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Should You Move Your Child to a Different School?

By: Susan Hunt MA - Updated: 19 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
School Move Moving Child Friends School

Some children spend only a short time at a school because their parents change jobs on a regular basis and obviously the move is unavoidable. If you do have a choice about moving them, however, then you should consider the decision carefully.

The first thing to bear in mind is that younger children in particular can be extremely fickle about school – and their playmates. One day they have best friends and the next they’ve had a falling out and don’t want to go to school.

Sometimes, a child has been happy at a school but then changes classes and starts feigning sickness to avoid going. Often, this is because they’re missing the familiarity of their last teacher – and they will probably settle given a little time.

In some schools, they “mix up” classes as children progress through the school and sometimes the problem is that their close friends have now gone into a different class. Again, chances are that given a little time they will find new friends to play with so don’t take any decisions about moving to a new school until at least the end of the first term.

Bullying is one of the most common reason for parents deciding to change schools – but quite often, moving your child is not the answer. If your child is timid (or possibly a little different from others) then they could be the target of bullies at their next school too.

Contact School

The best course of action is to get in touch with your current school and explain that your child is being bullied and is unhappy. Most schools have a policy to deal with bullying and would always want to be told about the problem. If the problem is a teacher – for example if your child says she’s afraid of the teacher – then make an appointment to discuss the situation with the school. Lots of teachers shout – but some children find it frightening.

It may be that you want to move your child because they aren't making good progress and you think they'll do better at another school. This might well be the case - but you should speak to the school before making any decision.

It could be that the problem lies with your child, rather than the school in which case you will be putting them through the trauma of a new school for no good reason.

Children can be affected by all sorts of things such as tension at home, bereavement or simply laziness! Sometimes they sit next to a friend and are distracted - in which case the simple remedy is for the teacher to move them to different tables.

If a change of school is unavoidable, then do all you can to make sure your child doesn’t find the move too distressing.

Playmates

When a child is moving to another school in the same area for personal reasons, then try to find another child of the same age who already attends the school. Arrange for them to meet up or go to the park together so there’s at least one familiar face when they go there.

If your child is upset about moving to a school a long way off, then give them the opportunity to tell you about their feelings. Invariably if they have close friends at their current school, they will ask how soon it will be before they see them again.

Trips Back

If you can travel back within a few weeks or so – even if it’s quite a long journey – then reassure your child that they will be seeing their friends again. (Hopefully by then they will have already settled and made new friends – but if you tell them before the move that they can’t come back, they are likely to be very upset.)

Of course, if you are moving abroad then it’s difficult to promise a return visit in the near future – but maybe you could suggest keeping in touch by letter and postcards. If they are old enough to use the telephone or email, then make sure they swap details with their friends so they can keep in touch. You could also consider getting a webcam so they can ‘see’ their friends whenever they like.

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Momma Soph - Your Question:
Hi,We recently moved house in November got settled etc, Now we want to move my child to a better school. I used to live right by the current school she is at, but now moved 1.7 Miles away and found a school that is closer to where I live with a better ofstead, She is in reception at the moment and turns 5 in August.What are the success of her moving? I contact admissions, I have been told to fill a form in and send back expect to be on a waiting list of some sort.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is impossible to predict. Much depends upon whether the school is at full capacity, and/or how long the 'waiting list' is you may wish to find both factors out ahead of your application. The school should be able to tell you more directly.
GetTheRightSchool - 20-Jan-17 @ 11:09 AM
Hi, We recently moved house in November got settled etc, Now we want to move my child to a better school.I used to live right by the current school she is at, but now moved 1.7 Miles away and found a school that is closer to where I live with a better ofstead, She is in reception at the moment and turns 5 in August. What are the success of her moving? I contact admissions, I have been told to fill a form in and send back expect to be on a waiting list of some sort.
Momma Soph - 19-Jan-17 @ 11:51 AM
Chad - Your Question:
Hi my daughter started high school in September & only 2 friends went to the same school as her & all of her other friends went to another local school. She isn't in any classes with them either & She is really struggling to make new friends & is really unhappy at school to the point she has just cried for days in her room & wants to switch schools so that she's at the same school as most of her friends. I have spoke to the school about it & they had a chat with her but that was it. Now a couple of months later she still isn't settled & still wants to move. I've explained to her though that the other school is a bigger school & might be in the same situation that she might not be in any of their classes either or see much of them. I really don't know what to do. I don't want to move her really as its closer to home & a good school & smaller also so less children to a class, plus the disruption. But I also don't what her to be miserable & her school work be affected if it continues as she's always done really well. She's not wanting to go to school either where she's never bothered before.

