Mother hugging daughter on steps changing schools

Considering changing schools? Here is how to know when it’s time to uproot

Changing schools can feel like pulling up a well-established tree.  While it can be disruptive, sometimes a new educational environment is just what a child needs to blossom. There are many reasons behind the decision to change schools.

Change schools to find a better fit

  • Academic needs: Maybe your child is a gifted learner who needs a more challenging curriculum or requires extra support not offered at their current school. A new school with specialised programs or smaller class sizes could make all the difference.
  • Learning style: Traditional classroom settings don’t suit every learner. If your child thrives in a hands-on, project-based environment or excels in a more individualised approach, a school with alternative teaching methods could be a game-changer.
  • Extracurricular needs: Does your child yearn for a specific sport, music program, or artistic opportunity not offered at their current school? A school with a robust extracurricular program aligned with their passion can ignite their spirit.
  • Social struggles: Is your child facing bullying or feeling socially isolated? A new school with a robust anti-bullying culture or a focus on inclusivity could provide a much-needed fresh start.

Life changes that may force you to change schools:

  • Moving homes: The most apparent reason is that a family relocation necessitates a new school. This can be an excellent opportunity to find an environment that aligns with your new community.
  • Shifting financial landscape: Perhaps private school tuition is no longer feasible, or a new scholarship opens doors to a prestigious school. Financial considerations can play a significant role in the decision to change schools.

Personal reasons for changing schools:

  • Safety concerns: A switch might be necessary if your child feels unsafe due to a poor school environment or a disruptive cohort.
  • Dissatisfaction with school leadership: Are you concerned about the school’s administration, teaching methods, or overall philosophy? Seeking a school that aligns more closely with your values can be a significant factor.

Change schools to deal with school refusal

If your child is refusing to go to school, it’s crucial to understand the root cause. You need to identify why they are unhappy with their current school. If you don’t get to the bottom of the problem, it may persist even if you switch to a new school. Once you have a clear understanding of the issue, you can make an informed decision about whether changing schools will be beneficial or if the problem can be resolved by staying at the current school.

What local families say about changing schools

Louise* from Sunshine Coast decided to change schools because her son refused to attend school. 

“He is a super-smart kid. We thought we were doing the right thing putting him in a school that offered a gifted and talented program. Over the next 12 months, school refusal and anxiety got really bad. We found out that the school was too stressful and isolating for him. We moved him to a less pressurised environment, where grades weren’t such a focus, and he thrived!”

Jo’s* first daughter was really happy at their chosen school. So, when it was time, she automatically sent her next daughter there, too. 

“Eden* loved being at a school with lots of clubs and activities, so we presumed Lily* would love it there too. But Lily just wasn’t thriving in the same way. We moved Lily to a school with a much smaller class size and a more personalised learning approach, and she was so much happier.”

Changing schools is a personal decision. By understanding your child’s unique needs and learning style, you can navigate this transition and find the perfect educational environment for your child to flourish.

*Names have been changed

If you are considering changing schools, come along to the Sunshine Coast Education Fair 2024. It’s Queensland’s leading education expo!

You can talk with the best Sunshine Coast schools, explore their programs, and meet students. There are loads of activities for kids, and it’s all FREE!

Register for your free ticket HERE!