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There are a number of factors to consider when transferring colleges, including: timing, availability of school spaces, admission requirements, curriculum compatibility, location and more. Discover the answers to “When is it too late to transfer colleges?” and more related questions below.

1. Is it ever too late to transfer?

The possibility of transferring secondary schools in the U.K. depends on school policies, available spaces, and timing. While there isn’t a strict cut-off, it’s generally smoother at the beginning of the academic year. Some schools may be flexible, but others might have limited openings. Considerations include admission procedures, potential academic impacts, and the social and emotional aspects of adjusting mid-year. It’s advisable to check with the specific schools involved and be aware that transferring might be more challenging as the academic year progresses.

However, for Greene’s our parameters are slightly different. We enrol students at any point during the academic year – with many of our students choosing to join our in person or online sixth form mid-way through any given term. Our programmes are fully personalised, with students open to pursuing one-year A levels, two-year A levels, A level retakes, or A level transfers.

2. When it might be too late

There isn’t an absolute cut-off, but transferring secondary schools in the U.K. becomes increasingly challenging as the academic year progresses due to established classes and curriculum progression. Different schools or colleges will have different policies on transferring, please ensure to contact them directly. Greene’s is likely to accept students into our sixth form at any point in the academic year, although we will generally advise for students joining in Trinity term to undertake examinations either in the Winter series or the following Summer series, to allow for enough time to complete their studies.


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3. The Ideal Transfer Window

Students may seek January transfers in the U.K. for various reasons. This midpoint aligns with the end of the first term, offering a natural break for transitions. Families relocating, dissatisfaction with the current school, or seeking a better fit academically or socially may drive this decision. Additionally, students might face challenges in September but take time to assess their needs. The January intake also aligns with the start of a new calendar year, symbolising a fresh academic beginning. However, it’s crucial to consider individual circumstances and school policies, as transferring mid-year may pose challenges in terms of available spaces and established class dynamics.

4. Deadlines to watch

Transfer deadlines for secondary schools in the U.K. vary. Some schools or colleges will need, for example, a term’s notice. Be aware of school-specific application deadlines, admission procedures, and the start of new terms or academic years. Timely submission of required documents, interviews, and assessments is crucial. It’s advisable to contact the schools directly to obtain accurate and up-to-date information on deadlines.

5. Why students transfer

Students in the UK may transfer secondary schools due to various reasons, including:

  • Family relocation;
  • Dissatisfaction with the current school;
  • Seeking better academic opportunities or support;
  • A change in personal circumstances;
  • A desire for a more suitable social or extracurricular environment.

Each school transfer is unique to the individual student’s needs and goals.

About Greene’s

Greene’s College Oxford is an independent sixth form college with campuses located in the heart of Oxford, U.K. and in Lisbon & Estoril, Portugal. Our educational philosophy is based on one simple assumption: if students’ education is tailored to suit their unique qualities and needs, they are more likely to be successful. Study at Greene’s College Oxford blends small group or individual tutorials, dynamic feedback on learning, and one-to-one weekly Personal Tutoring sessions to ensure all students have personalised guidance.


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