Our Response:
You would first have to see whether there are is an availability in the preferred school by contacting your local LEA. Based upon that information, and if there is, you can then move forward to decide whether it is in your daughter's best interests to change her school.
GetTheRightSchool - 13-Jan-17 @ 12:47 PM
Please help I want to change my daughters school in mid year but I'm not sure if it is good decision or not ! (She is in yr 2) The reason I want to change is the education level is poor in current school and the ofested report is not good at all . The new school I applied for they offered her space and it's good school .I don't know to change her or not ! She made really good friends in her current school and she is veryhappy there . Please I need some advice!!
Viga - 13-Jan-17 @ 10:47 AM
Hi my daughter started high school in September & only 2 friends went to the same school as her & all of her other friends went to another local school. She isn't in any classes with them either & She is really struggling to make new friends & is really unhappy at school to the point she has just cried for days in her room & wants to switch schools so that she's at the same school as most of her friends. I have spoke to the school about it & they had a chat with her but that was it. Now a couple of months later she still isn't settled & still wants to move. I've explained to her though that the other school is a bigger school & might be in the same situation that she might not be in any of their classes either or see much of them. I really don't know what to do . I don't want to move her really as its closer to home & a good school & smaller also so less children to a class, plus the disruption. But I also don't what her to be miserable & her school work be affected if it continues as she's always done really well. She's not wanting to go to school either where she's never bothered before.
Chad - 12-Jan-17 @ 7:00 PM
@Lisamarie - I wouldn't move your son purely over incidents with this other child. Situations can change overnight and this may not be an ongoing situation with this child. If the school isn't doing anything, then complain in writing to the head. Regards, Jill.
JGC - 21-Dec-16 @ 12:54 PM
My son started school in September it was not the school of my choosing so I have not been happy from the start. A little boy in his class seems to be a menace my son comes home almost daily with a note stating his been hurt by a child never a name but my son states it's always this little boy.He has thrown my son on the floor and put his hand in his face not letting him get up, poked him in the eye, banged his head against the fence in the playground and many other incidents my son came home with a split lip today stating a group of boys were getting boisterous and my son caught his lip on the fence!!!!! I'm furious and have spoken to the teachers and he head several times they all seem to be protecting this child. I may have a chance to move him my son overheard me on the phone this evening and got really distressed when he thought I might move him,he loves going to school and seems to love his school even if I don't I'm in between a rock and a hard place if I get offered a place elsewhere I really don't know if it will be the best thing help.
Lisamarie - 20-Dec-16 @ 9:41 PM
Richard - Your Question:
I hope someone can help. I am separated from my children's Mother but I still maintain regular contact with my boys aged 6 and 4. The youngest had some behavioural issues when he started school in September but he has now had two weeks of perfect behaviour. My 6 year old has excelled at the school and always enjoyed going. Out of the blue this weekend the boys told me they were leaving the school at the end of this term. I have questioned the wisdom of this with my ex who states I have no rights in deciding where my children will be educated. Is this correct? As I truly feel that after settling moving them would undo all the good work that has been done with my youngest boy.

Our Response:
You would have to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order if you wish to try to prevent your ex from moving your children's school. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child/children in question. The court will always put the children's best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. I hope this helps.
GetTheRightSchool - 12-Dec-16 @ 12:59 PM
I hope someone can help. I am separated from my children's Mother but I still maintain regular contact with my boys aged 6 and 4. The youngest had some behavioural issues when he started school in September but he has now had two weeks of perfect behaviour. My 6 year old has excelled at the school and always enjoyed going. Out of the blue this weekend the boys told me they were leaving the school at the end of this term. I have questioned the wisdom of this with my ex who states I have no rights in deciding where my children will be educated. Is this correct? As I truly feel that after settling moving them would undo all the good work that has been done with my youngest boy.
Richard - 11-Dec-16 @ 6:35 PM
I have a child in secondary school and the school he is at always complain about him now they don't talk about his education none his grades anymore they focused more on his behaviour on how he needs to be assessed on behaviour problems no teacher in that school give him credit all they talk about in his report is all about his behaviour. today on my son way he called me crying told me he was told for three days he isn't allowed to come to school, he said he has been crying for hours but nobody care about him in that same school. What can I do in this case.
Wome - 5-Dec-16 @ 11:11 PM
Blue- Your Question:
I have agreed to do a home swap I live in Southampton and I am going to the Isle of Wight but I have a 16yr old daughter who is half way through her last year of school and in the middle of doing her GCSEs and she is one of the top pupils and she wants to move with us but she is saying that the school will not allow it and the social services might get involved we have been waiting for this opportunity to move for some time and if we do not take it,It might not happen again and where we are now is affecting my health badly and my younger girls are very unhappy here can you please help advice anything please

