Transferring to a Swindon school
This page gives information about how to apply to transfer to a Swindon School during the academic year (outside the normal round of admissions).
How do I apply?
If your child is school age and your child is not attending a school or you would like them to transfer to another school in Swindon, you need to make an in –year application.
The Local Authority (LA) operates a fully coordinated in-year process. This means that the LA coordinates all applications made during the academic year for in year admissions for all year groups. This includes applications received for all schools in Swindon, including Community, Voluntary Controlled, Foundation, Voluntary Aided, Academy and Free Schools.
How does it work?
- A Common In-Year Application Form is used for applications to any of these schools, and this allows parents to express 3 preferences of school
- The form should be submitted to the LA, who will liaise with the relevant admitting authority to coordinate an offer of a place at one of the schools on the submitted form, taking into account the oversubscription criteria for the relevant school if necessary.
- If the school you are applying for requires a Supplementary Form or a Baptismal Certificate you must submit this at the time of the in-year application form. If you do not do so, this may affect whether your child is eligible for the school place.
- All preferences are considered equally, at the same time, and the LA therefore ensures that the highest preference is offered wherever possible.
- The LA will send out the offer letter, but own admitting authority schools may also send their own offer letter.
- If the LA is unable to offer any of your preferences, it will offer an alternative school place if your child does not already attend a Swindon school and you have provided evidence of your Swindon address. This will be the nearest school with an place available.
- The applications are considered in process periods and a calendar of dates is below. This shows when applications are considered and offers are made. On the whole, offers are made every 6 school weeks.
- The Local Authority is happy to receive applications from parents who live outside of the Swindon area who wish for their child to attend a Swindon School.
Please note that any Swindon resident wishing to apply for a school outside of the Swindon area, should contact the Local Authority where the school is situated in order to understand any locally agreed admissions procedures. The application should not be submitted to Swindon Borough Council. Any applications will be sent on to the relevant authority
Questions frequently asked for transfers during the school year
I am moving into Swindon how do I apply for a school place?
To apply for a place in a Swindon School you will need to complete an in-year application form. You can apply at any point, however if you do not have a confirmed address (in the form of a signed tenancy agreement or solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts) we will consider your application using your current address. As soon as you have proof please send this to us. If we are unable of offer any of your preferences, we cannot offer an alternative school until you have a confirmed address.
How long does it take to process my application form?
Swindon LA considers applications and makes offers every 30 school days, usually once a month. They are not considered in date order.
What if I have more than one child?
If there is more than one child involved, each request will be considered on an individual basis. If one child is offered or admitted to a school it does not guarantee a place at that particular school for any other child in the family.
I am having problems with my child’s current school, what should I do?
Before you make a definite decision to request to move to another school you should think very carefully and talk through any problems you have with your current school with a view to resolving the issues. It is advisable to resolve any issues rather than move away from the school. Schools may have an Education Welfare Officer who can be contacted through the school.
What if I move house but want to keep my child at their current school?
If you move house, you can choose to keep your child at their current school. However, you should be aware that this may affect any entitlement you have to transport assistance. If you have other children, there is no guarantee that they will be given a place.
If I move into a school’s catchment area, does that guarantee my child a place at the school?
No. An application form should be submitted in the normal way and the decision will be made based on the availability of spaces in the appropriate year group at the school. It is strongly advised that you contact the School Admissions Team before making the decision to move to determine whether there may be places available at a new school.
I want to move my child to a new school ready for the start of the new term, when do I apply?
If you want to transfer your child to start a new school in the following September and it isn’t as part of a normal phased transfer (e.g. Primary to Secondary School), you need to do this in plenty of time. The Local Authority normally consider applications for September from the previous June. If you want your child to start a new school after a school holiday, e.g. Christmas or Easter, please make sure you apply in plenty of time and we advise you to consider the in year calendar of dates that are available on the Council’s website. The School Admissions Team are not able to process applications during the school holidays as they are unavailable for us to confirm admissions with. Where an application has been received over the holidays and is unable to be processed before the start of the new term we would expect the child to return to their current school until such time as a place can be offered.
What happens if I am offered a school place?
Once you have received your offer letter, please contact the school to agree a start date. Please return the reply slip accepting the school place. Places must be taken up with 28 school days of the offer of the school place.
What happens if my application is refused?
If your child is refused they will be added to the waiting list for the school if they hold one. Waiting lists are held in oversubscription criteria. Your child may move up or down the list as other children are added and removed. No priority is given to the amount of time your child spends on the list.
For community and voluntary controlled schools the waiting list is held until the end of the academic year. If you wish to remain on the waiting list for the following year, you must make another application in that academic year.
You have the right to appeal against the decision to refuse your child a place at the school. More information can be found on the School Admissions Appeals webpage.
What to consider before transferring
Before submitting your application you should consider the following:
- Your child will have to make new friends at a new school and may feel isolated or lonely.
- Schools may not follow the same curriculum. Your child may be required to follow a different curriculum and/or may miss out or repeat parts of a curriculum.
- Are there places available at the school(s) you are applying for? Have you checked this with School Admissions?
- How will your child travel to the new school?
- Have you considered the costs of buying a new school uniform?
- Do you wish for your child to start school at the beginning of a new term? If so you need to send the application to the School Admissions Team in plenty time to be processed. Please be aware the Team receive increased numbers of applications at the beginning and end of terms.
- Have you discussed the options with your current school? The Current Head Teacher must sign the application form before you submit the form to the LA.
Applying for a place in Year 11
It is recognised that children moving into Year 11 is a difficult step as they are already preparing to take their GCSE’s and other exams. The schools may be required to put in extra support to help the child prepare.
The application for a child moving into Swindon and not currently attending a Swindon School is considered by the Fair Access Panel. This panel will determine the placement of the child, and parental preference is not always taken into account.