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Managed moves - Advice for parents

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

It is a temporary arrangement of up to 12 weeks, after which all sides agree on whether the transfer should become official.

Current government guidance states that parents should never feel pressured into removing their child from a school under threat of permanent exclusion.

A managed move could be set up if:

  • your child has been identified as being at risk of exclusion or has significant attendance issues
  • the school have already tried other strategies to support you and your child but the risk of exclusion or disaffection remains.

A managed move is not appropriate when:

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

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

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

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

Preparing for a managed move meeting

Try to consider in advance the benefits of your child being in another school and how you may support him or her to make the move a success. It will be helpful to talk to your child about what you think may be reasonable to expect the school and anyone else involved to commit to during the move. Remind your child that the purpose of the move is to support them to make a successful transfer to another school.

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

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.

Review meeting

A formal review is held at the halfway point with a final review at the end. During this time your child will remain jointly registered with both schools.

A member of the school staff will normally meet your child regularly to review their progress. This will give your child the chance to talk about what has gone well and how to continue to be successful.

The key people who attended the original meeting will be invited to the mid-term review and the final review to talk about:

  • your child’s progress and attendance
  • any concerns about the placement
  • the support in place
  • any new strategies to help your child settle at the new school

After the final review if the managed move has been successful, your child will transfer to the new school permanently.

Special educational needs (SEN) 

If your child has identified additional educational needs he or she will continue to have support during the period of the managed move. If your child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) the school must liaise with the SEN and EHC Team before any discussions can take place.

If the managed move is not successful

The head teacher of the proposed school can end the move at any time if the managed move is not working. 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 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.

If you would like to discuss the managed move process please get in touch:

Last updated 18 December 2023