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Guidance for Managed Moves 2018-2019

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This document includes the Local Authority’s recommendation for the use of Managed Moves and outlines where schools can access support to implement and monitor them.

A printable copy of the guidance is available in our download section to the right of the page.


Legislation and Background

Managed Moves between schools first appeared in Department for Education (DFE) Circular 10/99 as an intervention to be used as part of a child’s Pastoral Support Programme, if appropriate, to reduce the risk of the child being permanently excluded. Current Government guidance (Exclusion from Maintained Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England 2017) advises school leaders that:

‘A pupil can transfer to another school as part of a ‘Managed Move’ where this occurs with the consent of the parties involved, including the parents. However the threat of exclusion must never be used to influence parents to remove their child from the school’. 

Sir Alan Steer in his report, Learning Behaviour: Lessons Learned. A review of behaviour standards and practices in our schools (Department for Children, Schools and Families 2009), described Managed Moves as:

… an appropriate strategy to promote the reduction in numbers of pupils being excluded in mainstream schools. This should be seen as a piece of preventative work to support pupils at risk of exclusion.

Schools are not required by the Department for Education to use Managed Moves. This document includes the Local Authority’s recommendation for the use of Managed Moves and outlines where schools can access support to implement and monitor them.

The recent consultation on the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2006, (which came into effect on 1st September 2016) places an emphasis on the need for improved collaboration, communication and information sharing between schools (including independent school) and Local Authorities. The consultation which was launched in 2015 identified inconsistent practices which in turn highlighted poor communication and coordination between schools and Local Authorities. This raised serious concerns about safeguarding issues with children being potentially exposed to the risk of harm, exploitation or radicalisation.

Effective information sharing between parents, schools and Local Authorities is vital in ensuring that all children of compulsory school age are receiving a safe and suitable education. There is a duty on the Local Authority to make arrangements for ensuring the functions conferred on them are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

Definition of a Managed Move

A Managed Move is defined as a formal agreement between two schools, a child and his/her parents/carers. It allows a child at risk of permanent exclusion to have a trial transfer to another school on a dual registration basis. The move requires the agreement of the child’s parent, the head teacher of the child’s main school and the head teacher of the proposed subsidiary school.

In this guidance: 

  • Main school refers to the current school the young person is on role at
  • Receiving school refers to the school the child will be dual registered at for the period of Managed Move
  • Parent includes any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ for a child and anyone who currently has actual care of the child.
  • School refers to Local Authority schools, academies, free schools or independent schools.


The following principles underpin all requests for Managed Moves:

  • A Managed Move request should be initiated by the child’s current (Main) school.
  • Parents are in agreement and willing to support a Managed Move.
  • The student is willing to participate and co-operate in the move.
  • A Managed Move must form part of either the pupil’s Pastoral Support Programme, Individual Education Plan/Assess, Plan, Do, Review process or any other plan in place to address educational concerns or support progress.
  • In the case of Looked After Children, the Head Teacher of the Virtual School for Looked After Children and the child’s social worker should be contacted for agreement to any proposed Managed Move. The move should be planned as part of the Personal Education Plan for Looked After Children. 
  • Where a school has concerns about behaviour, or risk of exclusion, of a child with an Education, Health & Care Plan it should, in partnership with others including the Local Authority as necessary, consider what additional support or alternative placement may be required. This should involve assessing the suitability of support for a pupil’s special educational needs. Where a pupil has an Education Health and Care Plan, schools should consider requesting an early annual review or interim /emergency review prior to a Managed Move been agreed. 
  • All schools must act in a spirit of partnership and collaboration for the Managed Move arrangements to work. 
  • A Managed Move plan must be in place which includes relapse management, and regular reviews must be structured at the onset of the plan. 
  • The subsidiary school will afford the young person a fresh start, with a support plan in place to manage the transition. 
  • The main school will continue to offer support and advice to the receiving school during the period of the Managed Move.
  • Each Managed Move must be individually considered taking into account the young person’s educational, social and emotional wellbeing.
  • All Managed Moves are time limited for a maximum of 12 weeks.
  • The home school retains funding until the final decision. Should a permanent admission be agreed, the Age-weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) should be transferred to the receiving school.
  • The receiving school can end the arrangement at any time, provided they first liaise with the home school and parents to ensure there are no actions which can be taken to prevent the breakdown of the Managed Move.

