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.
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. Your child’s current school may well advise you that a move is not in your child’s best interest and you are strongly advised to listen to the advice given by the school.
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