13 July 2018

Should You Move Your Child to a Different School?

Moving a child to another school is a big decision to make. Whilst it could benefit your child in many ways, it could also be disruptive to other parts of your child’s life. You need to weigh up whether the positives outweigh the negatives and most importantly you child needs to be happy with the decision. Here are a few common reasons why parents move their kids to another school along with advice on whether you should do the same.

Your child has been expelled

If your child has been expelled, chances are that you’ll have to find another school – your current school doesn’t want your child back. It is possible to reason with the school if you think their decision was brash or unfair, but in most cases such a decision will be due to a series of bad behavioral issues and will have had a lot of careful thought put into it.

No parent wants their child to be expelled and it can be dispiriting for both you and your child. Finding another school willing to take on your child can be difficult – it’s important that you’re truthful about the situation and that you don’t tell lies about why your child left their previous school in order to get admitted. Kids that are able to achieve good grades despite their trouble making tendencies are more likely to find a placement at another school. If this isn’t the case, you may still be able to highlight achievements out of school that show motivation and work ethic. There are schools out there that readily take on children that other schools deem ‘unteachable’ – you may only want to use these as a last resort however!

Your child is getting bullied/doesn’t get on with other students there

If your child isn’t happy at their current school due to bullies, you should first contact the school and see what they can do about the issue. You may be able to end bullying without having to uproot your child and cause potentially even more distress. That said, if the school have tried and failed to fix the issue or are simply doing little about it, you may feel the best decision is to pull you kid out of school for the sake of their well-being. This should be particularly the case if your child has no friends at the school and feels isolated. All in all, you should talk to your child and see what they want – let them take a week off school if they have to and then urge them to return and see if school is still as upsetting as before. If it’s clear things aren’t going to improve, looking for another school could be the best step.

The environment isn’t right for your child’s ability

It’s possible the current school may be too advanced or not advanced enough for your child’s learning capability.

In the former case, talk to your kid about why they’re struggling to learn at school. If you kid has learning difficulties and the school isn’t equipped to deal with these, you may find that your child performs better by moving to a school that can cater to this learning disability. If your child is simply underachieving or feels that the work is too advanced, talk to the school and see what assistance they can provide. You could also consider hiring a personal tutor or doing some teaching yourself – moving school should be last option, especially if your kid has friends and otherwise enjoys school.

If you feel that your child is highly intelligent and their current school is holding them back, you may also be thinking of moving them to a better learning environment. There are tools online that can help you when identifying gifted students although you may be able to simply tell from their grades and enthusiasm to learn more that the curriculum covers. A school with a flexible curriculum could be better for you child. You should still talk to your child about what they want as they may be happy at their current school – whilst you may feel that they’re not tapping into their full potential, moving them to another school could take them away from their friends and have negative repercussions in the long run.

You can’t afford their current schooling

If your child attends a private school and you cannot afford the high fees, you may also be considering moving to another school. This can be a very difficult situation to negotiate, particularly if your child is performing well at school and has lots of friends there.

You should contact the school and discuss the possibility of lowering fees – some schools will be sympathetic, particularly if your child is a good student and if unfortunate circumstances have caused you to no longer afford schooling (i.e. a divorce, burglary, medical problems or the main breadwinner losing their job). Talk to your child about the issue so that they understand why you’re considering pulling them out. You may even be able to find grants and loans to help cover school fees – unless your child doesn’t like the school, pulling them out due to financial problems should be a last resort.

Their current school is too far away

If you’ve moved home or are planning on moving far away, this could affect your child’s ability to get to their current school. This could mean a long school run, which could involve getting up early for and driving for miles. There may be some cases where the distance is so great that continuing at one’s current school is unfeasible. Ideally, you should weigh up the decision to move before weighing up the decision to find a new school – unless moving away is going to truly benefit everyone, don’t do it. When moving long distance, you’re uprooting a child from everything they know and it can be very distressing if friends have to be left behind, however there could be circumstances when it helps your child to achieve a better quality of life such as moving away from a high crime area.

Other factors to consider

There are many other factors that you should consider when moving school. One important factor is timing – if they’re currently in the process of doing important exams or they have a big school play/sporting event coming up, you may want to wait until after these events have taken place. This could help to make it less disruptive. You should also make sure that you’ve had a good look at other schools so that you know another school will be better for your child. It’s no use pulling a child out of school for being bullied or for not learning at the right rate if the next school is just as bad.

Disclosure: This is a contributed post.

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