What a key stage transfer is and how to apply for a key stage transfer school place for your child.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan you must use this form and not the online school admissions application form. This allows this group of children and young people to be prioritised.

You must submit this form by 31 October 2022. If you don't, your child may not get their preferred school.

What a key stage transfer is

A key stage transfer is when a child or young person moves between key stages of education. This includes the move from:

  • nursery to reception
  • infant to junior school
  • primary to secondary school
  • secondary school to education after the age of 16

If your child has an EHC plan, you must fill in this form when they move to a different school or education setting at the end of:

  • nursery
  • year 2 (only for separate infant and junior schools)
  • year 6

If your child is aged 16 or over and is applying for a college or sixth form place, they must apply directly to the college or school.

The key stage transfer steps for a child or young person with an EHC plan

  1. Your child's current school reviews your child's EHC plan. When a child moves between key stages of education, this is called a key stage transfer review.
  2. You give us your first, second and third preference schools on the form. This step is called parental preference.
  3. We look at the key stage transfer review and issue an amendment notice, which includes any changes to your child's EHC plan.
  4. We have formal talks with your preferred schools, also known as consultations.
  5. We update your child's EHC plan with the new school and any other changes from the key stage transfer review. This step is called final EHC plan.

Key stage transfer review

At the key stage transfer review, your child's school looks at their progress towards the outcomes in the EHC plan. The school will suggest any changes needed for the EHC plan before your child moves to their new school.

Parental preference

When you fill in the form, give a first, second and third preference for schools. If you don't give us three preferences, we'll contact you to ask for them. 

The schools must be a:

  • Bristol maintained school, which includes community or voluntary aided schools and academies
  • school in another council area
  • Bristol special school
  • special school in another council area

We'll try to make sure your child can go to their preferred school. We may not be able to do this if it would be very expensive for us to place them in that school.

If your preferred school is a special school in another council area, the council that maintains it will decide whether to offer your child a place.

When deciding on your preferred schools, look at the arrangements for home to school travel support.

Changes to the child or young person's EHC plan (amendment notice)

We process the key stage transfer review, and send an amendment notice to you and your child's current school.

The amendment notice has suggested changes to your child's EHC plan.

Talks with your preferred schools (consultations)

When we get your school preferences, we'll start formal talks with these schools, also known as consultations. We'll include the name of one of your preferred schools on your child's final EHC plan as long as:

  • the school is suitable for the child or young person's age, ability and aptitude and the special educational needs set out in section B of the EHC plan
  • the child or young person's attendance is compatible with the education of other pupils in the school
  • the placement is a good use of the council's resources

The named setting must admit the child or young person.

Final EHC plan

The final EHC plan:

  • includes any changes from the amendment notice
  • names the child or young person's new school

It must be issued by 15 February for nursery, year 2 and year 6 pupils.

How to apply

Apply for a key stage transfer school place

for September 2023

Contact us

If you have any questions:

  • call 0117 922 3700
  • speak to the Senior Inclusion Officer at your child's school (if you don't know who this is, ask the school's SEND Coordinator)
  • speak to your Assessment Coordinator if your child is going through an Education, Health and Care needs assessment process