For several reasons children need to change schools. Some do not finish the school year at the school where they originally started out. Changing a child’s school in the middle of the school year can be challenging due to various factors.
Why move your child to a new school?
Some reasons could include dissatisfaction with your child’s current school not meeting the required academic, social, physical or behavioural needs of your child. Unresolved bullying at your child’s present school and a decline or increase in finances- may prompt you to move your child.
Sometimes, moving your child to a new school is inevitable. If you’re moving into a new home which is quite a distance from your child’s school, you may have no choice but to move your child to a different school. Additionally children may need to change schools if they are moving from primary to secondary, or nursery to primary.
If your child is having challenges at the current school, whether it’s bullying or concerns about your child’s development/academic progress- attempt to deal with them. Express your concerns to your child’s class teacher or the head teacher/principal. Try to explore all options available to resolve any issues you have with the school. Moving your child to a different school should be a last resort.
It is recommended that you involve your child in the decision to change school.
Discuss with your child the reasons behind your decision to move to a new school. Help your child see the positives of moving such as making “new friends”, but also make out time to listen to your child’s fears and concerns for moving. Let your child know the plans you have in place to make the transition as smooth as possible. This will help put your child’s mind at ease and make the move to a new school little bit hassle free.
Here are some tips to make the transition to a new school easier
- Moving your child to a new school involves planning. You have to time it right so that the child doesn’t miss out on much. It’s best to move to a new school when the child is moving to a new class/grade- for example, if your child is moving from primary 3 to primary 4, and you’re planning to change to a new school, it’s better to wait until the child is done with primary 3 before making the change. This ensures that the child doesn’t miss anything and the child would not have to repeat a class.
- When you’re looking at new schools for your child, you may not have the benefit of organised school tours, you’ll need to contact the school authorities and arrange a time to visit. You can also look at whether there are opportunities for your child to develop their strengths and interests. For example, if they’re keen on music and drama, you might look for a school that has a strong interest in performing arts, with the curriculum and after-school activities reflecting this.
- After settling on the choice of a new school, get to know the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of your children’s teachers, principal, and school nurse. By all means, contact them if you have any questions or concerns.
- If your child has special needs, such as a learning disability, food allergy or a health challenge, work with the new school as far in advance as possible to determine placement and to line up services and support.
- Get involved in the PTA of the new school. Parent organization leaders are in a good position to share information and issues about the new school with you. Ask how you can contribute your skills and interests. Getting actively involved in your child’s new school benefits you and your child! Research indicates that the more involved parents are, the more successful their own children will be.
Transitions of any kind are never easy, they involve planning and hard work. The best way to ease your child’s move to a new school is to be well informed and get involved as much as you can.