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Changing schools during the school year

What to consider
Supplementary Information Forms
Start date
Fair access protocol
Children in public care / looked after children (LAC)
Special educational needs (SEN)
Appeals
Contacts

What to consider

If you are new to the area or want to request a transfer to another school (also known as in year school admissions) the council can provide information to help with your application. You can contact your local area education office for advice.

When you apply for admission to Lancashire schools you have the right to express up to three school preferences.

To find out whether a school has a place available, you can either contact your local area education office or the school directly.

You will need to speak to the current school and the school you intend to move to.

If you have moved house it may be essential to move your child, however, if a school move is not absolutely essential you should carefully consider the implications for your child.

If your child is unhappy in their current school for whatever reason, for example alleged bullying or not getting on with a teacher, you should first contact the headteacher and discuss the problems before changing schools. School transfer is very disruptive for any child and it is not encouraged if the problem can be resolved by the school.

If it is not essential that your child moves school, please read our guidance: what to think about if you are considering a change of school.

Supplementary Information Forms (SIFs)

Voluntary aided and foundation schools usually have a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which they may ask you to complete along with your application. These allow the school’s Governing Body to assess applications against certain criteria within their admission arrangements. It is not always necessary for parents to complete a SIF. If this is appropriate you will be given the option. It is not a legal requirement but the lack of a SIF may lower the priority of an application.

Start date

If your child is moving schools during the year the start date will normally be at the beginning of the next school term. They will continue to attend their existing school until that date.

If you are new to the area and your child does not already have a school place, this does not apply.

Fair access protocol

The Fair Access Protocol (FAP) operates outside of the normal in year admission arrangement.  In some cases, if a child falls within the protocol they may be offered a place at a Lancashire secondary school even where a school is full in the required year group (subject to quotas agreed with schools).

The county council will carefully examine individual applications and in liaison with schools will decide if they fall within the agreed FAP for that area.

Children in public care / looked after children (LAC)

Children who are in public care have top priority for admission to Lancashire schools. In some cases the preferred school may already be full and places cannot normally be offered. The county council will however look at each LAC application and determine if discretion is possible (in liaison with other admission authorities where necessary).

This process will also apply to children who were previously in care and who have been adopted.

Special educational needs (SEN)

Applications for children with full statements of SEN or education, health and care plans are dealt with separately. These will be referred to area based SEN Teams who will liaise with you and other professionals involved about a school place for your child. You should contact the relevant SEN Team if your child has a full statement of SEN or education, health and care plan:

North (Lancaster, Wyre and The Fylde)

  • Tel: 01524 581 200

South (Preston, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Chorley)

  • Tel: 01772 531 836

East (Ribble Valley, Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale)

  • Tel: 01254 220 562

Appeals

If none of your preferred schools can be offered an alternative offer will always be made (unless the child already has a place at a nearby school). The county council will send you appeal information and an appeal form.

If you are unhappy with any school offer you can appeal for any other schools which at that time have no available places. Information and advice is available from the admissions team at your local area education office.

We advise you to visit the school you are offered before you go to appeal.

Contacts

You can speak to the admissions team at your local area education office or you can contact schools directly.