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Should You Move Your Child to a Different School?

By: Susan Hunt MA - Updated: 2 Nov 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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[Add a Comment]
@annoynymous teen - I really feel for you. But I think you do need to address the issues you have at your own school instead of possibily moving them on to another school. The fact you can make friends is great and you shouldn't take it personally that you have fallen out with your friends, as this is part of school life and happens all the time. However, you may wish to try to ask yourself why on both occasions this has happened and whether you can see a reason why. Tackling the reason why should be your first motivation, and then trying to make other new friends in your current school again should be your new objective. You obviously have lots of friends in and out of school, but finding out what the 'same problem' is and trying to put right the 'problem' will help first.
MissT - 3-Nov-17 @ 11:45 AM
Hi! I'm from england and I'm currently in year 8 in high school. I have struggled making friends as the group of friends i was with for a year decided not to be friends with me and after that i felt really upset and hurt. However after this situation, i made another group of friends yet again the same problem occurred. I want to move to a different high school and have spoken to my parent about it however I don't want to regret any decisions as it is a big decision. I'm worried that the same problems might happen in the new school and make it harder altogether however it could also me a solution to my problems.I know some people in this new high school and am friends with quite a lot of the students. I know it is a very hard school to get in and it isn't in our area and I'm just really confused as i absolutelu hate going to my current high school. Any advice?
annoynymous teen - 2-Nov-17 @ 6:56 PM
Bana - Your Question:
I moved from small town to big city my 12 yrs ADHD is having very rough time at school , he feels not accepted kids call him stupid and he told me what ever he says it turns to come against him , his self esteem & confident is crushed. Should I go back to the small town ??? We moved 3 months back

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise what you should do. The difficulty is that if you have moved your child from his previous school, there may not be a place left for him to re-enter his old school if his place has been filled.
GetTheRightSchool - 28-Sep-17 @ 9:52 AM
I moved from small town to big city my 12 yrs ADHD is having very rough time at school , he feels not accepted kids call him stupid and he told me what ever he says it turns to come against him , his self esteem & confident is crushed. Should I go back to the small town ??? We moved 3 months back
Bana - 27-Sep-17 @ 4:18 AM
@Iily - you need to talk to your aprents and tell them how you feel :( I hope it turns around for you. Misha.
MG - 19-Sep-17 @ 2:15 PM
I was in a school from the start it's been 10 years in the school my life there was amazing and exciting but my parents changed my school I suffered from depression and started to lose hope of making good time here which is making my interest gone for studies what should I do I miss my friends and everything
Iily - 17-Sep-17 @ 8:17 PM
Hi my 7 year old daughter has just went into year 3 she's very shy we were told who her new teach er would be before the summer holidays she cried her eyes out she's was having panicking attecks all because she didn't like this male teacher I tried to speak to school on numerous occasions I even made her try his lass a woman teacher was meant to sit with her but left her there I picked her up for lunch and she cried and didn't want to go back to school I rang the office they kept saying someone would ring me but they never did I kept her off the last 2 weeks on tuesday when they were meant to be back she screamed lost her breath I couldn't send her to school like that I once again rang the school asked for a meeting with the head teacher they said they'd ring me back the receptionist rang back the next day and said it wouldn't be possible to change her class or to have a meeting with the head and that I should find my daughter a new school I was actually abused at school at 4 yr old off a male teacher who got jail I was forced to go to school each morning I cried and screamed but wouldn't say why I didn't want to go I'm now having panicking attacks because of this and iv kept my daughter off its brought back so many memory's iv tried to forget I can't force her to go I just can't I don't want to change her school because I have a younger son that go's there and my niece and I want them to be together is there anything I can do to try and change her class
Gem - 7-Sep-17 @ 8:01 PM
I have been trying to enroll my son since 2011 for grade 1 in Clarence primary in Durban. He is now in Gr 5 but im more upset that he has been rejected since 2011 till 2016. This year i just gave up.
