In-year admissions

Some looked after and previously looked after children may experience a delay gaining an in-year place at a school.

Statutory duties

The Department for Education (DfE) have defined clear duties for schools and local authorities to prioritise the admission for both looked after and previously looked after children.

These are specified in the DfE’s statutory guidance:

The statutory guidance seeks to set out clear statutory responsibilities and enable Virtual School Headteachers and officers to:

  • make effective use of admission procedures and processes, and
  • challenge unlawful practice to reduce drift and delay in placing a looked after child on roll

Virtual School Headteachers should work in close partnership with their School Admissions Team and SEND colleagues so that legal processes can be accurately followed, and their expertise fully used.

When a looked after child lives and is educated in another local authority, the Virtual School Headteacher should work with the other local authority admissions and SEND services with the support of the local Virtual School Headteacher.

Reasons for in-year school moves

Pupils usually begin school at the start of the school year in September. This is known as the normal admission round.

School moves are usually due to the child or young person:

  • being younger than 4 years old and starting reception in a primary or infant school
  • transferring to secondary school from Year 6
  • transferring to junior school from Year 2 of infant school

There may be times when the child or young person will need to start or change school after this.

For example:

  • Change in care placement
    A child or young person’s care placement may no longer be viable, leading to a new placement elsewhere
  • Education setting cannot meet the needs of the child.
    At times the educational setting can no longer meet the needs of the child or young person and a new setting is sought

If the child has moved address

You will need to fill in an application for a Change of School In-Year form and take it to your preferred school with proof of address.

If you want to apply for a place outside of Birmingham you should contact the local authority (council) for that area.

In-year school move for another reason

If the school move is for another reason, we ask that carers liaise with their social worker.

This is to make sure that the social worker is in contact with your child’s Virtual School Advisor/Area Education Officer or Placement Officer to discuss actions\interventions and necessary transition planning.

If the move is a result of a risk of permanent exclusion then the schools should, as per BCC guidance, consider a managed move.

Page last updated: 15 May 2024

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