Q1: What is the Common Transfer File? Is it an electronic portal?
A1: Under Regulation 9 of the Education (Pupil Information) Regulations 2005, when a pupil ceases to be registered at a maintained school, and becomes a registered pupil at another school, the governing body of the old school or, where agreed, the local authority, is required to transfer the pupil’s “Common Transfer File” (CTF) (see paragraph (1) of Regulation 9) to the new school. As set out in paragraph 6.1 of the Explanatory Memorandum, Schedule 2 to the 2005 Regulations makes provision in relation to the information to be included in a CTF.
In practice, the CTF is a file format made available by the Department for Education (DfE). All schools maintained by a local authority in England use the CTF to send pupil data when a pupil transfers from one school to another, when a pupil ceases to be registered at their school and becomes a registered pupil at another school in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. This could be done during or at the end of an academic year or a phase of education and could involve a whole cohort of pupils or a single pupil.
DfE provides a service called School to School (S2S) to facilitate the transfer of electronic CTFs. S2S could be described as an electronic portal. CTFs may also be transferred using local authority secure systems or even–though this is rare–in paper form.
Q2: Paragraphs 10.1–10.3 of the Explanatory Memorandum refer to consultation–were there any published consultation documents or response documents?
A2: The consultations referred to in paragraphs 10.1 and 10.2 of the Explanatory Memorandum were statutory consultations under section 408(5) of the Education Act 1996, rather than public consultations. The ICO consultation referred to in paragraph 10.3 of the Explanatory Memorandum was carried out under Article 36(4) of the General Data Protection Regulation. There are no published consultation documents or response documents to the consultations. Paragraphs 10.1-10.3 of the Explanatory Memorandum set out who was consulted and provide a summary of the responses received.
Q3: Is it solely the results of the multiplication tables check and the phonics screening check that will now additionally be included in the CTF? Or could other assessments also be included in future through the amendments made by these Regulations?
A3: The effect of the amendments made by these Regulations is to require the results of any statutory national curriculum assessment, as defined in the relevant Regulations, to be included in the CTF. This includes existing national curriculum assessments and will capture any new national curriculum assessments that may be introduced in the future. The introduction of any additional assessments would be subject to further legislation and consultation.
The existing national curriculum assessments are the end-of-key stage 1 national curriculum assessments; end-of-key stage 2 national curriculum assessments and tests; and the phonics screening check. The multiplication tables check will also be a national curriculum assessment when the Education (National Curriculum) (Key Stage 2 Assessment Arrangements) (England) (Amendment) Order 2019 comes into force.
Q4: Is the requirement just related to transfers of pupils between maintained primary schools?
A4: All schools maintained by a local authority in England are required, when a pupil ceases to be registered at their school and becomes a registered pupil at another school in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, to send a CTF to the new school. Schools maintained by a local authority include all phases–for example, nursery, primary, secondary–and types of schools–such as special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs). Academies (including free schools) are also strongly encouraged to send CTFs when a pupil leaves to attend another school.
The CTF should include the pupil’s cumulative achievements at the end of each key stage, where these are available.
30 May 2019