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Managed moves

A managed move is a formal agreement between a child, their parents or carers and 2 schools. It allows a child to have a trial transfer to another school.

Reason for a managed move

A managed move should be considered as part of a measured response to supporting the child’s emotional, social and behavioural needs. It is likely to be a strategy considered in the later stages of a pastoral support plan where there has been little or no evidence of success in the current school.

A managed move is not always appropriate

A managed move is not appropriate when:

  • a parent is seeking a straightforward transfer to another school
  • the child is not on a school roll
  • the child would be unable to return to the home school if the placement is unsuccessful

Managed move process

Please refer to the full guidance below before requesting a managed move.

Meaning of a managed move

A managed move is a formal transfer of a child from one school to another. It can only happen when both schools, the child, and their parent or carer agree to the move. It is used to help individual children to remain in school and complete their education.

Current government guidance states that parents should never feel pressured into removing their child from a school under threat of permanent exclusion (Guidance on exclusion from Maintained schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England 2012).

Timing of a managed move set up

A managed move could be set up if your child has been identified as being at risk of exclusion or has significant attendance issues that are affecting their access to education. The school will already have tried other strategies to support you and your child but the risk of exclusion or disaffection remains.

Parties involved in setting up a managed move

The managed move is arranged by the head teachers of both schools. If both schools agree, a meeting is set up at the proposed school with the senior staff from both schools, the child and the parent / carer. Wherever possible the meeting should be held within the normal school working day.

Parents are crucial to the success of a managed move and school staff will arrange a time when you can attend the meetings.

Child attendance at meetings

You will be able to agree with school staff whether your child should be present for the whole meeting or join in when appropriate. Generally, children at secondary schools attend the whole meeting.

Preparing for a managed move meeting

Before any managed move takes place, think about the benefits it may offer your child, such as a fresh start. Familiarise yourself with the policies and support structures that will be needed to make your child’s move a success. 

Talk with your child and ask them if they know who else may be involved in their move, what those others will be doing and what they will expect from your child. As good practice research the school and understand the ethos and the expectations regarding behaviour and attendance.

Aim of the first meeting

A managed move cannot be arranged if the home school make it clear the child cannot return if the move is unsuccessful.

At the initial meeting, everyone will consider the positive points and main concerns. Everyone present will have the opportunity to have their say and will be expected to offer some positive contribution to the managed move. 

Central to the move is supported and for any move to be successful your child will need to commit to meeting key behaviour and/or attendance targets. Everyone will sign the managed move agreement which outlines what is to be done, by whom and when.

Any transport requirements are the responsibility of the home school and the parent.

Length of time for the managed move

A managed move can run for up to 12 weeks. The meeting can decide on how long they think is appropriate to allow your child the opportunity to settle into the new school and show progress. A formal review is held at around the halfway point with a final review at the end. During this time your child will remain jointly registered with both schools.

Child's progress

A member of the school staff will normally meet your child regularly to review their progress. This will allow your child to talk about the positives and how to continue to be successful. The key people who attended the original meeting will be invited to both midterm and final reviews to discuss your child’s progress. 

Any concerns about the placement, the support and any new strategies implemented will also be discussed. Following the final review, if the managed move has been successful, your child will transfer to the new school permanently.

Managed move not successful

The head teacher of the new school can terminate the move at any time if the move is not working (e.g a serious breach of school policy or persistent failure to meet targets set). This would mean that your child would normally return to their home school. Details of what will happen if the managed move fails will be agreed upon at the initial meeting.

Admissions applications

If you have applied to West Northamptonshire Council to change schools, the school admissions team will process your application. 

If you have discussed and agreed to a managed move, then you should inform school admissions (in writing) that you have accepted a managed move so that your application can be closed, as managed moves are an agreement between two schools and not the local authority.

Before requesting a managed move

Before requesting a managed move, the head teacher should be satisfied all reasonable steps have been taken to resolve the pupil’s difficulties in school.

The headteacher must then consult the parents and the pupil about their views on a move to another school at a review meeting as part of the pupil's current pastoral support programme.

If parents agree that a managed move is appropriate, and written consent is obtained, they will be asked to express a preference for an alternative school.

Parents must, however, be informed that a request for a managed move may not always be accepted and also that any transport requirements are the responsibility of the home school and the parent.

When a receiving school has been identified and the parents have agreed, information will be shared with the potential receiving school. A meeting will then be arranged as soon as possible at the receiving school (good practice would be within 2 weeks) to agree on whether to proceed with the managed move.

After a managed move has been agreed

A member of the proposed school staff will normally meet the child regularly to review their progress towards the managed move targets. This gives the child the chance to identify what has gone well and how to replicate success.

During the managed move the proposed school will also provide the home school with a weekly record of the child’s attendance.

End of managed move period

At the final review meeting, a decision must be made as to whether the pupil transfers permanently to the receiving school or returns to the original school (preferably during the 6th week if successful but no later than 12 school weeks from the start date).

On the agreed date, the pupil’s name must be deleted from the admission register of the original school and added to the admission register of the receiving school.

Admissions must be notified of a successfully managed move so that pupil numbers at each of the schools in question can be updated. 

The School Attendance Support Service must also be made aware of the successfully managed move so that records can be updated.

Ending a managed move early

In exceptional circumstances (usually as a result of significant behaviour problems) the receiving school may wish to end the arrangement before the managed move is completed.

If so, the receiving school’s head teacher should consult with the original head teacher before confirming this in writing to the parents, specifying the date from which the pupil must return to the original school.

Last updated 06 December 2023