Criteria for Managed Moves

In both of the following criteria the school and family need to share the view that the receiving school is able to offer something sufficiently different to make the Managed Move viable. This may be the size/location of the school or a new peer group/teaching team/curriculum, depending on the particular needs/issues for the young person.


It is the expectation of the Local Authority that a Managed Move should be considered prior to a permanent exclusion being implemented (unless there is a major breach of school behaviour policy). The school should be able to demonstrate that all other preventative strategies have been exhausted or considered. However, a Managed Move does not have to be seen as a last resort, it may be that the parents, child and school believe that rather than allowing the current behaviour to escalate, that a proactive rather than reactive Managed Move is worth considering.

Managed Moves should be seen as a strategy to avoid escalation of fixed term exclusions or a permanent exclusion and address poor behaviour.


Where a pupil is not regularly attending school, the causes of the non-attendance have been fully investigated, and it appears that issues directly linked to the school are the significant factor in the non-attendance, at this stage a Managed Move could be considered, if deemed in the best interest of the young person by the parents, school and the young person themselves.

Child with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or an Education Health and Care Plan

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, the school must consult with the SEND service, before a Managed Move can be agreed.

Children looked after by the Local Authority

In such cases the Virtual Headteacher must be contacted who will then liaise with all appropriate parties to ensure any such proposal supports the other plans in place and fully meets the needs of the child.

A Managed Move would not normally be appropriate if:

  • A parent is seeking a straightforward transfer to another school (in year move)
  • The child is not on a school roll
  • The  child  would  be  unable  to  return  to  the  home  school  if  the  placement  is unsuccessful.
  • It would not ultimately be of benefit to the child. 


Firstly and crucially school leaders will need to ensure that such provision is outlined in the relevant school policies eg admissions, behaviour and attendance.

Prior to requesting a Managed Move, the Head Teacher should satisfy themselves that all reasonable steps have been taken to resolve the pupil’s difficulties in school. This should include the involvement of support services, a Pastoral Support Plan or Individual Education Plan/Assess, Plan, Do, Review Plan should be in place and active.

The school should also consider undertaking an Early Help Assessment to ensure they capture both issues within school and the home environment. It is important to understand the child in their full context, as often issues outside of school have significant influence on a child’s behaviour in school.

A Managed Move can be broken down into three key steps:



  Process of leaving



  Process of transition 


  Process of integration 

  Young person  

Unable to cope




A way forward


Peer pressure

Fresh start



Assessment of needs 

Wealth of information 


Continued support

Time specific

Clear objectives

Agreed plan


Relapse management 

Warm welcome

Part of community




Best for child





New relationships



Process of Leaving

Having arrived at a point where a Managed Move is to be considered, it is important to consult with the parents and the pupil about their views on a move to another school and if agreeable which school(s) to approach. However, schools must not suggest to parents that they remove the child and find another school or that if they don’t agree to this option their child will be permanently excluded. If such practice is reported to the Local Authority, they will have to investigate this further.

If other agencies are involved with the young person and their family, then it is essential they are invited to any meeting in which the above discussion takes place. Any young person who is looked after by the Local Authority, subject to a Child Protection or Child in Need plan, must have their social worker invited to the meeting.

Once the young person and their parent have agreed to a Managed Move and nominated which school(s) they would like to be approached, it should be recorded and signed by the child, parent and school.  Please use the form in our download section to the right of the page to record this.  Parents must, however, be informed that a request for a Managed Move may not always be accepted and also that any transport requirements are the responsibility of the home school and the parent.

The main school will then approach either directly or by the District Inclusion Partnership (DIP), the nominated schools to explore if they would be willing to receive the young person. The home school will complete the Managed Move information form, available in our download section to the right of the page, and forward to the nominated schools for their consideration. Once a school has agreed to receive the young person the process of transition can begin.

Process of Transition

It is best practice for the main school to contact the young person and their parent(s) to inform them of the school willing to offer a Managed Move. If the main school still has a working relationship with the young person, then work could be undertaken with the young person to look at how they were going to manage the move. It is important to understand that the young person may need to consider what positives they will take with them, what their hopes and fears are for the new school and any specific support they feel they would want.  Use the worksheet in our download section to the right of the page to record their thoughts about school and a managed move. 

