Parents in Flintshire need better educating on the impact of transferring their children between schools, it’s been suggested.
It comes amid claims that some are choosing to relocate their youngsters ‘on a whim’.
During the last school year, Flintshire Council’s admissions team processed a total of 1,228 applications to change schools.
Officers said moving schools could have a disruptive impact on a pupil’s education.
The local authority has now amended its admissions policy to actively discourage parents from transferring them unless necessary.
Addressing members of the ruling Labour administration, Gill Yates, the council’s pupil support services manager, said the changes had been brought about as a result of feedback from headteachers.
Speaking at County Hall in Mold today, she said: “I think where the headteachers are coming from is there are some transfers which are unavoidable, such as moving house.
“Where secondary heads were concerned is some parents apply to transfer on a whim and without really considering the interruption to their child’s education.
“With the best will in the world, it takes time to assimilate to a new secondary school.
“They’re leaving their friendship groups and their GCSE options could be different.
“Quite often it’s parents who are falling out with the school and I think it’s those we’re wanting to home in on.”
The policy change to discourage parents has also been adopted by several other local authorities in Wales.
It was unanimously voted through by cabinet members, who expressed concerns about the number of transfers taking place in the county.
They included Cllr Derek Butler, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, who called for the impact of moving schools to be made clear.
He said: “There’s an old adage that you never stop learning and perhaps it just needs reinforcing to parents.
“They need educating about some of these issues.
“It does have an impact on their child’s educational prospects, where the parent has moved job and they want their kid moved nearer to where they’re going to, which quite often happens.
“It’s easier for them to put the child in another school because they can take their child and collect their child because it’s nearer their new employment, but it does have impacts outside of their individual criteria.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).