Our Response:
While the school can voice its concerns, the school can't legally stop you moving as a family, unless there are safeguarding factors at play, in which case it would bring in Social Services. If there are no safeguarding issues, I'm sure if you can secure a school place for your daughter at another school, this will ease your passage. Whatever the case, you will need to speak with the school directly in order to find out.
GetTheRightSchool - 15-Nov-16 @ 2:18 PM
I have agreed to do a home swap I live in Southampton and I am going to the Isle of Wight but i have a 16yr old daughter who is half way through her last year of school and in the middle of doing her GCSEs and she is one of the top pupils and she wants to move with us but she is saying that the school will not allow it and the social services might get involved we have been waiting for this opportunity to move for some time and if we do not take it,It might not happen again and where we are now is affecting my health badly and my younger girls are very unhappy here can you please help advice anything please
Blue - 14-Nov-16 @ 11:11 PM
Julie- Your Question:
My daughter is getting bullied everyday. She has only got 9 months left than she moves into secondary school. We have been in to the school and told them about the bulling but the school just doesn't seem to listen. I am thinking of putting her into a different school but would they take her as she has only 9 months left. Thank you.

Our Response:
All schools have an anti-bullying policy in place, please see Family Lives link here. Therefore, you need to ask what the policy is and call your school to account if they are ignoring your daughter's case. You will also need to speak to the school directly and school admissions at your local council if you still wish to move your daughter. However, I'm sure this issue can be sorted out if you press her current school more firmly to bring about a resolution.
GetTheRightSchool - 10-Nov-16 @ 12:49 PM
My daughter is getting bullied everyday. She has only got 9 months left than she moves into secondary school. We have been in to the school and told them about the bulling but the school just doesn't seem to listen. I am thinking of putting her into a different school but would they take her as she has only 9 months left. Thank you.
Julie - 9-Nov-16 @ 7:34 PM
kelbel - Your Question:
We have recently moved from one end of the country to another because of my husbands job. we have two girls aged 9 and 7. I had concerns about the 9yr old settling but she has settled quickly.m 7_yr old started OK but has now become tearful, feeling poorly etc at night. she says she doesn't like the teacher ,school but does say she has friends but not the se as her old ones. she doesn't understand that we aren't moving back We at going to visit and she has written ,video chats and calls them. I don't no what to do feel like the worst mother. I hate seeing her upset