Bongi - 28-Aug-17 @ 11:07 AM
After telling my mum the conduct of behaviour on the behalf of the students at my school, it has her concerned that our education may not be going as well as we might have hoped. Everything goes alright usually it's just that a quarter of the time we aren't actually being taught anything of much use; meaning that she has got it into her head that we should move schools. However I'm not sure that it would actually get any better if we were to move, because what if what we think is bad, isn't actually in comparison? I guess I'm just nervous that if we did move it would be the same or worse elsewhere
Anxious Pupil - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:14 PM
I would like to change my daughter to another school she was living with my mom in Durban , and now my mom is not well so she live with my brother so there's no one to care of her I want her to come and stay with me
fikile - 22-Jul-17 @ 11:20 AM
I am an older single mum 61 I adopted my foster baby who is now 8 years old, she is a bright clever little girl. At 3 years old she started foundation at one school then we moved house and she continued foundation at her present school. The very first day she started full time school at 5 years old, the children were writing their name, when another child said my daughter was copying, the teacher dragged her to the floor by her arm, the child said my child was copying again, the teacher took my child in to the cloak room and shut the door and made her stay there for twenty minutes. I know it was this length of time because the next lesson was PE. At home time my child fell in to my arms sobbing heart broken, I was furious and went to see this teacher who completely denied this, I was really upset because anything could have gone drastically wrong as there were countless pump bags hanging up with long cords. All that term the teacher was very hostile towards my child. The next class the story was passed on to the next teacher, my child endured another term of being shouted at and being humiliated by this teacher, if I complained it made things worse for my child, however sheave out of this class with a very good report although this teacher told my daughter that if she thinks she's bad wait until you go in to the next class. My daughter is now nearing the end of the year with this new teacher who has emotionally abused my child, ignored her, and humiliated my child on a regular basis throughout this last year, and even told me that herlast years excellent report was all wrong and that my daughter is well behind. When I go to the school about this teacher it just makes it worse for my little girl, she gets upset of a morning and dreads school, even though she never breaks time. I am thinking of taking my child to a new school for the September term butboth the head teacher and the class teacher lie so much that I am afraid they will pass on some kind of report that will be full of lies and make me out to be some sort of neurotic mother.I just want my child to be happy and do well at school as I know she can. What can I do
Rosie - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:30 AM
Linz - Your Question:
I really don't know what to do with my six-year-old daughter.The last year she has made no progress whatsoever and the week before her Satz they phoned me up to say she wasn't bright enough to sit the exam I was fuming and I feel like they just leave her aside ,I'm not sure why they only told me a week before rather than few months before now I am paying private education to bring you up to where she should be, She say she wants to move schools and she's not happy there I'm not sure if it's the teacher she's got or the school she's got ???!!! ??

Our Response:
You should contact the Department of Education regarding this, as we can't comment on individual cases. Alternatively, you can complain via the link here .
GetTheRightSchool - 15-Jun-17 @ 2:22 PM
I really don't know what to do with my six-year-old daughter .The last year she has made no progress whatsoever and the week before her Satz they phoned me up to say she wasn't bright enoughto sit the exam I was fuming and I feel like they just leave her aside ,I'm not sure why they only told me a week before rather than few months before now I am paying private education to bring you up to where she should be,She say she wants to move schools and she's not happy therei'm not sure if it's the teacher she's got or the school she's got???!!! ??
Linz - 14-Jun-17 @ 1:36 PM
My son just started 5th year at high school he got his new timetable bfore the school breakup for the summer holidays he has being told he can't get national 5 maths because they are not enough maths teachers and their is only a certain amount of pupils can get the class they said it was nothing to do with his academic they put the names of the pupils into the computer and the computer picks the names of the pupils that don't have a place in the class he is sitting 4 highers this year and on 6 year do his maths higher so he can apply to a university but he can't get his maths at his high school can i apply to a different high school that will give him the subject's that he wants to achieve please help thank you.
AJ - 7-Jun-17 @ 11:07 AM
I am soon going into yr9 and I herd my parents speaking about me moving school's because of my class that keeps on districting me so I can't get the levels I know I can get. I mainly want to stay though because I struggle to find friends and all of my friends now are who I've been with since yr1 so what should I do?
