Transferring school

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

Research covering in-year admissions found that, compared to their peers, the attainment of pupils who make in-year moves is markedly lower, particularly at Key Stage 4. Furthermore, attainment is lower still among pupils who make multiple in-year moves.

If you are thinking about a transfer of school, you should first of all discuss the situation with your child and your child’s tutor or senior/lead teacher in charge of admissions 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. If difficulties cannot be resolved and your child is in a secondary school, it may be appropriate for you to consider whether a trial at another school could be beneficial. This would need to be discussed with your child’s current school. You can read more about trials in the Fair Access Protocol.

A change of school may only move a problem rather than resolve it. It is 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 have 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 one in September, term three in January or term five 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.

Contact us: Email inyear.admissions@plymouth.gov.uk 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.