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I'm sure in time she will adjust and it can sometimes take a term or two until a child fully settles in. I can only suggest you speak to her head directly to see if there is something that can be done to help ease her into her new situation more gently.
GetTheRightSchool - 14-Sep-16 @ 12:22 PM
We have recently moved from one end of the country to another because of my husbands job . we have two girls aged 9 and 7. I had concerns about the 9yr old settling but she has settled quickly .m 7_yr old started OK but has now become tearful, feeling poorly etc at night . she says she doesn't like the teacher ,school but does say she has friends but not the se as her old ones . she doesn't understand that we aren't moving back We at going to visit andshe has written ,video chats and calls them . I don't no what to do feel like the worst mother . I hate seeing her upset
kelbel - 13-Sep-16 @ 8:21 PM
Dear Friend, Our son is moving into Yr 9 and desperately wants to move schools. He has worked hard at his current school and has received good academic reports. However, he has received low level bullying (whichcould happen anywhere) and does not like the school. He is about to start on the GCSE options and we are our desperate as we want him to do very well but do not want to sacrifice our son's happiness/welfare. We had tried out for an over subscribed grammar but he didn't get in and south London is so difficult as they're all over subscribed. We are willing to sacrifice for Private even though this would be a strain. Its just so difficult in this borough for good state even.
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teresawi - 2-Sep-16 @ 2:35 AM
I'm 16 and a junior at a independent study charter highschool. I've been going to this school for a year now and ever since I started I havent been happy there. I only go in once a week and the test is more on your ability to memorize than actually understanding the work. I haven't had a friend in years because I've never really met anyone through this school and I spend so much time in my room that I'm socially akward when talking to people. I dont remember how to act. And when I was in traditional high school I had horribly anxiety and panic attacks almost everyday at school, I felt constantly judged by my peers, I was unmotivated, and stressed out. I still feel unmotivated, worthless, judged by family, and anxious. I considering dropping out of high school and just taking an ABT test or SAT test and just start college. Or join a middle college high school. But I keep worrying about whether or not I'll be stressed there and can't handle it.My grades arent bad. Im behind in credits but my grades are A's and B's with like two C's. I have a bad attendance record though. I dont know what to do. Im not happy with my life at all,I feel miserable. I want to go to a school that will help me turn my life around. I want a school that's a good fit for me.
Angie - 12-Jul-16 @ 7:30 PM
Deena - Your Question:
Hi. I really hope someone can help/advise. I have moved areas and have changed my son's school a month ago. He hasn't really settled there as he still tells me he plays alone at playtime. This is not my only concern as I think this would improve with time. My main concern is that the school doesn't seem to be managed well. The head teacher has recently left and standards have dropped significantly. My son's homework has not been marked since he started. He hasn't been tested on his times table and he is not at all being challenged in class. He finds all the work very easy. After speaking to other mothers in other classes I have realised that the school is not very good at all.I have just found out that they may not have replaced him at his old school and wondered if it would be possible to ask for him to return to his old school! Really don't know how to go about it. Please can anyone help?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link herewhere you can complain about the school if you think it is underperforming. You would have to speak to the LEA directly with regards to school admissions and to see whether there are any places in your son's former school.
GetTheRightSchool - 22-Mar-16 @ 11:24 AM
Hi. I really hope someone can help/advise. I have moved areas and have changed my son's school a month ago. He hasn't really settled there as he still tells me he plays alone at playtime. This is not my only concern as I think this would improve with time. My main concern is that the school doesn't seem to be managed well. The head teacher has recently left and standards have dropped significantly. My son's homework has not been marked since he started. He hasn't been tested on his times table and he is not at all being challenged in class. He finds all the work very easy. After speaking to other mothers in other classes I have realised that the school is not very good at all. I have just found out that they may not have replaced him at his old school and wondered if it would be possible to ask for him to return to his old school!Really don't know how to go about it. Please can anyone help?
Deena - 21-Mar-16 @ 2:51 PM
My son is 13yr old I wanted to know how to go about moving him from his current school to another school?
sb - 19-Mar-16 @ 1:04 PM
My son wants to go to a high school where all his friends go. We don't live in the catchment area and his older brother is in a nearer school about to go to 6th form.I am a single parent and I can not afford the time or financial expense to send him to the school he wishes to go to. He is showing regular upset about this and is fuelled by his father, my ex, who is trying to fins ways of helping him to go. Although he pays £2.50 a week CSA for his son, he said he and his wife will pay the bus fare. I feel my son should be supported to manage the situation of going to his brothers school, however his father uses any opportunity to appear the hero and I do not trust him to pay.He currently has over £500 in child support arrears. I would appreciate others perspectives on this.
Tilly Mint - 14-Feb-16 @ 9:22 PM
ME - Your Question:
Hi can anyone help me answer this qestion for me my child is attending a secondary school and I have put in for a in year transfer and have been allocated a place for another secondary school as a parent do I have the right to take my child out of there old school p

Our Response:
I suggest you contact the school or LEA directly regarding this.
GetTheRightSchool - 10-Feb-16 @ 2:01 PM
hi can anyone help me answer this qestion for me my child is attending a secondary school and i have put in for a in year transfer and have been allocated a place for another secondary school as a parent do i have the right to take my child out of there old school p
ME - 10-Feb-16 @ 9:02 AM
Saraheph320 - Your Question:
My 7 yo son, diagnosed with ASD (Aspergers ) is being picked on at school by another special needs child. this has been going on since the start of autumn term (September 2015 ). He was moved to a different class from the other child but is still being picked on during play times. My husband and I have raised concerns at different times and have been met with excuses and denial. We were also told that it couldn't possibly be happening as the child was being monitored, they also said my son was fixated. Now, last Friday, my son received a head injury from being pushed into a wall,which required medical attention, so I wrote an official letter which was handed at the beginning of this week. I heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement, until today when we finally received a letter blaming our son, they are denying there is an issue and have not said anything abut it stopping. the bullying child is also hurting other children at the school, most of them fight him back and he leaves them alone but our son, cannot process in time so he cannot react quickly enough. His friends have all confirmed via their mums that our son is getting hurt but STILL the school deny it! I am now in the sad process of thinking about changing my son to a different school. how do I go about this?

