Moving schools

Before you move schools

Find out what you need to do if you're moving in to Leeds or want to change schools in Leeds. This is called a school transfer.

If your child is due to start primary or secondary school in September 2024, you should apply for a school place.

When to apply for a transfer

School transfer offers are usually only kept open for a half term, so we advise that you apply one half term before you want your child to start.

Example If you wanted a place to start after the Easter holiday, you would apply during the February (Spring) half term.

If you apply earlier, the school may still offer a place but may require your child to start at the school by the start of the next half term. If they don’t start, the place may have to be offered to another child.

You can view the full list of school holidays and term dates.

Making transfer applications for September 2024 places

If you make a transfer application for a September 2024 start, the earliest you should apply is June 2024. You should apply for a place in the current school year (2023/2024). If you are offered a place, you can talk to the school about agreeing a September start date.

All waiting lists are cleared at the end of the school year. To be on a waiting list for next year (2024/2025), you need to make a new online portal application. You can do this from late July 2024.

If you are unhappy with your current school

Moving schools can be a difficult experience for a child. You should always speak to your child's school before trying to move to see what support they can offer you.

If you're moving house or new to Leeds

If you're moving to Leeds or moving within the city, you'll need to send evidence that you have moved.

Use your child's current address on your application until you have moved in. Send us evidence as soon as possible because your address can affect your child’s chance of getting a place at some schools.

What evidence you will need to send

You'll need to send us evidence that you have left your old property and evidence of your new address to

To show you have left your previous address send us (one of the following):

  • an exit utility bill for the previous property (gas, electricity, water, landline telephone)
  • completion of sale documents
  • a landlord notice to leave

To show you have moved to your new address send us (one of the following):

  • tenancy agreement for a rented property
  • house purchase completion (not exchange)

If you do not have the evidence

If you do not have these documents, send us as much evidence as possible to show you've moved house. You should also explain why you don’t have them.                                    

We will review it and make a decision about whether this evidence is enough.                                    

If you're moving to Leeds from abroad

If you live outside the UK and are planning to move to Leeds soon, you can apply for a Leeds school place. We will need to use your international address until your child has arrived in Leeds.

Find out more on school admissions for children who live overseas External link.

As soon as you arrive in Leeds you need to send us proof that you have moved. You should send us:

  • house ownership documents or tenancy agreement
  • a travel ticket (for example a flight boarding card) showing your child is in Leeds

If you're a crown servant or a member of the armed forces

Please send evidence of your role to and we can allocate a place for your child before you move to Leeds.                                      

We accept posting orders with quartering or unit addresses as proof that you are moving.                                      

If your child is classed as vulnerable

We have a policy to find a school for vulnerable children who do not have one. The policy applies to all schools and is known as the fair access protocol.

Children classed as vulnerable

Vulnerable children include those:                 

  • who are on a child in need plan or have been within the last 12 months
  • who are on a child protection plan or have been within the last 12 months
  • from the criminal justice system
  • who are in alternative provision or pupil referral units and need to be reintegrated into mainstream education or who have been permanently excluded but are deemed suitable for mainstream education
  • who have been refused a place on the grounds of their challenging behaviour and refereed by a school to the protocol
  • who are living in a refuge or other relevant accommodation for domestic abuse support
  • who are, or whose parents are, Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers
  • who are homeless
  • who are carers
  • with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions (but without an Education, Health and Care Plan)
  • who have been out of education for four or more weeks and there are no places available at any school within a reasonable distance of their home (this does not include where a suitable place has been offered to a child and this has not been accepted)
  • who are in formal kinship care arrangement (they live with you under a child arrangements order but you are not the birth parent)
  • who are previously looked after children and the local authority has been unable to promptly secure a school place
  • children for whom a school place has not been sought due to exceptional circumstances

If you think the policy applies to your child, let us know when you complete your application on our online portal. We will then contact you if your application is being considered for the fair access protocol for more information. 

Our fair access panel may allocate a different school to the ones you have applied for. This is so your child can start as quickly as possible at a suitable school.

Your child can still be on waiting lists for other schools and you can also appeal against any refusal to offer a place.

Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.