The two schools can now securely share information about the young person, ensuring that this is balanced and honest. It is crucial that the receiving school has a full picture of the young person and their family so as to be able to properly plan for their arrival and integration. 

A meeting should then be arranged as soon as possible by the receiving school (good practice would be within 2 weeks). Representatives from schools, parents and the young person should attend this meeting along with any other professionals involved with the family. If the young person refuses to engage at this meeting the Managed Move should be put on hold or withdrawn.

At the meeting, the following information must be recorded on the Managed Move plan, a template is available in our download section to the right of the page:

  • The starting date for the move (within 1 week of the meeting)
  • The structure of the timetable. This may be full time or reduced as part of a phased integration.
  • The duration of the Managed Move. This should give time for the child to meet the targets set. A suggested length is 6 to 12 weeks, a review must be held after 6 weeks at which point the young person may be accepted onto roll, given a further 6 weeks trial or returned to their main school.
  • The support to be offered to the young person by the receiving school e.g. mentoring, 1:1 support, uniform provision, learning support etc.
  • 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.
  • It is also crucial to consider a relapse strategy, what will happen if the 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.
  • Transport arrangements.
  • Involvement and role of other professionals involved.

In order for local schools and the Local Authority to monitor and analyse the effectiveness of Managed Moves in their district and across the County, the main school must ensure that the DIP is informed of the Managed Move. This can be done at the DIP meeting.

Process of Integration

The young person should be clear on who will greet them on their first day at the receiving school, and who they should go to if they have any difficulties in school.

It is important that arrangements are made within the school for the young person to have regular meetings with a member of staff who can regularly review their progress towards the Managed Move aims. This gives the child the chance to identify what has gone well and how to replicate success.

If the young person had a particularly positive relationship in the main school, then again it would be supportive if that member of staff were to have continued contact with the young person during the period of the Managed Move. This could be in person or via phone on a weekly basis.

If external agencies are involved with the family, if during the period of the Managed Move they could increase/prioritise their work with this family, this would increase the likelihood of positive outcome for the move. 

The use of student mentors can be very productive in Managed Move cases. It immediately gives the young person a more positive peer group to associate with, and may alleviate some of the anxieties around peer pressure.

At the agreed review meeting, a decision must be made to determine whether the pupil will return to their main school or be admitted to the receiving school on a permanent basis. This decision must be formally recorded and involve the young person, parents, both schools and any other professionals involved.

On the agreed date, the pupil must be removed from the admission register of the main school and admitted on the admission register of the receiving school. Any remaining school records should then be transferred. Once this has happened, the receiving school cannot then remove the pupil again, except by permanent exclusion.

In exceptional circumstances, usually as a result of significant behaviour problems, the receiving school may wish to end the arrangement before the Managed Move is completed. If so, the receiving school must consult with the main school before confirming this in writing to the parents, specifying the date from which the young person must return to the main school.  The DIP must  be informed of the decision and the reasons for the decision to terminate the arrangement.

In order for local schools and the Local Authority to monitor and analyse the effectiveness of Managed Moves in their district and across the County, the receiving school must ensure that the DIP is informed of the Managed Move outcome.

Funding Arrangements

The receiving school may wish to negotiate the transfer of funding if the pupil is formally admitted. The appropriate amount would be the balance remaining of the Age-weighted Pupil Allowance (AWPU) plus any other amounts such as Special Educational Needs and Disability/Education Health and Care Plan funding, according to the agreed current formulae. Schools may want to negotiate the backdating of funds to the beginning of the trial period. It would be appropriate to discuss funding arrangements before the start of the Managed Move.

Summary of Managed Moves Guidance

  1. School hold a meeting with parents/carers, child and appropriate agencies to discuss Managed Move.  If agreed consent form is signed and schools nominated.

  2. Main school completes Managed Move information form and sends to nominated schools.  Liaison takes place between schools, a receiving school is identified (if no school is identified then case is taken by main school to next DIP).

  3. Main school prepares young person for move, see worksheet which may be useful.

  4. Main school informs parents and child that a receiving school has been identified. Receiving school arranges transition meeting at their school and completes Managed Move plan.  

    Inform DIP (admin) of Managed Move.

  5. Review Managed Move.

  6. Inform DIP of Managed Move outcome.

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