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School transfers and in-year admissions

School transfers, or in-year admissions, usually take place because a child is moving to a new address or is new to the area.

Before you apply

Before you apply, you need to consider whether a school transfer is best for your child and their education.

An application to change a child's school will need careful consideration. As a parent or carer, it is important that you consider the effects changing schools might have on a child. Moving schools can have negative effects on children including poorer attendance, lower grades, feeling disengaged with school, reduced confidence and self-esteem and increased chances of developing anxiety. When moving schools, it's not just the building that's new. Your child will also have to adapt to the teaching staff, who might be following a different curriculum. If they are behind or ahead in their new class, they might lose interest during lessons. The transition can be tough for young people, especially when they are dealing with difficult changes in their personal life at the same time. 

In particular you should be aware that the last two years of secondary school (Years 10 and 11), when children are preparing for their GCSEs (in some schools this could also be in Year 9), it is generally considered that changing schools at this stage should be avoided. This is because it may have a damaging effect on the examination results your child can achieve. It is worth noting that your preferred school may not offer the same GCSE options as the ones your child may have already started, and in some cases the curriculum and examination boards may not be compatible. There are very few differences that cannot be resolved if an issue is discussed openly and reasonably between the school and yourself.

If your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan, contact the SEN and engagement team at sensection@stockton.gov.uk.

 

School transfers that are unrelated to a house move

If your child is already attending a school, try to resolve any issues with them before requesting a move.

Schools will be able to offer a better and more appropriate solution for you and your child instead of seeking a transfer from their current school to another, so we suggest you speak to your child's current school first. Below are two options to discuss with the current school before submitting a transfer, managed moves or direction off site.

Managed moves

Principles

  • a managed move is never an early or first response when a child is struggling at school because of their behaviour
  • as managed moves should be part of a planned intervention in the best interests of the pupil
  • a managed move can help children and young people who are experiencing significant difficulties in school for various reasons and where school action has not been able to remedy it and who may benefit from a fresh start

A managed move is not appropriate if:

  • it would not ultimately be of benefit to the child
  • a parent is seeking a straightforward transfer to another school
  • the child is not on a school roll
  • it is being used to improve behaviour (off site direction should be used in this instance)
  • the child would be unable to return to the home school if the placement is unsuccessful

Criteria

There are several reasons why a managed move may be considered for a pupil and would be based on the individual circumstances of the pupil. These may include:

  • safeguarding
  • breakdown of relationships between pupil and school despite support offered
  • extremely low or non-attendance because of difficulties within the home school
  • to prevent permanent exclusion
  • following a successful period of direction off-site

In Stockton-on-Tees we are committed to the following when deciding if criteria has been met for consideration of a managed move:

  • a willingness for a flexible approach
  • honesty and integrity always
  • that the decision being made is for the child or young person and not for the school
  • is not being used to solely improve behaviour
  • school interventions have been in place with minimal or no impact
  • that support from other agencies has already been sought and delivered with minimal impact

Direction off site

Principles

  • this is an intervention that can be used when school-based strategies or interventions have not been successful in improving behaviour
  • pupils can be directed off site to either another mainstream school or to an alternative provision
  • placements at an alternative provision can either be part time or full time. Direction off site should still provide a broad and balanced curriculum alongside support to improve behaviours

Criteria

There are a number of reasons why direction off site may be considered for a pupil and would be based on the individual circumstances of the pupil. These may include:

  • safeguarding reasons
  • to improve behaviour
  • extremely low or non-attendance
  • to prevent suspension or exclusion

In Stockton-on-Tees we are committed to the following when deciding if criteria has been met for consideration of direction off site:

  • a willingness for a flexible approach
  • honesty and integrity always
  • that the decision being made is with the interests of the pupil in mind and not just for the school
  • school interventions have been in place with minimal or no impact
  • that support from other agencies has already been sought and delivered with minimal impact

If you still feel that the only option for your child is to seek a transfer from their current school to an alternative one, please note that many of our secondary schools have very few spaces and changing schools may not be possible or quick to resolve.

 

How to apply

You will need to do a few things as part of your application.

Discuss the move with your child's current school

You should discuss your child's move with the school.

If you are requesting a move from another school within the UK, especially from within Stockton-on-Tees, you need to provide information from your current school as part of your application form.

If you are moving from another country, you do not have to provide information from your child's previous school but it will help your child's transition if you can.

The information helps to make sure that your child's transition goes smoothly. It is not used in the allocation process and will not disadvantage your child during the move.

 

Choose a new school

You can apply to up to 3 state schools. To help you decide which school is best for your child, you can look at their websites or arrange visits. 

We cannot guarantee a place in one of the schools you applied for as some schools will be full.

Find a school

 

Proof of your address

You should provide your current address, your new address and tell us when the move is due to take place.

To prove when you are moving into your new home, you must provide one of the following:

  • you have sold or are in the process of selling your previous property
  • your previous tenancy agreement has ended

 

Apply for a school transfer

When you have completed the steps above, contact us to apply for a school transfer. You should apply for your transfer no earlier than 4 weeks before you need the new place.

01642 526605
school.admissions@stockton.gov.uk
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Municipal Building
Church Road
Stockton-on-Tees
TS18 1XE

If you are in the armed forces or you are a Crown Servant to the area, you can contact us as soon you have a Unit Postal address or a quartering area address. You will need to provide an official letter confirming your relocation date and this address as part of your application.

 

 

After you apply

If we have all the information we need, you should hear about the outcome of your application within 10 school days of submitting your application. If none of the schools you have applied to have a space, you should receive an alternative offer within 15 school days.

If none of the schools you listed can offer a place and your child still needs a school place, we will where possible, offer a place at the school that is nearest to your home and has space. 

Due to the pressure of places in some schools, it may not always be possible for us to place siblings in the same school.

If you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools, you can submit an appeal.

 

 

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