47. A managed move is used to initiate a process which leads to the transfer of a pupil to another mainstream school permanently. Managed moves should be voluntary and agreed with all parties involved, including the parents and the admission authority of the new school If a temporary move needs to occur to improve a pupil’s behaviour, then off-site direction (as described in 35 to 46) should be used. Managed moves should only occur when it is in the pupil’s best interests.
49. Managed moves should be offered as part of a planned intervention. The original school should be able to evidence that appropriate initial intervention has been carried out, including, where relevant, multi-agency support, or any statutory assessments were done or explored prior to a managed move
51. If a parent believes that they are being pressured into a managed move or is unhappy with a managed move, they can take up the issue through the school’s formal complaints procedure with the governing board and, where appropriate, the local authority. Within the school inspections framework, under leadership and management, Ofsted will consider any evidence found of a parent being pressured into a managed move that has resulted in off-rolling and is likely to judge a school as inadequate on the basis of such evidence.
When a child has been experiencing difficulties at school, particularly of a behavioural or social & emotional nature, head teachers may suggest that a parent considers a managed move for their child. A managed move is used to begin a process which leads to the transfer of a pupil to another mainstream school permanently, under controlled circumstances.
Unlike direction off-site, managed moves are a voluntary agreement and can only happen with the consent of all involved, including the parents and the admission authority of the new school (para 47 of statutory guidance).
They should only occur when it is in the pupil’s best interests (para 47).
If a temporary move needs to occur to improve a pupil’s behaviour, then off-site direction should be used
A managed move can be considered if a child or young person is at risk of a permanent exclusion and the school believe all other strategies in school have been exhausted. Has multi-agency support or a statutory assessment been explored?
Parents are often encouraged to accept a managed move to avoid risking a permanent exclusion on their child’s record. Managed moves are not subject to the same legal protection and scrutiny as a permanent exclusion. There is no automatic review of the head teacher’s decision by the governors and no right of parental appeal as it seen as a voluntary decision. For these reasons it is important not to rush into it and to make sure it is the best route for getting the support your child needs to succeed.
Challenging behaviour often occurs in children and young people with SEND when their needs have not been fully identified and appropriate support and reasonable adjustments have not been in place. Is there One Planning in place? Consider what support has been offered to address these needs and how has the impact been reviewed?
Schools should never use a managed move as an alternative to initiating a request for Education Health & Care Needs assessment if it is thought to be necessary. A change of school will automatically delay the process while the child settles into the new school and the school are able to assess the needs.
If you make the decision yourself that your child needs a move to another school then the normal admissions procedures will need to be followed.
If a temporary move needs to occur to improve a pupil’s behaviour, then off-site direction (as described in paragraphs 33 to 42 of the Suspension and Permanent Exclusion guidance) should be used.
What can I do if I don’t agree to a managed move?
You don’t have to agree to a managed move. A managed move cannot be undertaken without the consent of parents and is a voluntary agreement between the two schools, parent and child.
If a parent believes they have been pressured to agree to a managed move or is unhappy with a managed move, they need to follow the school complaints procedure and write to the school governors and where appropriate, the local authority.
When would a managed move not be appropriate?
A managed move is not appropriate when:
- The graduated approach of assess, plan, do review is not in place – your child’s needs should be fully identified and regularly reviewed.
- A headteacher cannot evidence that all preventative/alternative approaches has been exhausted, including referral to local authority professionals or external agencies for specialist advice and guidance
- A child is undergoing an Education, Health & Care Needs Assessment - a change of school will automatically delay the process while the child settles into the new school and the school are able to assess the needs.
- A child has an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) – the school should request an early annual review to discuss if the school is not meeting the child or young person’s needs.
- Where a child or young person is Looked After, a managed move can only be considered after all avenues have been explored and with the full involvement and agreement of the Virtual Headteacher and the social worker who is responsible for the care plan.
What do I need to consider if the school suggests a managed move?
A managed move can be a supportive measure for children who may benefit from a fresh start at a new school. Challenging behaviour often occurs in SEND children and young people when their needs have not been fully identified and appropriate support and reasonable adjustments have not been put in place. If your child has SEND and you feel that the lack of appropriate support has led to the behaviour issues then it is vital that a full assessment of your child’s needs takes place, so that the right support is in place before the child starts at a new setting
The threat of exclusion must never be used to influence you to remove your child from a school. Parents are often encouraged to accept a managed move to avoid risking a permanent exclusion on their child’s record. Managed moves are not subject to the same legal protection and scrutiny as a permanent exclusion. There is no automatic review of the head teacher’s decision by the governors and no right of parental appeal as it seen as a voluntary decision. For these reasons it is important not to rush into it and to make sure it is the best route for getting the support your child needs to succeed.
