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School transfer requests rise by 65 per cent

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
School transfer requests rise by 65 per cent

EDUCATION chiefs have been shocked after the number of pupils seeking to switch schools in Dumfries and Galloway rose sharply in a year.

In 2021/22, the numbers of youngsters moving school between the months of September and May was 58. However, this figure had climbed to 95 during the same nine-month period in 2022/23 – a jump of 65 percent.

The matter is due to be discussed at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education committee on Thursday, January 25.

John Thin, the council’s head of education, will table a report at the meeting. It reads: “Over the past months, the directorate has seen significantly increasing numbers of pupils and their families seeking to move the schools during term time.

“This can be disruptive to the young person’s education and causes significant challenges in managing the change of school for both the young person and the receiving school.”

Mr Thin’s report now recommends amendments to the schools’ admissions policy and procedures in relation to pupils’ requests to change schools during the school year.

The new proposed policy on school transfers, which councillors are being asked to rubber stamp, reads: “Pupils may wish to choose to transfer to another school. This would normally be at the end of an academic session, however some school transfers may take place at a natural break in the school year.

“For pupils choosing to request a transfer during the academic session this process can take up to a period of eight weeks unless there are logistical reasons for the transfer request, such as a house move.

“Where there is a disagreement about the pupil transfer, reasons must be stated and submitted to the relevant quality improvement manager within five working days of receipt.

“The quality improvement manager will make appropriate arrangements to assess the situation and will make a decision based on the information available.”

Front, Lockerbie and Lochmaben

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