resources.

In this talk, I will present findings from our UK wide longitudinal survey which explored children’s, parents’/guardians’ and Year 6 and 7 teachers’ experiences of primary-secondary school transition during covid-19 and how best to support them. I will discuss how we can draw on these findings, in addition to empirical research (including my PhD case study, focus group and intervention studies) and theory to provide an evidence base to support transfer children this year, during the unprecedented circumstances of covid-19 but also in future years.
Period5 Jun 2021
Held atSandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational