Managed moves

What is a managed move?

A managed move is a voluntary agreement between schools, parents/carers and a pupil for that pupil to change school or educational programme under controlled circumstances. Managed moves are often used as an alternative to permanent exclusion; the result is that no exclusion is formally logged on the pupil’s school record.

A managed move is different to the power of a school to direct a pupil off-site for the improvement of their behaviour. This is a particular power given to maintained schools under section 29A of the Education Act 2002 and is strictly time-limited. It is important that you clarify with the school the legal basis under which they are proposing that a child is sent to another premises for his or her education. A managed move can only be with the consent of all of those involved whereas direction off-site under section 29A can be done without the consent of the parents.

When might a managed move be appropriate?

A managed move may be suitable in the following situations where:

  • Where a pupil refuses to attend his or her current school.
  • Where a pupil is at risk of permanent exclusion from his or her current school.
  • Where a pupil is posing a risk to the welfare of others at their current school.
  • Where a pupil has Special Educational Needs and is not making progress at their current school or the school is unable to meet the pupil’s needs.

What educational provision might a managed move involve?

A managed move can include the following options for the pupil:

  • Transfer to a new school
  • Part-time attendance at the current school with an individual learning programme elsewhere
  • Full time attendance at a Pupil Referral Unit with a view to the pupil returning to the current school or moving to a new school
  • Part time attendance at a Pupil Referral Unit combined with an alternative learning plan

What is a deferred managed move?

A school can implement a deferred move so that it only takes place if the pupil does not keep to their side of the agreement. The plan should be clear about what the pupil is expected to do and the consequences of not sticking to the agreement.

What is the process for deciding a managed move?

As managed moves are a voluntary agreement there is no statutory scheme governing their use and no governmental guidance on how the process should work. However, best practice suggests that there should be a number of clear stages as detailed below.

  • The school appoints a link teacher to oversee a managed move agreement.
  • The school informs parents or carers of the situation and proposal for a managed move.
  • The link teacher discusses options and alternatives for the pupil.
  • If a managed move is agreed, the link teacher completes a referral to the local authority’s Inclusion Officer who will contact other schools or Pupil Referral Units which might be suitable (parents can input into this process).
  • The school arranges a managed move meeting with a link teacher at the new school. This should be attended by the link teacher of the home school, the pupil and his or her family. This meeting may also be attended by other professionals who may be involved with the pupil eg social worker.
  • A managed move agreement should be drawn up and agreed to by all parties.

What might be included in a managed move agreement?

The managed move agreement should be signed and dated by all parties and include key information such as:

  • When it will begin with review dates (recommended at six weeks and a final review at 12 weeks)
  • The names of the link teachers from each school who are responsible for implementing the agreement
  • Expectations, goals and incentives for achievements under the agreement
  • Contact details

What are the advantages of a managed move?

There may be the following advantages to agreeing to a managed move:

  • A managed move may be a viable alternative to a permanent exclusion because the focus is on a fresh start for the pupil and providing support and services to the pupil in their new educational placement or programme.
  • Both of the schools, the parents and carers and the pupils are fully involved in the process and must agree before the managed move goes ahead.
  • A managed move can ensure a transition with minimal disruption to a child’s education and without the need to go down the appeals route against a permanent exclusion.

What happens at the end of the managed move period?

If the managed move is successful the pupil will become a permanent member of the new school and will be removed from the register of the original school.

If the managed move fails the pupil returns to the original school – this can be at any point during the managed move period.

It is important that parents and pupils are fully informed before consenting to a managed move and if you are unsure you should seek advice on this.

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