Transferring school

A transfer of school isn't a decision to be taken lightly, particularly mid way through a year. Many children can become unsettled by a change of school environment and may suffer emotionally as well as academically. Once examination options have been selected, which may be as early as Year 9, a transfer of school should be avoided because it will be difficult to match chosen options and exam boards in alternative schools.

If you're thinking about a transfer of school, you should first discuss the situation with your child and your child's tutor or Head of Year in their current school. It may be that any perceived difficulties can be resolved and schools have a number of strategies that can be put in place to help a child who may have difficulty with peers or settling into a school or who is experiencing other problems.

A change of school may only move a problem rather than resolve it. It's therefore much better to try to sort out any problems with the school before considering a transfer, particularly if your child is involved in carrying out coursework, controlled assessments or preparing for final examinations.

If you've changed address, it may be that transport difficulties are a problem. Nevertheless, you should still discuss the transfer request with your child's base school before considering a transfer to another school.

As part of the application process, the headteacher at your child's current school will always be notified of the request to change schools as they may wish to submit information to help consideration of your case.

Parents are entitled to request a change of school at any time during the year but a change of school will not normally take place until the beginning of term 1 in September, term 3 in January or term 5 in April unless:

  • the child is moving to a new address served by a different primary or secondary school
  • there are significant medical or social reasons supported by a medical practitioner or other professional why an immediate transfer is required
  • a child is taken into care or accommodated and the change is supported by a letter from a social worker
  • the request is accepted as a reintegration request

If your child currently attends a Plymouth school, that school will be informed of your request for transfer and will receive a copy of your application form as will any school that you request a transfer to.

You must discuss any transfer with the current school, preferably before applying for a transfer.

Your child's current school may advise you that a move isn't in your child's best interest and you're strongly advised to listen to the advice given by the school.

Contact us: Email or for further information about choosing and applying for schools call 01752 307170 or 01752 307110 for primary in-year admissions or 01752 307467 for secondary in-year admissions. School admissions staff are available from 11am to 3pm.