Changing secondary school

Changing schools in Years 9, 10 and 11 should be a last resort. Our experience has shown that it can put a young person at a disadvantage and can lead to poor outcomes.

Before you apply for a change, speak to your child’s current school. If your child is having difficulties, resolving these with the school could avoid the upheaval of a change of school.

Issues you need to be aware of

  • Different schools follow different curricula and offer different GCSE subjects. Your child may not be able to continue with all of their options in a new school.
  • Different schools use different exam boards. Although students study maths, English and science at all schools, they may study different texts and in different orders.
  • If your child is following an alternative pathway to GCSE, this may not be available in the new school.
  • A move can have a negative impact on your child’s social networks. It takes time to make friends and break into these often close-knit groups.
  • Getting used to different school routines and settling into a new school can be difficult and stressful.
  • It takes time for schools to build a relationship with a young person and their family. This is key to providing the best support for a young person.
  • Recent research suggests that frequent school moves may cause mental health issues in later years.