Should I Switch My Child's School Mid-Year?

Should I Switch My Child's School Mid-Year?
By David Westley
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The decision of whether to switch your child’s school mid way through the year is a difficult choice to make.

Aside from the obvious reasons for moving such as a family relocation to another city, country or even continent, there can be a number of explanations why a parent or child would consider such a move.

Some of these reasons could be:

  1. Dissatisfaction in teaching methods
  2. Child’s emotional or educational needs not being met
  3. Bullying (which is not being stamped out by the school)
  4. Child is not achieving his full potential
  5. Better opportunities at other schools
  6. Location of school is inconvenient



While all of these reasons are perfectly legitimate, and while a move mid year may solve/achieve the desired results, there can be consequences.

Students who frequently change schools can suffer psychologically, socially and academically. So too can the students who are left behind that feel the affect of a transient academic environment.

According to Jennifer Warlick, Professor of economics and policy studies at the University of Notre Dame, new students coming into the classroom also require more time from the teacher, affecting teacher availability for the rest of the class.

Sara, a Math teacher in a Sharjah secondary school agrees, “The transient nature of the UAE is such that we regularly have new students entering the classroom. More often than not, that child needs extra help to be brought up to speed with the rest of the group, which can be disrupting and detrimental to the development of the rest of the class.”

Moving your children mid-year is an important decision, and it is important to remember such a move could disrupt not only your child, but the children he or she leaves behind, and his or her future classmates. Your decision needs to balance both the positive and negative effects of such a change.


Before the move

If you’re thinking of moving your child here are some points to help make sure it’s the right decision for you and your child:

  1. Spend time at school – see the class environment for yourself before making the decision to switch
  2. Try changing classes first – it may be the teacher or the dynamics of the class that are affecting your child’s learning.
  3. Weigh up the pros and cons – there should be far more advantages to moving.
  4. Research new schools – leave no stone unturned when looking at new options. Speak to students, parents and teachers or advice.
  5. Share the decision with your child – make them part of the decision making process.
  6. Consider home school – this could be an option at least until the end of the school year to avoid starting a new school mid term.

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