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What you need to know about changing schools during the year

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Admissions, school admissions

A child and parent getting ready for school

Sometimes it is necessary for children to change school during the school year, for example if they have moved house into a new area.

Although for most families this isn’t the ideal situation, fortunately the process itself is straightforward. Here we tell you all you need to know about how to change schools in-year.

How to change schools in-year

To change your child’s school in-year, you will need to apply to either the school you wish your child to go to, or your local authority. This is known as an ‘in-year application’, and they are needed for children requiring a school place during the school year, rather than at the usual transfer time.

The process for applying for a school place in-year can differ greatly from area to area.

You can apply directly to the school of your choice, where the school has its own admissions authority (for example academy schools, foundation schools and voluntary aided schools).

For community or voluntary controlled schools or where the local council has agreed with other local schools to coordinate their in-year applications for them, you will need to apply through your local council. Your local council website will tell you whether to apply direct to the school or to the council.

Local councils are still required to provide advice to parents on vacant places in their area where this is requested.

To find your new local council, visit: Find your local council - GOV.UK (

Once you have found your new local council’s website, their ‘schools/education’ page will have information about transferring your child to a school in their area.

Most councils recommend that you do this online but some have online forms you can download, print and post to them once completed.

Can my current local council help me transfer schools?

Local councils may have different advice available.

For example, local councils in large cities like London have contact information for neighbouring boroughs.

It is best to seek the information of in-year admissions from the local council you wish your child’s new school to be in.

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