You should consider if a managed move to another school is an appropriate response, or whether there are alternative solutions that could be considered and explored, such as:-
- Ensuring One Planning (assess, plan, do & review) is in place with regular review meetings with all involved parties
- Your child’s views have been obtained and shared with the school
- Counselling/mentoring (some schools have a regular counsellor available for children and young people)
- Involvement of local authority professionals or external services for specialist advice & guidance
- Referral to the Mental Health Service for children and young people
- Make a request for an Education, Health & Care Needs Assessment.
Schools should never use a managed move as an alternative to initiating a request for EHC Needs assessment if it is thought to be necessary. A change of school will automatically delay the process while the child settles into the new school and the school are able to assess the needs.
What will be discussed at the Managed Move meeting?
A transition meeting will be held at the host school and should be attended by parents and child/young person and any involved professionals. A managed move plan is drawn up to support your child. You and your child will be able to ask any questions about the arrangements in these meetings.
The purpose of the meeting should be to :
- To agree practical arrangements, such as starting date and structure of the timetable. This may be fulltime or reduced as part of a phased integration
- To fully understand the support to be offered to the child/young person by the host school e.g. current attainment and academic potential, learning support, mentoring/counselling, befriending support, reasonable adjustments to enable successful transition
- The expectations on the parents to support the plan e.g. transport, uniform, homework etc
- Expectations and targets set for the young person regarding their attendance, behaviour and participation in school community.
- To discuss and complete the risk assessment – including safeguarding, travel to school etc.
- It is also crucial to consider a relapse strategy, what will happen if the child/young person gets into trouble, what support will they be offered, are parents willing to support any sanctions, can the main school be contacted for specific advice or support? It is only reasonable to expect some young people to initially struggle with the change, therefore to plan ahead for such instances allows everyone to be clear, whilst not putting the whole managed move at risk of breakdown
- Arrangements for recording attendance, as the young person will be dual registered.
- CYPs with medical needs will also need to be carefully assessed, in consultation with health professionals as to the suitability and success of any managed move. The managed move decision making would need ot consider the CYP’s medical health care plan carefully
Everyone will sign the Managed Move agreement which outlines what is expected, what is to be done, and by whom and when.
Is the Managed Move in your child's best interest?
Managed moves should only occur when it is in the pupil’s best interests (para 47 of Department of Education Suspension & Exclusion Guidance)
- What are the views, wishes and feelings of the child and parent/carer?
- Does the child have SEND which would make a change of environment particularly difficult to manage?
- Is there evidence the child or young person would benefit from a fresh start? Has the child or parents expressed this?
- Will the managed move arrangements provide a supported start for the child or young person?
- What evidence is there that the new environment would help the child or young person to engage better with learning?
Will my child remain on roll at the main school?
The school at which the pupil is to trial a managed move (‘host’ school) will place the pupil on their roll as a ‘guest pupil’. The host school will be required to record all absences and attendances and report these back to the original school (‘main’ school).
One reason why the main school is required to record all attendances and absences in this way is so that, should the managed move be unsuccessful, the main school will have attendance/absence records which will allow them to consider possible referral to the Local Authority or other services who may be able to offer support
What happens if the managed move is unsuccessful?
Should a managed move be at risk of breakdown the host school should arrange a review meeting as soon as possible. At no time should the host school ask the child to leave the school or inform parents that their child has to return to the main school without holding a review meeting to discuss the reasons for the placement breakdown.
If the managed move was used as an attempt to avoid a permanent exclusion, it will be likely that your child will face exclusion on return to the main school or a positive referral to a pupil referral unit. It would be advisable to have a meeting with the main school and any involved professionals to:-
- Discuss the reason the managed move was unsuccessful
- Consider if the support detailed on the managed move plan was fully implemented
- Check if the plan was reviewed as agreed, and if any concerns raised at the review were addressed.
- Share your child’s views at the meeting to ensure all version of events are captured.
How is a managed move different to a parent applying for a change of school?
At any time parents may apply to admissions for a change of school place for their child/young person by completing a Mid Year Year application. If your child is not offered a place at your preferred school, you can appeal against the decision.
A managed move does not take place through Admissions under the Admissions Code.
You can refer to government guidance School admissions code 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk) if you have any queries with mid year applications
A managed move is an arrangement agreed between parents and two schools to move a pupil from one school to another. Although this could only take place with your full consent, you would not have a choice of school and no right of parental appeal, it would be a matter for negotiation between the schools.
Positive referral units in Essex
Also in this section:
Information to help guide you around suspensions and exclusions
Guidance around suspensions.
Guidance around permanent exclusions.
Guidance on informal or unofficial exclusions.
Parents & Carers Frequently Asked Questions around suspensions & exclusions
Maintained schools can send their pupils off-site for education to improve their behaviour for a time limited period.
Guidance on preparing your representation to the governors, Independent Review Panels and Disability Discrimination.
Guidance on how to support challenging behaviour at school and at home.
Guidance of preparing for an Independent Review Panel
Guidance on how to make a claim around disability discrimination under the Equality Action 2010
Guidance around alternative education provision.