Concerned student - 5-Jun-17 @ 12:33 AM
I would like to change my son to another school because he has not home work and they do not have any after school activities such sports, drama, music. This activities are in school time table. I'm concerned that he is spending a lot of time playing while my husband and I at work. Any advise please
Delia - 2-Jun-17 @ 8:16 PM
My child is in yr 5 she's been a victim of bulling but because she lies a lot no-one believes her I no she's capable of being a bright child but I'm so k and tiered of being called into the school about her lies and mouth she's said some horrible things but she doesn't mean what she's says half the time she has been through a lot in her life and all I want is a good education for her is it the best way to change schools the school she goes to is a brilliant school and she could benefit from it but I think she's not happy there so can I please have some advice on the best thing to do for her
Deb - 27-May-17 @ 10:39 AM
I applied for my daughter to move to An engineering school because that is her passion and she asked me to, but school has become brutal for her now, and she wants to move to a different school, then move to her engineering school because she was offered a place. What should I do?
J - 26-Apr-17 @ 11:31 PM
Disney- Your Question:
My husband & I are considering to move our 14 yr old son to a all boy school due to his change of behaviour. Unless we constantly ask if he has homework he will leave it till the last week of being due. My husband, our daughter & I have helped him on two assignments so as to be on time.Our son constantly back chats & questions when asked to complete his chores. We think it's a phase but am close to enrolling him in a all boy school. Will this be the right thing for our son?We have mentioned this idea to our son & why. The school of choice is a school we know he has friends in & my husband took our son to the open day to prove a point of seriousness. We're afraid it might make matters worst & seek advice.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise regarding this matter as every child is an individual and responds and reacts differently to particular situations. It may be that the new school will change his perceptions on the issues you have raised. However, he could just as much carry his attitude over to his new school.
GetTheRightSchool - 26-Apr-17 @ 10:32 AM
My husband & I are considering to move our 14 yr old son to a all boy school due to his change of behaviour. Unless we constantly ask if he has homework he will leave it till the last week of being due. My husband, our daughter & I have helped him on two assignments so as to be on time..Our son constantly back chats & questionswhen asked to complete his chores. We think it's a phase but am close to enrolling him in a all boy school. Will this be the right thing for our son? We have mentioned this idea to our son & why. The school of choice is a school we know he has friends in & my husband took our son to the open day to prove a point of seriousness. We're afraid it might make matters worst & seek advice.
Disney - 25-Apr-17 @ 7:43 AM
We just moved to UK from Belgium due myhusband's job. My son,12yrs old, changed several schools in the past because of bullying (BE). Now, he is in a new school, new country, new language - which he speaks very fluently. Despite of having some friends at school, many kids are picking up on my son. He is tall and bigfor his age, speaks five languages and very polite, friendly child. These qualities are making him possible target to some aggressive kids. Compare to past, he is definitely able to protect himself (Thanks to martial arts), then the kids are making fun of his accent (italian-american accent). Everyday he is coming home with complaints, which i am exhausted about...Fortunately, each time i report, the school is taking care of the bullying situation. I know that i can not change school each time he has bullying issues but i wonder if there is any school with less bullying if there is website i can check? i am really tired of this situation. Is it too hard for some families to teach some manner to their kids?!
Essie - 8-Apr-17 @ 10:52 PM
My daughter is 6 and in yr2 at primary. We are moving house to move in with my partner. Is it best to let my daughter finish her school year and start at her new school in September or let her start at her new school after the may half term so that gets the opportunity to meet people before the summer? I just want what is best for her. Thanks in advance
Emmajane - 4-Apr-17 @ 1:00 AM
Concerned teen - Your Question:
So,I'm currently in my second year of high school,and I really hate the school I attend,in all honestly I think the only reason I still go there is because I live 2 mins of a walk away from it. Anyways,there's another school nearby (a bus journey) that I would much rather go to. In my current school, I have trouble with other pupils,the group of people I hang out with always fall out with me leaving me with no one to go with resulting in me not wanting to go to school,I hate all the teachers and have been really unsettled for a few months,my grades have started to fall quite badly which is not like me at all, also in this school I'd much rather prefer I already have good friends there and I know plenty of people in my year there. I don't really know who to talk to about this and felt more comfortable doing it anonymously to people in similar situations. Is there any advice any of you can give me?

