Why you should think twice about moving your child to a new school


Moving is often called a stressful experience, motivated by equally stressful reasons, be it a change in employment, divorce, or a death in the family. 

While we're aware of the obvious anxiety a change in address can induce, we may not be clued up on the effect a move has on our children. Especially in the ways we least expect. 

And since a move in homes means a move in schools, education is one of these areas. 

One of the largest and longest studies to examine the effect moving has on a child's schooling was conducted in the US. Looking at nearly 12 000 students, their academic record between grades 8 to 12, and whether or not they moved during those years, researchers found that "students who changed schools only one time were more likely to have dropped out... [and] the likelihood of completing school with a regular high school diploma decreased dramatically as the number of school changes increased... " 

A more recent study in 2016 echoes these findings. 

Swansea University looked at the data of 800 000 children aged 1 to 6, their findings showed that moving children between the ages of 4 to 6 is particularly detrimental. 

"We found that children who moved home frequently were less likely to achieve... The results were particularly marked between age four and six, where just one home move resulted in an increased likelihood of not achieving. And children who moved three or more times between the ages of one and four years were less likely to achieve the required standard." 

Did you need to switch your child to a new school? What was the reason and how did they cope? Tell us your story by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  

Sometimes moving isn't a choice 

While moving homes and subsequently schools may be due to factors out of a parent's control, both studies highlight that a nurturing family environment is just as key to academic achievement as decreasing student mobility. 

"Children who experience frequent home or school moves may be at a disadvantage in terms of education. In order to manage the effect that moving has on schooling, additional support is needed to ensure that children continue to work towards the expected educational standards." 

Here are a few useful Parent24 resources to make the move as smooth as possible: 

Can I move my child to a different school? by Zayaan Schroeder

Is your child changing schools? A new start doesn't have to be traumatic. Follow these basic tips on making the transition as smooth as possible.

On changing schools by Cath Jenkin

Advice from a mom who's been there. 

Explaining school admission policies

Which criteria do South African schools use to sort through applicants, and what does the law say?

Moving house? You need this checklist! 

Moving house can be a daunting task. Not only is it an emotional journey, but you'll have reams of admin to do. Our list will help you tick off the boxes!

Tips to make a move smoother by Brenda Entwisle

Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.

7 tips for moving abroad with kids

Moving to a new country can be expensive and stressful. Here's how to survive.

4 local apps making school admin, transport and finance easier for parents and teachers by Lesley-Anne Johannes

Yes, that shiver down your spine at the sound of the words "school", "admin", "transport" and "finance" in the same sentence is normal, but these apps just made it a whole lot simpler.

Did you need to switch your child to a new school? What was the reason and how did they cope? Tell us your story by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  


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