School to school service: how to transfer information

How schools and local authorities should securely send pupil records and other information using the school to school (S2S) system.

The S2S system allows schools and local authorities to securely share information, for example to:

Local authorities can also use S2S to report on the number of CTF transfers that have taken place in their region.

Log in

Access to S2S is only available via DfE sign in, our secure point of entry for data transfer services.

Send files

To send information to another school or local authority, you must:

  • use the CTF naming protocols
  • save the data in an encrypted folder or file
  • send the file as a compressed folder

Full instructions for saving, uploading and receiving files via S2S can be found in the school to school (S2S) data transfer system: guides.

Maintained schools in Wales have a statutory requirement to use the common transfer system (CTS) when using S2S. Further details are available from the Welsh government website.

Unique learner numbers

Schools can use the S2S ULN service to register pupils with the LRS and receive unique learner numbers (ULNs) for them. See the user guide in the school to school (S2S) data transfer system: guides.

The S2S ULN service allows you to:

  • directly register pupils for ULNs
  • update the LRS with any changes to pupil data
  • update schools with any individual pupil data queries

You must be registered with the LRS, and have signed their learning provider agreement to use the S2S ULN service.

S2S documents

We have produced the following guides for schools and local authorities on how to access and use the S2S data transfer service:

  • S2S: guide for schools
  • S2S: guide for local authorities
  • S2S: unique learner service guide for schools
  • S2S: encrypting data using WinZip

These documents are all available on the School to school (S2S) data transfer system: guides publication page.


If you have any questions or problems with S2S or CTF, please contact the S2S helpdesk using the service request form, making sure you select the radio button for ‘school to school issues’.

Published 26 March 2014