School transfer policy to change
Student transfer requests within the public school system will come under more scrutiny, Education Minster Jennifer Smith announced today.
Dame Jennifer said the new policy was aimed at ensuring the interests of a child came first, not to add red tape to the process.
In the House of Assembly this morning she said: “There are a number of reasons why a transfer might become necessary. The obvious one would be because of a change of residence. That is most common and the action to be taken is usually mutually agreed between principal and parent. It is not the intent of this process to stop any such legitimate transfer.
“However, there are occasionally transfer requests which require closer examination.
“Let me give you an example: A student comes to school and staff notice changes in that student's behaviour or appearance. Staff and/or the principal bring their observations to the attention of the parent.
“If that parent wants to avoid attention, as the policy presently stands, the parent may transfer the child within a matter of days and there is little or no opportunity for any intervention.
“In addition, the school receiving that student has no knowledge of any concerns or possible issues concerning that transfer.”
Dame Jennifer said she was aware of some primary school students who have transferred into four schools across the Island, which has disrupted their learning.
Parents wishing to transfer students to a new public school will now have to complete a form, which must be approved by the Assistant Director for Education, Standards and Accountability for the student's school zone.