Moving school if you are being bullied

moving school because of bullying

Moving schools is not always the answer. You might think that it would be a good idea to move to a new school if you're being bullied but the reality is that there is bullying in all schools, although some deal with it better than others.

All the best schools are already full and it is not always the case that you will get preferential treatment to get into a good school because you're being bullied, or because you're staying at home due to bullying.

You may end up being allocated to a less popular school and less popular often means poorer exam results and discipline problems.

There are often long waiting lists for the best schools and although your parents can appeal to the local council for a place, there's no guarantee you would get one.

Other things to consider are:

  • the new school may be further away and inconvenient and expensive to get to
  • the cost of the new uniform
  • it may be difficult to settle into a class where everyone already has friends
  • the school may use a different exam board so the coursework could be different
  • could the problem be resolved with the input of the governors and LA?
  • missing current friends
  • do the bullies also have friends at the new school?

If you still want to change school then you simply contact the new one, arrange to have a look around, and if you like it then you agree a start date between you. Things are more complicated if the new school is full. In that case you will need to get an appeal form from the Local Authority. Church schools have their own appeal arrangements. Sometimes, if your reason for moving is good enough, and the school is not over-full, the LA will simply agree to the transfer without an appeal.

Making an appeal

Otherwise, parents have to go before an appeal panel where the LA has to make the case that the pupils already at the school will be more disadvantaged by having your child on roll than your child will be by not being given a place. Usually these schools are not just full, they are hugely over-full and you can't expect that every appeal will be successful.

To give the best chance, it's helpful to have copies of letters to the head teacher, governors and LEA and from your doctor to show that you really have done all you can to try to sort the problem out.

If you simply remove your child and then hope the fact they are not at school will be a lever to getting them into the school of your choice, you're likely to be disappointed. The best schools are always full and have waiting lists and your child is likely to be allocated to a less popular school with vacancies. Less popular often means poorer exam results and discipline.

Why moving school is not always the best option

Although some pupils move schools successfully we know of many others who find it difficult to settle in, who find bullying is still a problem and who end up feeling isolated. If your child moves to another school mid term, encourage them to invite other pupils home so that they have the chance to build up some good friendships.

If your child is transferring from primary school and you're worried that he/she may have continuing problems with bullies, contact the head of first year at the secondary school before the end of the summer term and explain the problem. Ask if your child can be put into a different form away from anyone who has been bullying him/her.

Secondary schools are normally very helpful because they don't want pupils to have a difficult start to their new school life.

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