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“What can I do if I want to move my child to another school?”

We are well in to the new school year and for some parents and children it has been the rewarding experience that all had hoped for. However, sometimes the concerns about the school that you had originally were justified, or the outcomes you had hoped for just have not materialised; in this case what are your options?

If you want to move your child to another school during the current school year, then this is called an “In-Year" admission. In the same way that you identified schools of preference for the normal admissions round, you can still re-apply for places for schools from which you were rejected, or apply to entirely new schools. Whilst it is a very similar process, the course of “In-Year" admissions takes place outside the normal admissions round.

We suggest that your starting point is to do your research. All Local Authorities must on request provide a parent with a list of available school places for all schools within the Local Authority’s area. In addition, you should also review the individual web site for your school of preference, both for any information on available places and its “In-Year" admissions policy. Some schools manage their own “In-Year” admissions whilst others are overseen by the relevant Local Authority. Either way you will be able to find an “In-Year” admission application form either from the Local Authority or your school of preference direct. Independent schools will probably have their own arrangements but should be available via the school’s web site. It is then down to you to lodge your application(s).

The decision on your application is likely to take 10-20 working days, but the timetable should be set out in the application form itself or on the school or Local Authority web site. If your application is successful then your child will be offered a place at your school of choice. Timing of your application is important, because if you make an application during holiday time, it might not be considered until the return to school. Also, if your application is successful, your child might not be able to start at their new school until the next term or half-term.

However, if your application is not successful, then your rejection letter must set out the reasons for this and more importantly, your right to appeal that decision. Just like rejections of places at schools of preference in the normal admissions round, you have the right to appeal a rejection of an “In-Year” admission application to the Independent Admission Appeal Panel.

So these are the steps you can take:

  1. Make inquiries with the Local Authority about available school places;
  2. Be clear about the reasons why you want to move your child - this is vital in completing the application form for an “In-Year” admission. Focus on why your current school is not adequate and why your child would specifically benefit from moving to another school.
  3. Think about the timing of your application.
  4. Take advice if you need it.

Our Education lawyers are here to help you through the whole process or to focus on the appeal if your “In-Year” admission application is rejected. We can prepare the grounds of appeal and even appear at the appeal hearing to put your child’s case over.

If you are in need of assistance, please contact us on either 0808 168 5550 or

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