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Secondary school admissions

In Year (mid-term) Transfers - things to think about

When a child enters primary school or transfers at 11 to secondary school, it is normally expected that he or she will continue at his or her school throughout their school career.  We recognise however, that there may be specific limited circumstances where a parent or guardian considers a transfer request to be appropriate.  As a parent or guardian, please think carefully before making an in-year transfer request.  A change of school may not be the solution and if undertaken hastily, may worsen the situation.  There is clear evidence that the attainment levels of children who move schools outside the normal admissions round are significantly lower than those who remain at the same school throughout their secondary education.

In deciding whether to apply for a transfer, it's best to consider the following question:

"Will a transfer be in the best educational or social needs of my child?"

School 

Have you fully discussed the problems your child is facing with their current school? In many cases schools can put measures in place to deal with any problems that a child has.  It may be that they are unhappy due to bullying, or finding it difficult to make friends; they might not be getting on with a teacher; they may be struggling with their work, or maybe not being challenged enough.

Whatever the problem, simply changing schools may not be the answer to solving it.  Indeed, the problems could get worse in a new environment.

Curriculum/exams

Although there is a National Curriculum that every child is expected to follow, each school will teach a different part of the curriculum at different stages and different times of the year.  If you change your child's school, they are likely to miss important work and their exam results are likely to suffer.  This is particularly relevant when considering a move for those children in Year 9, 10 or 11. Research has shown that pupils moving schools are far more likely to achieve poorer examination results than those who remain at the same school

Alternative schools

There is likely to be a small number of schools that have places available, particularly for some Year Groups.  The distances your child has to travel may therefore be considerably longer.  If there are no places available, and you still would like a place at a particular school, then it may be possible to appeal to an independent appeals panel.  There is however, no guarantee that this would be successful.

Whatever year group your child is in, it's important that if you are considering moving schools, you need to make sure that the school you choose is the right one for your child.  The best way to find this out is to visit the school you are interested in - speak to the headteacher (with an appointment) if you can.  Remember the question above, and find out how this school is different from the one they are at now.  Is your child going to find it easier to achieve at this school than their current one?

Transport

If you decide to move your child, the Local Authority will NOT provide free transport even if you live outside the travel limits for the school (3 miles for secondary, 2 miles for primary).  Journeys to a new school may involve additional buses, extra costs and travelling time.

Costs

All secondary schools have a dress code, which all pupils are expected to follow.  It can be expensive to buy new school uniforms.  Since April 2005, the Local Authority has not provided clothing grants.

Friends

Children enjoy the company of friends at school - for some it can be very hard to make a new group of friends in a new school, particularly where friendship groups have been established for a long time.

Stress

Even for an adult it can take a lot of courage to move to a new job, or a new place to live.  It takes even more courage for a child to move school - It may take them a long time to settle.

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