Information about school admissions and transitions for children in care, and how the designated teacher can support children with these moves.


Children in care have the highest priority in school admissions.

See the School Admissions Code Go to (opens new window).


Change is never easy for any child. For children in care, pdf attachment issues (8 KB)  can make change particularly difficult and stressful.

Transitions include:

  • a change of care placement
  • a new teacher
  • a change of key stage
  • a change of education setting

Good planning can help transitions be positive and go smoothly for the child. Transitions work best when all the key adults are clear about their responsibility and the role of other adults working with the child.

When a child in care moves from primary to secondary school

Moving from primary to secondary school can be stressful.

You can help the move from primary to secondary be a positive one by working with other key adults such as the child's social worker and carer.

The designated teacher's role

The primary school designated teacher (DT) should discuss any extra support the child needs for a successful move to secondary school at the child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings.

The secondary school DT should:

  • attend a PEP meeting in Year 6, preferably the final one before the child moves schools
  • make sure the child knows the DT has a responsibility for children in care in their new school and are there to look out for them and help them do well
  • set up a learning mentor or home-school worker support
  • use Year 6 SATs results to help plan Year 7 classes, with extra support if it’s needed
  • manage the extra support, including out of school hours learning
  • attend the PEP meetings in Year 7
  • tell the child person who at their new school will know they’re in care and why

The role of The HOPE

The HOPE will:

  • go to the Year 6 and Year 7 PEP meetings where possible
  • talk to the professionals working with the young person to try to ensure a smooth, well planned transition

Contact us

Call: 0117 903 6282
Write: The HOPE Virtual School (CH), PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS3 9NE

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