Our Response:
If you feel you have been unfairly treated over this matter, you can complain via the link here.
GetTheRightSchool - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:31 PM
My 7 yo son, diagnosed with ASD (Aspergers ) is being picked on at school by another special needs child. this has been going on since the start of autumn term (September 2015 ). He was moved to a different class from the other child but is still being picked on during play times. My husband and I have raised concerns at different times and have been met with excuses and denial. We were also told that it couldn't possibly be happening as the child was being monitored, they also said my son was fixated. Now, last Friday, my son received a head injury from being pushed into a wall,which required medical attention, so I wrote an official letter which was handed at the beginning of this week. I heard nothing, not even an acknowledgement, until today when we finally received a letter blaming our son, they are denying there is an issue and have not said anything abut it stopping. the bullying child is also hurting other children at the school, most of them fight him back and he leaves them alone but our son, cannot process in time so he cannot react quickly enough. His friends have all confirmed via their mums that our son is getting hurt but STILL the school deny it! i am now in the sad process of thinking about changing my son to a different school. how do i go about this?
Saraheph320 - 3-Feb-16 @ 9:55 PM
Tt - Your Question:
I'm a junior in high school. I'm 16 years old. I've always been the out going bubbly person at school and here lately I've felt a little of what seems to be depressed. I only really have two friends at the school I'm at now and they are both in a "steady relationship" each of about 3 years. I feel like I don't really fit in anymore. I sit alone at my house on the weekends and don't really talk to anyone anymore. It's gotten to the point where I cry about going to school or I just don't go. I hate being there. I feel so lonely. There is a school about 15 minutes away from my house where I'm starting to become friends with the people there and I'm thinking about transferring there hoping I'll be happier. I don't know if I should stay at my other school and stick it out seeing as I only have a year and a half left or if I should take a leap and go somewhere I think I'll be happier at. I also don't know if it's a good idea to transfer because I am a junior and I'm so close to being done. If really love if I could get some advice. I just don't feel like myself any more and I hate who I'm becoming.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you feel like this. School can be a lonely place if you have few friends and when not occupied the days can seem really long and the weeks drag until the weekend. It is a tricky question to answer as apart from the way you feel, there may be no available places at this other school, so it would be worth asking your parents to enquire first before you get your hopes up. If you are going into sixth form, then you may be given the option to transfer and apply to this other school, so I would also make enquiries about this. You don't say how long you have been feeling like this, but sometimes things can turn around in a day, and you can make a friend or two from people you have never really connected with before. Joining after school or lunchtime groups may help here. As far as your weekends go, if you have any particular interests joining particular groups may also help broaden your social circle - it only takes one good conversation to make a new friend.
GetTheRightSchool - 27-Jan-16 @ 2:15 PM
I'm a junior in high school. I'm 16 years old. I've always been the out going bubbly person at school and here lately I've felt a little of what seems to be depressed. I only really have two friends at the school I'm at now and they are both in a "steady relationship" each of about 3 years. I feel like I don't really fit in anymore. I sit alone at my house on the weekends and don't really talk to anyone anymore. It's gotten to the point where I cry about going to school or I just don't go. I hate being there. I feel so lonely. There is a school about 15 minutes away from my house where I'm starting to become friends with the people there and I'm thinking about transferring there hoping I'll be happier. I don't know if I should stay at my other school and stick it out seeing as I only have a year and a half left or if I should take a leap and go somewhere I think I'll be happier at. I also don't know if it's a good idea to transfer because I am a junior and I'm so close to being done. If really love if I could get some advice. I just don't feel like myself any more and I hate who I'm becoming.
Tt - 27-Jan-16 @ 4:05 AM
Corrida I - Your Question:
My 14 year old son has been moved into another science class in another hall where he doesn't know anyone, the reason for this is due to a pupil from this class being transferred due to behavioural problems into his current class, and apparently they needed to moved one over due to numbers of pupils per class. And my son was randomly picked.My son doesn't have a behaviour problems and has never been in any trouble EVER at school.My son has been very upset with this for many reasons.He has always enjoyed science, but now believes the teacher has singled out and doesn't like him anymore, he feels he has been punished for what this other child has done. And all in all has taken this really bad, he made himself Ill thinking about this all weekend, which has concerned meMy son is very shy, although he is friendly he's not the type to approach others. I have made several attempts to talk to someone but have no response to any messages that I have left. Can I demand that they return him to his original class

Our Response:
You would need to speak to the school directly about this as we can't really advise on a decision his teachers have made.
GetTheRightSchool - 26-Jan-16 @ 2:23 PM
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