Before you make an application, you must discuss a change of school with a senior member of school staff of your child’s current school.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to change your child’s school during the academic year, but it is important that you consider whether a transfer is really the best option.
Changing schools can have a negative impact on your child, such as:
- disrupting their education, which may affect academic progress
- affecting their social environment, friendship groups and extra-curricular activities
- the school you want might not have a place available for your child and if you are hoping to transfer siblings, they may not all be offered the same school
- the number of qualifications your child can achieve in Year 10/11 will be affected if the new school does not have the same academic options available. You will need to consider the possible implications of your child not being able to continue studying the same subjects or option choices and their existing coursework not being applicable to a different examining body.
Unless absolutely necessary, such as following a house move, you are strongly advised to work with your child’s current school rather than transfer.
Talking to your child and staff at your child’s current school may avoid the need for a transfer.
If your reason for transfer is covered below, you should take the steps indicated before making an application.
Common reasons for requesting transfer
Dissatisfaction with the school
You should: Discuss your concerns with the head of year, class teacher or headteacher. If you feel the school has not responded appropriately, you should ask the school for a copy of their school complaints procedure and follow the steps outlined. School complaints must be taken seriously.
Our advice: In our experience, moving because of dissatisfaction with the school does not solve the problem. We often see this type of issue resurfacing at the new school and that’s why it’s best to address it before you move.
Non-attendance at school
You should: Sit down with your child and try to find out why he or she is not attending school. Talk to your child’s teachers. Are there any subjects that he/she is worried about?
Our advice: Children must attend school. We often find that by talking to your child and the school, the issue can be identified and steps put into place. Please ask the school to provide you with the contact details of their education welfare officer.
Bullying and emotional wellbeing at school
You should: Contact your school and ask for a copy of their safeguarding, anti-bullying or emotional wellbeing policies (bullying would be considered behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, which intentionally hurts others either physically or emotionally).
If you feel these policies have not been followed, you should inform the school.
All schools have a responsibility to address bullying and all schools are equipped to deal with this.
If you feel they haven’t, contact the headteacher or governing body. If the bullying is particularly severe you can also contact the police, that is, if also occurring outside of school.
Our advice: All schools have a responsibility to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of their pupils. If this has not been the case for your family, it must be raised with the school which can mediate, move classes, and so on.
You should: Make an appointment to speak to the headteacher, if this does not work, you can raise a complaint. Ask for a copy of their school complaints procedure and follow the steps outlined. The school has a responsibility to resolve issues with your child.
Our advice: We recommend parents discuss the issues with their current school. It would not be appropriate to expect your child to move or to have a ‘fresh start’ because the school is not able to address your concerns (or not given the opportunity to resolve the issue).
Your child could face exclusion
You should: Talk to your child’s teacher, head of year or headteacher. Check if your child has a pastoral support plan, positive behaviour plan or has been identified as having special educational needs. Ask for a review of the pastoral support plan or any other plans that are currently in place to support your child's behaviour. If they are not receiving any additional support, ask to speak to a staff member to discuss this.
Our advice: If there are behaviour concerns from the school about your child, we do not recommend moving them to another school. No school should be suggesting this to your child. A disruption could make the issue worse. If you require support with this, please contact us.
Additional Learning Needs (ALN)
You should: Talk to the teacher in charge of Additional Learning Needs (ALNCo) at the school and email the local authority’s ALN and Inclusion team at GweinyddolADYaCH@gwynedd.llyw.cymru Make an application - the link opens a new tab.
Our advice: We recommend that parents engage with the school’s ALN Co-ordinator or pastoral support team.
If after working with your child’s current school you still want to transfer to another school, you will need to make an application.
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