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Frequently Asked Questions

See the Forms FAQ section to find frequently asked questions relating to using Early Years forms in Adobe Reader and sending them securely using Egress (secure encryped email).

Why has the transition process changed?

What is Egress?

Do providers have to adopt the new transition document and secure email solution?

How do I save my finalised pdf as non editable (creating a standard read only pdf)?

The radio buttons and drop downs don't work or when I save my file it is blank

How do I view all my Received/Created Transition Documents in a single spreadsheet?

Where do the parents sign to confirm they authorise their child's transition document to be sent to the receiving school?

Why has the transition process changed?

Prior to the transtion pilot (2016/2017 in Roxeth and Roxbourne wards), it was identified that we needed a:

  • Multi-agency approach to transition
  • Reassessment of the information required for transition across PVIs (private, voluntary and Independents) and schools
  • Secure approach to managing family information

This was confirmed during the pilot as the Early Years team, Early Support Hubs, PVI's and Schools worked together to support this.  Some of the key areas of resulting from the pilot are as follows:

  • A consolidated document of childrens information
  • The schools being able to extract information easily
  • Practical information to support settling the child
  • Supporting the transition process for SEND children
  • A stronger focus on the prime areas
  • Supporting accurate judgements
  • Parent friendly language
  • Developing partnership working

The outcome of these discussion has been the revised transition documentation and processes as well as the secure sending of documentation through Egress (secure mail solution).

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What is Egress?

Egress is a secure online email solution which is used across Harrow Council.  We have adopted this as a preferred solution for sending family information securely, which supports our roles as processors and controllers of information as we comply with the requirements outlined in the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR - May 2018).  Some of the key benefits of Egress are that:

  • Emails are encrypted
  • There is a two-step login process to authenticate the user when accessing the emails
  • There are permissions requriements to the sender should the mail be forwarded

More information on Egress can be found here.

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Do providers have to adopt the new transition document and secure email solution?

It is our recommendation through a collaborative effort that the new document, process and secure email solution is adopted across our providers.  The revised format has been adapted with a number of benefits outlined in the FAQ above (Why has the transition process changed?).  We do understand that for some settings this may be a large change, and we have had some providers in the pilot that have opted for a phased approach to transition, in that they adopted the revised document and process for a smaller number of children to assist their teams with the change and retained their legacy processes for others.  It is not a requirement to adopt the revised process but it is a proposed solution to better support settling and school readiness as children transition from Harrow providers (including childminders) to school.

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How do I send the finalised transition document as non-editable to the parent (creating a standard read only pdf)?

Please ensure that you send the editable pdf to the recipient school, this will support reporting on the data fields that you have completed.

For parents you can complete your pdf and make it non-editable.  Within Acrobat Reader, you can select File-Print and in the drop down list for Printers select Microsoft Print to PDF.  Whilst Harrow Council does not endorse any particular software solutions if you do not have this option available you can download a number of print to pdf application such as 'cute pdf' and others.  

Note:  If you use this option, if you want to retain the original editable version of the form, rename the file once selecting your chosen print to pdf option.  This will ensure that you do not overwrite the original file.  Once overwritten the original document cannot be recovered.

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The radio buttons and drop downs don't work or when I save my file it is blank

The issue is that you are not using Adobe Reader to open and edit your Transition Document rather when you open your Transition Document, it is opening on your default PDF reader on your system.  Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free here.

The solution is as follows:

  • Download Adobe Reader on your computer
  • Download the Transition Document to the specified location or save to your preferred shared storage solution location
  • Open Adobe Reader
  • From the menus in Adobe Reader use ‘File’-‘Open’ and navigate to the place where you downloaded the document and select file and 'OK'.  When opened in Adobe Reader your file should have full functionality.

There are quick keys to do this, navigate to file, right click (or ctrl+right click), ‘open with’, choose Adobe Reader.

You can check that you are using Adobe Reader by selecting 'Help' - 'About' in the Adobe Reader reader application.

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How do I view all my Received/Created Transition Documents in a single spreadsheet?

Extracting multiple PDF forms to a single spreadsheet.  With PDF forms you can extract multiple PDFs with the same form fields to a single spreadsheet.  In order to do this you will need Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

1. Save your completed pdf forms to a specific folder.

2. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

3. In the Main Menu (top menu bar), select File - Open and choose any non-related PDF

4. In the Toolbar (under the main menu bar), select Tools

Image to select Tools from the Toolbar

Select Prepare Form

Prepare Form Icon

6. You may receive a Select a file or scan a document to begin screen to prepare form, Select Start.

Select a file or scan to start screenshot

5. Once the Document screen is displayed on the right hand side of the screen in the Task Pane, select More and from the list select Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet

Select More from the right hand side Task Pane

6. An Export Data From Multiple Forms screen will appear.

Export Data from Multiple Forms screenshot

7. Select Add Files and navigate to the folder where you save your completed pdf forms.  

File Select Screenshot

8. Select all the files in the folder (Ctrl+A or select the top file and hold the shift key and select the bottom file) or select the files you wish to add to the spreadsheet and once highlighted select Open

File Open screenshot

9. The Export Data From Multiple Forms Screens will reappear and will be populated with the chosen files. Select Export.

Export Data from Multiple Forms screenshot

10. A Select Folder to Save File screen will appear.  The folder will default to the location where the pdfs you originally selected were located, you may choose to change this. The File name will default to 'report' you may wish to rename this.  Leave the Save as type as CSV.  Select Save.

Save screenshot, Filename report and .CSV file

11. An Export Progress Screen will appear. Select View File Now.

Export Progress Screenshot

12. Excel will open and all the information from the PDFs you selected will appear in the spreadsheet.  Note that each pdf extracted will appear on 1 row of the spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet will require formatting and you can tailor the sheet, sort and filter as required.

Spreadsheet example screenshot

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Where do the parents sign to confirm they authorise their child's transition document to be sent to the receiving school?

As part of the funding process the parents of funded children will have signed the most recent  Parent Declaration Form (222 KB) .  The Parent Declaration Form references the Transition Document undet the types of information shared section and in checking the Privacy Notice on the Transition Document providers are confirming that the parent is reviewed the Privacy Notice as part of the Parent Declaration Form. 

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