Our Response:
Your parent(s) or guardians are the first people you need to talk to regarding your thoughts and feelings. Often, we have idealised versions that another situation may be much better for us, if we had the opportunity. However, this is not always the case and sometimes a change in a person's situation can sometimes be an 'out of the fryingpan into the fire' experience. Therefore, any decision would have to be researched (to see if there are any available places at the other school) and talked through thoroughly with several adults to ensure that any decision made has been carefully thought through. This is not said in order to try and put you off considering a change of school. If you are deeply unhappy, then a change may be a justifiable option. But you'll need to voice your concerns to your elders first, before you can all begin to explore the possibility together.
GetTheRightSchool - 7-Mar-17 @ 2:05 PM
So,I'm currently in my second year of high school,and I really hate the school I attend,in all honestly I think the only reason I still go there is because I live 2 mins of a walk away from it. Anyways,there's another school nearby (a bus journey) that I would much rather go to. In my current school, I have trouble with other pupils,the group of people I hang out with always fall out with me leaving me with no one to go with resulting in me not wanting to go to school,I hate all the teachers and have been really unsettled for a few months,my grades have started to fall quite badly which is not like me at all, also in this school I'd much rather prefer I already have good friends there and I know plenty of people in my year there. I don't really know who to talk to about this and felt more comfortable doing it anonymously to people in similar situations. Is there any advice any of you can give me?
Concerned teen - 6-Mar-17 @ 7:29 PM
@Mummamidir - this is great advice you have given. Fliss
FeeFee - 2-Mar-17 @ 2:41 PM
For the poster below.Please talk to your parents, all they really care about is your happiness!!! Us parents can get a little busy with working, parenting and running a household but we only really do any of it to give you guys, the kids, a better life than.we had. I'm sure your parents will not be angry or upset with the idea of you changing schools, but would be more upset with the idea that you are so distressed and unhappy, and that you didn't feel like you could talk to them about it. Us parents are great problem fixers! Your parents may be able to help you with your problems at your current school, and will help you change schools if need be. Does your teacher, head teacher know how unhappy you are? Your teachers are not just there to teach you, but to support you too. Reach out, tell everyone,or get them to read the message you posted on here if you don't feel brave enough to say the words out loud. Just make sure you find a way to let them know how you are feeling.
Mummamidir - 1-Mar-17 @ 6:09 PM
I really want to change school,because my teacher doesnt have enough time to control all the students...im a new student,if i want to ask something to the teacher,she doesnt have enough time for me...im really sad about it....but...at the same time,im also sad if my parents will be upset...because before this,i have change school too...once....i really want to change school with my cousin...because she will help me...i know that...because in my school,i dont have any friends at all....i dont know what to do...i always cry...but my parents busy working...they dont know what other things to help me....please...i hope you can give me some advice...im begging you....thank you so much....
Nurinlee - 10-Feb-17 @ 12:51 AM
My son is 6 years old ,he Is in year 2 and I'm working in the same school as dinner lady from the beginning when school opens!recption and year one went really good but in year 2 he had loads of problems he is a bright boy asking lots of questions in reading writing everythng bestfirst teacher told me he is chatting alot then I saw by myself he asking about anythng and teacher tell him quite,he start locking himself in the bedroom I tell teacher to talk to him she said she did talk now he is fine after few days he didn't listen to me I said I need to talk to ur teacher he is crying with tears no no mummy don't tell the teacher she stop my break and she tell me don't tell ur mum today he came back with tears again that I was just humming and teacher told me copy the dictionary and look at the blank tv for 2 mints and now he don't want to go school anymore what is the best solution plz
Maham - 3-Feb-17 @ 6:53 PM
John - Your Question:
My daughter has lived with me for the past few months and she now wants to move schools to one near to us. Mum said no and that she has full custody so I can't do anything. She has a residency order but because of my daughters age I was told there is nothing she can do about it and courts would more than likely agree with my daughter. There's no talking to her mum. Where do I stand on being able to move her ?

Our Response:
If your ex has a residency order, then you would have to take the matter back to court in order to ask for a variation (even though the order has been breached). I suggest you seek legal advice in order to explore your options.
GetTheRightSchool - 2-Feb-17 @ 11:18 AM
My daughter has lived with me for the past few months and she now wants to move schools to one near to us. Mum said no and that she has full custody so I can't do anything. She has a residency order but because of my daughters age I was told there is nothing she can do about it and courts would more than likely agree with my daughter. There's no talking to her mum. Where do I stand on being able to move her ?
John - 1-Feb-17 @ 10:46 AM
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