Managed school moves

Head teachers use managed moves where a child needs a fresh start at a new school. This is usually where there is a risk of the child being permanently excluded from their current school and approaches such as a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) have failed. 

How managed moves work and what to consider

With a managed move, a child transfers to a new school for a trial period of up to 6 school weeks but stays on the roll at the current school. In exceptional circumstances, schools can extend the period for a further 6 weeks.

If the move is successful, the child stays at the new school and transfers to the new school roll. If the move is not successful, the child returns to the original school. 

A managed move is done by agreement between the head teachers of the two schools and the child's parents or carers.

All managed moves must follow our managed move principles:

  • parents/carers must agree and the child must be willing - the new school cannot make a trial period a condition of admission without a parent/carer's consent
  • the initial trial period will be for a maximum of 6 weeks
  • review meeting dates must be set at the start 
  • the child is registered at both schools for the trial period - the original school must keep an attendance register for the child 
  • the child can split their time between the two schools, or go to the new school part-time (schools must tell us if this is the case - see part-time timetables)
  • where the child is in the process of being assessed either as a child in need (CIN), through the Early Help process, or for an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), the original school continues to take the lead role in the assessment but with the involvement of a member of staff at the new school
  • the new school can end the managed move arrangement at any time during the trial period
  • during the trial period, the child stays on the original school roll and can only be removed from the role by permanent exclusion
  • any exclusions and exclusion letters to parents/carers during the trial period must come from the original school
  • if the managed move follows a permanent exclusion and the original school plans to reinstate the exclusion if the trial fails, the child will not go back to the original school (unless the school governors overturn the decision to exclude the child) - this must be made clear to everyone at the start, and included in the managed move agreement 

Before agreeing a managed move, heads should consider each of the following:

  • are there any other interventions that could be tried first?
  • is a managed move realistic for the child and the family?
  • are the parents in full agreement
  • can the parents support the move (for example, can they pay for bus fares or provide transport where needed)

A managed move is not appropriate in any of the following situations:

  • the child is a persistent non-attender
  • the child is not on a school roll
  • the parents cannot guarantee to take responsibility for getting the child to and from the new school during the trial period and after if successful
  • the child is moving house and will not realistically be able to go back to the original school
  • the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - the school must instead consult with the child's Review and Monitoring Officer (RMO) and our SEND team

The Virtual School head teacher or a representative must agree to any managed moves for looked after children. Schools considering a managed move for a looked after child should consult the Virtual School and hold an emergency Personal Education Plan review as soon as there is any sign of behaviour that might lead to consideration of a managed move.

The managed move process 

If your child's school thinks a managed move is the best way forward and you agree, they will invite you to a managed move meeting with senior staff from both schools. Other professionals supporting your child can also be at the meeting if you agree.

It is important to go to the meeting so you can talk about what is best for your child. You can agree with the school whether the child should be at the meeting. Children can attend for just part of the meeting. Secondary school children in most cases attend the full meeting.

Before a managed move meeting 

Before the managed move meeting, it is a good idea to:

  • think about how your child will benefit from a new school and how you can support them to make the move a success
  • explain what a managed move is to your child and how it can give them a fresh start
  • think about how your child will get to the new school - managed move children are not eligible for free transport under our school transport policy, so it will be your responsibility to make sure arrangements are in place and to pay any fares needed (both during the trial period and after, if the move is successful)

What happens at a managed move meeting

At the managed move meeting there will be a conversation about the positive points of the move and about the main concerns.

The meeting should cover all the issues around the move, including how the child will get to the new school and whether you as the parent or carer will be able to get there for meetings.

Everyone will have the chance to have a say. Your child will need to make a commitment to meeting behaviour and attendance targets. At the end of the meeting, you, your child and the representatives from both schools will sign the managed move agreement form in our  Managed Move Guidance Pack. This says who will do what and when.

Your child will have regular meetings with a member of school staff to review progress. This gives the child a chance to talk about what is going well and how they can continue to be successful.

There will also be a review meeting about 4-6 weeks after the start of the move. This will normally be attended by the same people who were at the first managed move meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the child's progress and any concerns, and to look at the support in place and whether any new strategies are needed. 

At the end of the trial period there will be a final review meeting to confirm whether the child will stay at the new school and agree any further support and strategies.

Schools should follow our formal managed move procedure and use the paperwork in our Managed Move Guidance Pack.   

  • head teachers who want to start the managed move procedure must get written consent from the child's parent(s)/carer.
  • head teachers should take into account any school preferences parents/carers may have; if these preferences cannot be met, head teachers must get consent from parents/carers before approaching other schools
  • the original school must share details of the child with the potential new school, using the pupil's thoughts about school and managed move student details forms (appendix A and B in the Managed Move Guidance Pack)
  • once a new school has agreed to the move, the original school must arrange a managed move meeting with the parents and the child - this meeting must not be called an interview
  • the meeting can also involve education authority staff or other professionals working with the family if parents/carers consent
  • if the move is agreed, both schools should record the details in writing using the managed move agreement form (Managed Move Guidance appendix C)
  • the new school must give parents and the child a copy of the school's behaviour and safeguarding policies
  • during the managed move period, the child must have regular meetings with a member of staff at the new school to talk about progress
  • there must be a review meeting part-way through, then a final review meeting to decide whether the child stays at the new school - details must be recorded on the review meeting form (Managed Move Guidance appendix D)
  • the people at review meetings should be the same as those at the first managed move meeting where possible
  • a head teacher of a new school who wants to end a move must confirm this in writing to the parents and to the head of the original school, stating the dates the move failed and when the child must return to the original school (if agreed)
  • when a move fails, the child will normally go back to the original school the next day 
  • the original school must deal with any fixed term exclusions during the managed move, including sending related written communications 
  • the new head has the final say as to whether the child can stay at the new school
  • in exceptional circumstances, extensions to the 6-week period can be agreed at the review meeting - the details should be confirmed in writing using the managed move agreement form
  • on the agreed date for the permanent move, the original school must take the child off their school roll and give any records they still hold to the new school, and the new school must add the child to their school roll
  • after the school roll change, the new school can only remove the child through permanent exclusion
  • the original school may transfer funding to the new school - schools should negotiate directly over this 

Managed Move Guidance Pack

You can download and print all the managed move forms and guidance for schools in our Managed Move Guidance Pack (PDF,445 KB).