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School transfers

In-year transfer requests are applications for school places outside the usual primary school (Reception class) and secondary school (Year 7) admissions processes, which take place from September every year. This includes children moving between schools within Middlesbrough, or children moving into Middlesbrough from another area or another country.

If your family has moved into the area, or moved house and the distance to school is too great to travel, then you can request a transfer between schools.

Middlesbrough Council currently coordinates all mid-year transfers for all schools in Middlesbrough. This means that if you want to apply for any mainstream school in Middlesbrough, you must apply to Middlesbrough Council's School Admissions team. If you live in Middlesbrough and want to apply for schools outside of Middlesbrough, you can still apply to us, and we'll send your application to the right council, and they will check the availability of places in their schools.

If you're moving house into another council area, you should apply directly to that council for a school place.

Places cannot be held for children so in general, applications should not be made more than four weeks in advance. The exceptions to this rule are families of Service Personnel with a confirmed posting, or Crown servants returning from overseas, as long as the application is accompanied by an official letter which states a relocation date.

If you want to discuss or apply for a mid-year transfer, please contact the School Admissions team for an application form.

Please contact the Ethnic Minority Achievement Team if you're an international new arrival to Middlesbrough, a Traveller, fair or circus family, or a family for whom English is an additional language. The team can provide support like helping you to complete mid-year transfer applications and other school admission forms.

Is a school transfer the best option?

Sometimes parents may want to transfer their child to another school for reasons other than moving house. We discourage unnecessary transfers between schools as it's vital that a child has consistency in their education. Changing school is a crucial decision to make and may affect your child’s education. Research has shown that in-year moves can be highly disruptive, and could affect your child’s future achievement.

If your child is already attending a school in Middlesbrough, we advise that you discuss your reasons for wanting to change schools with your child's current school before completing a transfer request form. It's rare that a transfer to another school gets rid of a child's difficulties, which are best addressed at their current school.

Once you've considered the above information, and have discussed and attempted to resolve issues with the current school, if you still want to proceed with a transfer request, please contact the School Admissions team for advice about submitting a written request for a change of school.

The request must be countersigned by the current school and returned to the address given on the transfer form.

The application process

  1. You must apply to the School Admissions team. You can state up to three school preferences on your application form.
  2. When we get your application, we'll check it to make sure all the information is complete. If it's not, we will not be able to process it, and we'll send it back to you to complete.
  3. We'll send your application to each school in turn (in the order they appear on your application form) to see if they have a place for your child / children.
  4. If one of the schools can offer a place, the School Admissions team or the school will contact you.
  5. If none of your preferred schools can offer a place, the School Admissions team will contact you and you'll be given the right to an independent appeal for a place in those schools. The School Admissions team will also tell you which schools near to your home may have places, if you wish to make a further application.

Please note, if you have more than one child, it may not be possible to offer places all the children a place in the same school

All applications will be processed as quickly as possible and we aim to respond to the application within 10 school days, or 15 school days at the most.

All in-year transfers are put on hold during the school holidays as we're unable to speak to school staff during that time.

Guidance on in-year applications

How do I decide which schools to apply for?

  • Contact the School Admissions team to ask which schools may have places (please note, even if there is a space when you enquire, this does not guarantee you'll get a place when you apply)
  • Look at the school's website for information about the school
  • You can contact the school you may be interested in to see if you can have an appointment (not all schools offer this)

Middlesbrough schools are very popular, and many schools will not have a place for your child / children as they have no spaces in the relevant year groups. You may have to accept a place in a school which is not one of your preferred options.

Do I need to send any additional information with my application?

You'll need to check the school's admission policy on their website to see if you'll need to give additional information. For instance, Catholic schools may require evidence of faith. It is your responsibility to provide this so it can be considered with your application. Evidence of faith should be sent directly to the school you're applying to.

It may be useful for schools to have copies of previous school reports if you have them.

For children who may meet the school's 'previously looked after' status on the schools oversubscription criteria, relevant evidence should be sent. For example, a copy of the adoption certificates, child arrangements, or Special Guardianship Order which confirms the child was looked after (in care) immediately before the order was granted.

How is a decision made on my application?

The School Admissions team sends your application to the schools on your application in turn. The school will check to see if they have places in your child's year group. If they have a place then generally a place will be offered, but there are cases where there may be an exception to this.

If you apply for a school outside of Middlesbrough, we'll send your application to the admissions team for the council area the school is located in. They will then send it to their schools to check for places.

What if none of my preferred schools can offer my child a place?

You'll be given the right to appeal the school’s decision to an independent appeal panel. Find out more about appeals.

The School Admissions team will let you know which nearby schools may have places. If your child is not currently on a school roll, you're encouraged to apply as soon as possible to minimise the time your child is out of education.

If your child is currently in school, they must continue to attend that school.

Information for families moving house

You should apply for a school place before you move house so your child does not miss out on their education. You'll need to provide your new address and previous address, and give us the date that you moved (or are moving). You may be asked for proof of address of your house move.

What is the fair access protocol?

If a child is not on school roll and cannot get a place through the normal admissions process, the fair access protocol may apply. This will only apply to the most vulnerable children as defined by the Department for Education. Read more about the fair access protocol.

Information for families applying from overseas

Overseas nationals entering the UK who want to apply for a place at a state-funded school must make sure they have 'right of abode', or that the conditions of their immigration status allow them to access a state-funded school. It is parents' responsibility to check this when applying for a school place. More information about right of abode is available on GOV.UK.

The Ethnic Minority Achievement Team offers support with completing school admission forms and educational assistance. The team provides support for new arrivals to Middlesbrough, Traveller, fair and circus pupils, and those for whom English is an additional language. Find out more about the Ethnic Minority Achievement Team.

Where can I find more information on home to school travel assistance?

Find out more about home to school travel assistance.