Managed Moves

What is a managed move?

A managed move is a voluntary agreement between schools, parents and your child.  It is for your child 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 your child’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 29(3) 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 other premises for their education. A managed move can only be with the consent of all of those involved, whereas direction off-site under section 29(3) 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 your pupil refuses to attend their current school

• where they are at risk of permanent exclusion from their current school

• where they are posing a risk to the welfare of others at their current school

• where your child has Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and is not making progress at their current school or the school is unable to meet their needs.

What educational provision might a managed move involve?

A managed move can include the following options for your child:

• transfer to a new school or college with an amended learning programme

• part-time attendance at the current school, with an individual learning and therapeutic programme elsewhere

• full-time attendance at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) with a view to returning to the current school or moving to a new school or college

• part-time attendance at a PRU combined with a home and community learning plan

• home-based learning to cater for the pupil’s SEND.

What is a deferred managed move?

A school can implement a deferred move, where the move only takes place if your child does not keep to their side of an agreement. The plan should be clear about what your child 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 voluntary agreements, 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 several clear stages as detailed below:

1. The school appoints a facilitator to oversee a managed move agreement.

2. The headteacher informs parents in writing of the situation and proposal for a managed move.

3. The facilitator and headteacher discuss options and alternatives for the pupil involved.

4. The facilitator contacts other schools or PRU which might be suitable; parents can input into this process.

5. The facilitator holds a home visit with parents to explain the situation and options.

6. The school hosts a managed move meeting. This should be attended by a representative of the school, your child and the family and the facilitator responsible for the move.

7. The managed move agreement should be drawn up and agreed to by all parties.

8. Any transport requirements should be discussed in the meeting.

Note: A managed move cannot be arranged if the main school make it clear the child cannot return if the move is unsuccessful.  

What might be included in a managed move agreement?

The managed move agreement should include:

• key information such as: when it will begin, where it will be and what the next steps will be;

• an adjusted individual education plan

• the named person responsible for implementing the agreement

• incentives and goals for achievements under the agreement.

What are the advantages to 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 and providing support and services in their new educational placement or programme.

Both schools, the parents and your child 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 your child’s education and without the need to go down the appeals route against a permanent exclusion. It is important that you are fully informed before consenting to a managed move; if you are unsure, you should seek advice on this.

You can read about managed moves in section 29(3) of the Education Act 2002

What if the Managed Move is not successful?

The Head Teacher of the new school can terminate the move at any time if the move is not working (e.g. a serious breach of school policy or persistent failure to meet targets set). This would mean that your child would normally return to their home school. Details of what will happen if the managed move fails will be agreed at the initial meeting.