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Changing schools

Your child may need to move schools at a time other than when they start infant, junior, primary or secondary school. This may be because you're moving address.


If you're thinking of changing your child's school, there are some things you should consider first:

  • moving schools will affect your child's education
  • changing your child's school is a very important step to take, it can affect your child in many ways
  • many things that worry parents and children can be sorted out without the need to move schools
  • nationally 40% of children changing schools make less progress than children of the same age and grade

Talking to your child and staff at your child's present school may avoid the need for your child to transfer school. These steps are aimed at making sure that a transfer is fully discussed between parents and schools. It's important that you consider whether a transfer is really the best option for your child.

If your request for a transfer of school is for any of the following reasons, you should not complete an application until you have taken the steps indicated.


Discuss your dissatisfaction with the headteacher.

Non-school attendance

Sit down with your child, find out why they're not attending the school. Talk to the teachers who teach your child, find out why they're worried about certain subjects. Contact the education welfare officer.

Unresolved issues

Talk to your child's teachers, tutor or head of year to make sure they are aware of the situation. Make an appointment to speak to the headteacher.

To avoid exclusion

Talk to your child's teacher, head of year or the headteacher.

Special educational needs

Talk to the teacher in charge of special needs (SENCO). Talk to the educational psychologist. Contact Parent Partnership.

Raising a complaint

If you have a complaint to make about the school you should first raise it with the class teacher or headteacher. If you're not satisfied with the headteacher's response, or the complaint is about the headteacher, you should ask for the complaint to be considered by the governing body.

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

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.

The in-year application should not be used to apply for places for children with Education Health Care Plans. Parents should instead email

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.

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.

Apply for an in-year admission to primary or junior school

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 to primary, infant or junior school

Apply for an in-year admission to secondary school

Apply for an in-year admission to secondary school

Internet access is available at all Derbyshire libraries, children's centres and some schools may also offer the use of their computer and telephone facilities to make an application. You can make a telephone application through Call Derbyshire. Tel: 01629 533190 from 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday and from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturdays. Or request a paper application form (form AF5) tel: 01629 537499.

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 for primary schools and a fair access protocol for secondary schools 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.