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Changing schools during the school year

Your child may need to move schools at a time other than when they start infant, junior, primary or secondary school.

Impact on your child

When a child moves school, it can seriously impact on their education. Schools follow different curriculums and a change can significantly affect your child's progress. For example, whilst all schools teach English, maths and science, there can be major differences in schemes of learning. Your child may end up repeating work already covered or missing out on key skills and knowledge that will not be repeated. This is one of the many reasons why on average, children who change schools make much less academic progress than their peers who have not done so.

Therefore, please carefully consider the following information, and ensure that you have taken all relevant action before completing the application form to apply for an in-year admission to change school.

If you are considering your child moving school because of:


Discuss your concerns with the headteacher, as it may not be in your child's best interests to change school.

Non-school attendance

Sit down with your child and find out why they are not attending the school. Find out why your child may be worried about certain subjects. Moving school may not remove the problem.

All schools operate strict attendance policies including rules about term-time holidays.

Discuss your concerns with the headteacher as it may not be in your child's best interests to change school.

Behaviour issues

Some parents and carers want to change schools because they think their child's behaviour will improve with a change of school. It is more important for everybody to work together in trying to address and resolve the difficulties that are causing the poor behaviour.

Most schools share very similar behaviour policies and procedures. Changing schools should not be used as a way of avoiding a fixed term or a permanent exclusion unless this is a managed process agreed by both schools.


A person is bullied when, either as an individual or part of a group, she or he suffers in any way from the direct result of intentional and persistent harassment and/or victimisation by another individual or group.

You may feel a change of school is necessary because your child is being bullied and this has not improved after several strategies have been implemented by the school.

All schools have anti-bullying policies, and as such, if you think your child is being bullied you need to tell the school immediately. Moving school without dealing with the problem may not help your child in the long term.

Making progress

If you feel your child's education is suffering and not enough progress is being made, make an appointment to meet with a senior leader at your child's school to discuss this.

It is anticipated that concerns may already have been raised at a meeting with your child's tutor or at a parents' evening. Give the school opportunities to put things right.

Special educational needs

If your child has special educational needs and you believe their school is not meeting these, you need to talk to the teacher in charge of special needs, known as the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), at the current school.

There are processes in place to address this without moving school. Read more about the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service (SEND).

Children with an education health and care plan

If your child has an education health and care plan (EHCP) and you want your child to change school, you must contact the SEN team, email

Please do not complete the application form attached to this page.

Continued attendance at current school

If you do decide to make an application, it's expected that your child will continue to attend their current school until the child is admitted to a new school.

If your child does not attend their current school, you should be aware that seeking an alternative school place may not prevent the current school from considering legal action relating to non school attendance.

Where to apply

You can apply for a school place at a school in Derbyshire (this excludes schools in Derby). We do not accept applications earlier than one term in advance of when the place is required.

In-year applications for a child to move schools in September are not accepted until mid-May.

You are strongly advised to arrange a visit to your preferred school(s) before making your application.

Applications for Ukrainian children

Applications for Ukrainian children should be made in the normal way. Guidance from the Department for Education states that these applications should be treated in the same way as for any other child moving schools.

There is no guarantee that your application will be successful but if unsuccessful, parents or hosts will be offered the right of appeal in accordance with the requirements of the School Admissions Code.

Colleagues in the admissions and transport team may be able to advise you of schools near to the child's address where vacancies exist, for information please email

Some Derbyshire schools now handle their own in-year admissions directly with parents. They're not listed on our in-year application forms.

Secondary schools:

Primary schools:

Parents who wish to apply for a place at a school outside of Derbyshire should contact the council where the school is located for information on their application procedures.

If you want to apply for a place at a school in another council area you should contact the council where the school is located. If you don't live in Derbyshire you can find your local council.

Applications for places in early years settings, nursery schools and post-16 provision should be made directly to the establishment.

If your child is starting school for the first time or transferring from an infant school to a junior or a primary school to a secondary school you should email for advice on the appropriate application form to complete. The application may not be used to apply for places in independent schools.

Before you apply

Parents' guides

Our parents' guides to primary admissions and parents' guides to secondary admissions give details on schools which you may wish to consider. School brochures (prospectuses) are available direct from schools.

The parents' guides also include full information about school admissions and appeals processes. If you have any more questions after reading the guide, and this page, please email

If you wish to access independent advice or information on school admissions or the appeals process, please contact the Children's Legal Centre.

Normal area / local area school

You may wish to include your normal area / local area school as one of your preferences when making your child's application.

You can find your normal area / local area school. This does not show details of Catholic schools.

Parental agreement

Parents are expected to consult with each other before making an application and you should only make an application if all parties with parental responsibility have agreed the application. If this is not the case, you should not make an application.

We are unable to investigate if applications have been agreed or to resolve disagreements between parents.

Supplementary information forms

Some Derbyshire schools have supplementary information forms which you may wish to use support your application.

Apply for an in-year admission

You can apply online to change schools at a time other than when your child is due to start infant, junior, primary or secondary school. We call this an in-year application for admission to school.

Apply for an in-year admission

We prefer you to apply online but if you are unable to do this, please tel: 01629 537479 and ask for a paper application form (form AF5).

School place decision

You'll be informed in writing within 15 school days of your application being made of the outcome of your application. All decisions will be confirmed by us acting as a clearing house. Where a place is offered and the offer is accepted, arrangements should be made for the child to start school as soon as possible.

School preference

The law enables parents of children seeking a school place to express preferences. Schools cannot necessarily guarantee a place for any child, even where they move into the school's normal area. In law there's no automatic right to a place in any particular school.

Getting to school

Consider how your child will travel to school. Read out information in our home to school transport policy.

Children without a school place

We operate a fair access protocol to ensure that children without a school place who find themselves in challenging circumstances are admitted to school as quickly as possible.

To enable us to identify children who may be eligible for placement under the protocol, parents are encouraged to give full information on their child's previous educational background and personal circumstances on the application.

Parents of children identified as potentially being eligible for placement through the protocol will be contacted to discuss the matter.


If you're unable to obtain a place for your child in the school you wanted, you have the right to appeal against the decision.