The common transfer file (CTF)

Get to grips with what data you should include in the common transfer file (CTF) and how you can send it. Also learn what you should do if you haven't received a new pupil's CTF data.

Last reviewed on 21 May 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 30613
  1. What is the CTF?
  2. What data to include
  3. Deadline for transferring the CTF
  4. How to send the CTF
  5. What to do if you haven't received a new pupil's CTF 

What is the CTF?

The common transfer file (CTF) is the way schools send information about a pupil who leaves to join another school. 

Maintained schools (including maintained PRUs): you're legally required to send a CTF if a registered pupil moves to another school in the UK.

This is explained on page 4 of the technical specification for the CTF published by the DfE. 

Academies: there is no legal requirement, but the DfE's guidance states that you're 'strongly encouraged to send CTFs when a pupil leaves to attend another school'.

No requirement for a receiving school to upload the CTF

You're not required to load CTFs into your school's management information system (MIS). 

The DfE recommends you use the CTF. However, there may be circumstances where your school has more up-to-date information available, which means that uploading the file may not be appropriate. 

The DfE explained this to us. 

You must generate CTFs from your main

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.