Apply for an in-year transfer at secondary school

Are you thinking of changing school in-year?

Moving to a new school is a serious step to take. It can affect your child in many ways. Before deciding to move your child to another school, please consider the following:

  • Moving to a new school may not mean that a problem is solved - it can happen again and could be worse because your child will not know who their new teachers and pupils are.
  • Your child's needs may not be known to staff at a new school.
  • How will your child cope with learning new rules and having to do things differently?
  • There is the possibility of missing important work.
  • Children who transfer schools after they have chosen their exam subjects in year 9 may find that they cannot do the same subjects or that the examination boards and courses are different at a new school.
  • If your child has brothers or sisters at the same school, transferring one child may affect the others.
  • Will it be difficult for you to have children attending different schools?

Many things that worry you or your child can be sorted out without the need to move schools. We advise that you sit down with your child and ask them why they want to move to a different school. If they mention that they are being bullied or not getting on with other pupils, you should speak to your child's form tutor or head of year in order to try and resolve the situation. By law, all schools must have an anti-bullying policy.

If after speaking with the form tutor or head of year, you are still unhappy about the way the school is dealing with your concerns, you should make an appointment to speak to the headteacher as soon as possible. You may also write to the chair of the school's governing body.

Moving into Derby city

If you are moving into Derby city, please do not apply for a place too early. Your application will be processed within 15 working days of receipt. If your child is offered a school place, the school is then given 10 school days to admit the child. If you cannot take up your offer within this timescale, the offer may be withdrawn and you may need to reapply.

Applications for children living outside of the UK will only be considered once the date of arrival and an address within Derby city has been confirmed.

If you have moved to a new area, you can find out more about catchment schools and other local schools on our interactive map.

Living in Derby city and applying for a school out of the area

If you wish to apply for a school not located within Derby city, you must contact the relevant local authority and request an application form.

You child must continue to attend their present school until they are admitted to another school (unless they can no longer get there due to a change of area). If they do not, a referral may be made to the Education Welfare Service.

How to apply

If you have moved address, just arrived in Derby or if you wish to change your child’s school, the quickest and easiest way to apply is online. Alternatively, you can download an In-year Admission to School Application Form and return to us or telephone 01332 642725/642728 to request a paper application form to be sent to you.

You can contact us before making an application to find out which schools may have places available in your child’s year group.

  • You can apply for up to three schools in Derby city. We strongly recommend that you apply for the maximum number of schools. You will be able to state the reasons for your preferences. We will process your application according to how you have ranked your schools.
  • Roman Catholic schools have a supplementary application form that should be completed as well as the common application form.‌

We are currently dealing with a high volume of applications - you will receive your decision letter through the post within 15 working days.

How we process your application

Your application will be processed within 15 working days of receipt. You will receive a letter to your home address with the decision.

If we have not been able to offer you one of your preference schools, your child will be added to the waiting list for that school and you will be informed of how to make an appeal.

How to appeal

If your child has been refused a school place, you can appeal to an appeal panel. The panel is completely independent of the schools and the Council. The panel is able to take your family’s personal circumstances into account as well as looking at the school’s admission criteria. The panel’s decision to allow or refuse an appeal is final.

You have 20 school days from the date of your decision letter or email to lodge an appeal. Further details on how to appeal can be found on our School admissions appeals page.


Contact details

Post address:
Derby City Council
School Admissions Team
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 642725
Minicom: 01332 640666
Derby City Council
School Admissions Team
The Council House
Corporation Street