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How to transfer a .sch.uk domain

Transferring the domain as described below will give you full control over your public DNS records to make setting up G Suite, Office 365 or simply adding a subdomain a relatively straightforward process.
Due to technical nuance
s o
f the .sch.uk domain and the infrequency of this process, misunderstandings are common so the process is not without its risks - the motto therefore is be prepared! Be sure to read this information thoroughly and check in with all the parties involved before you start.

There are two points worth noting before you being, firstly the domain’s contact email address MUST be correct and accessible and secondly the process will cost a one off £10 + VAT.

For GDPR reasons it is no longer possible to see the email address in the public record so if you’re unsure you’ll need to contact your registrar. To check who your registrar is, run a WHOIS lookup.

Also note: DNS settings can take 48 hours to propagate but the Nominet setup and tag transfer, without any hiccups, is actually surprisingly quick, less than an hour all in.

Plan to transfer around 3pm, so as to minimise any disruption (should something go wrong) but be within working hours should you need to seek support.

The order is not set in stone but is important, below is our recommendation based on experience. Complete and test each step before moving onto the next.

and the infrequency of this process, misunderstandings are common so the process is not without its risks - the motto therefore is be prepared! Be sure to read this information thoroughly and check in with all the parties involved before you start.

There are two points worth noting before you being, firstly the domain’s contact email address MUST be correct and accessible and secondly the process will cost a one off £10 + VAT.

For GDPR reasons it is no longer possible to see the email address in the public record so if you’re unsure you’ll need to contact your registrar. To check who your registrar is, run a WHOIS lookup.

Also note: DNS settings can take 48 hours to propagate but the Nominet setup and tag transfer, without any hiccups, is actually surprisingly quick, less than an hour all in.

Plan to transfer around 3pm, so as to minimise any disruption (should something go wrong) but be within working hours should you need to seek support.

The order is not set in stone but is important, below is our recommendation based on experience. Complete and test each step before moving onto the next.

Preparation 

1. Create a FreeDNS account with Namecheap: https://www.namecheap.com/domains/freedns/
Why Namecheap? The service is free, they offer good support, their management interface is relatively user friendly and they support the full range of records and wildcards etc.

1a. Add your domain, school-name.area.sch.uk e.g.

1b. Configure DNS inc. CNAME and MX etc.

2. Setup a free account with nominet.uk. To validate ownership will need to either:

2a. Ensure the contact email address is set correctly and accessible. It should ideally not an address within the domain itself.

2b. Ask your Headteacher to write a letter on headed paper to Nominet, emailed to nominet@nominet.uk. Here is an example letter.

3. Confirm you have access to manage the domain within Nominet. So long as you have access here you can correct any subsequent issues

Migration

4. Request that your existing registrar update your nameservers to point to the FreeDNS ones below. We have had to push registrars to do this and it can be done as a discrete task.


freedns1.registrar-servers.com
freedns2.registrar-servers.com
freedns3.registrar-servers.com
freedns4.registrar-servers.com
freedns5.registrar-servers.com

You could skip this step and complete once under Nominet but we have found this a useful process to understand the lay of the land with the registrar.

5. Request that the existing registrar change the domain tag to a new provider/registrar. For security reasons a registrar can’t set the tag to Nominet’s neutral tag so the process will seem a little odd. The tag at this stage therefore can actually be for ANY registrar as you’ll need to change it again… Let’s stick with Namecheap though, so request the tag to be changed to ENOM (Namecheap.com is a reseller of Enom.com).

5a. The record should come across with the existing settings in tact, so the nameservers should remain as they were.

6. Once complete, log into your Nominet dashboard > Manage domain > Change registrar. From the dropdown list, select the neutral “Nominet” tag.


6a. To complete the transfer you’ll need to pay £10 + VAT on a credit card, which is unavoidable. On the plus side there are no further fees from Nominet or hopefully FreeDNS (as the name would suggest).

6b. You can check the status by doing a WHOIS lookup, once complete the TAG portion of the record will read “This domain is registered directly with Nominet.”

7. You will now be able to click on your domain to manage it, so you can update the contact details and the nameservers. Don’t forget to set up 2FA.

References

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