Home > Schooling Abroad > Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School

Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 24 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
Local Education Authorities Lea Foreign

We have already looked at how to place our children in schools abroad and how to help them fit in once they have made the transition to a foreign school but it is worth noting that the reverse can apply as foreign students are now becoming commonplace in our schools in the United Kingdom.

This can happen because a family has come to the United Kingdom in relation to employment or because they are wishing to seek Asylum in the United Kingdom. Whatever the case every child is entitled to an education and as such every attempt is made by the schooling system and the Local Education Authorities to make sure that places are available for any foreign student wishing to seek an education here.

Differences to be Aware of

For the most part the principle is the same for those families wishing to relocate to the United Kingdom as it would be for those families leaving the United Kingdom for foreign climbs. Although in saying that there are some noticeable differences.

The main difference being that we – in the United Kingdom – teach our children in English as our first language with foreign languages such as French German, Spanish and now in some schools Mandarin – bringing up the rear in language stakes. This, just as it is British children moving abroad – a stumbling block that needs to be overcome for any foreign student to gain a reasonable and satisfactory level of education.


Just as with British children, it is important and a good investment of time, for a foreign family to visit and select a list of schools that would appeal to their individual child’s needs should that be a course of action open to them. Obviously if the family are seeking asylum in the United Kingdom then a visit before hand is a lot less likely and it can sometimes be a lottery in terms of finding a place for their children. Local Education Authorities will help with this as best they can in conjunction with the Foreign Office and British Consulate to their country of origin.

It is also worth noting that foreign students will fall under the same system of criteria as British children when it comes to the application process for a specific school. Their applications will be determined not so much on the merits of where they are from – in relation to country – but where they are living in relation to the distance from the schools of choice etc. This is the same for all children and indeed the same applies for any benefits that might be obtained; school meals, financial assistance for travel and uniforms etc.

If you are from a foreign country and wish to place your child or children in full time education in the United Kingdom it is worth noting that there may be – in some schools – a rudimentary series of aptitude tests that may need to be taken – in order to gauge the level of your child’s learning to date, especially if they have already been in education in your home country. This may also include a basic test as to how they cope with the English language that – as we have already discussed – is the first language in our schools.

Some schools do teach in other languages as a first choice language but these schools it is worth mentioning – have limited places available and normally have long waiting lists. This also applies to specific religion schools such as those that teach Hinduism and other religions practiced mainly abroad.

In conclusion it is not impossible to place your child in a United Kingdom school if you are from abroad but there are certain stumbling blocks that have to be overcome so if you are relocating to the United Kingdom from abroad and have the time to do so, it is a worthwhile endeavour to take the time to find out what your child’s best options are.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hello mam/ sir , I am going to study in UK under tier 4 student visa. Can I bring my children to UK? Will they be admitted in state funded school? If not how can I educate there? Or is there any difficulties for my children to study? Please help me. I don't know what procedure regarding this.
Pappu - 24-Jul-20 @ 3:25 PM
We want to educated our daughter in UK her age is 12years plz tell us Hw we apply and also tell us annual fee and hostel facility for girl
Mahi - 8-Jul-20 @ 8:10 AM
Hi my name is Aaren I finished my (a level )year 12 in the uae but may move to London in the month of the August . Will I have to re-do my year 12 or continue and do year 13? ( kindly respond fast )
Aaren - 24-Jun-20 @ 6:41 PM
Hi, im a male currently living in india i am 16 right now but i will be 17 in august i just passed my computer tech exam in india currently and am promoted to year 12 but i will be coming to uk in august or September so what are the best options for me? Can i do year 13 or do i have to re do year 12
Favian - 4-May-20 @ 8:40 AM
Hi. I m planning to move to UK from India in the month of December and want my 9 year old son to study in one of the state funded school. I want to know whether school admissions are possible at that point of time and to which grade he will be admitted? Also what documents or are required for admission?
sunita - 9-Mar-20 @ 9:48 AM
Hi. I m planning to move to UK from India in the month of September and want my 12 year old son to study in one of the state funded school. I want to know whether school admissions are possible at that point of time and to which grade he will be admitted? Also what documents or are required for admission?
Shon - 23-Feb-20 @ 8:03 PM
Hi. I m planning to move to UK from India in the month of September and want my 10 year old daughter to study in one of the state funded school. I want to know whether school admissions are possible at that point of time and to which grade she will be admitted? Also what documents or are required for admission?
Ns - 22-Feb-20 @ 6:44 AM
Hi, My daughter will be 16 on November 2020 and she is in Year 10 now. We are in HK right now but planning to move to the UK this summer and want her to complete her last year of High School in the UK. Is it difficult to get admission in Year 11 in the UK since its last year n GCSE? What are her chances of getting admission in Year 11. I just want to make sure she gets enrolled in Yr 11 when we move there. Please advice and what are the requirements. Thank you!
Ezzz - 22-Feb-20 @ 3:38 AM
I'd like to apply the primary school enrollment for my 6 years old son from Malaysia. May I know there are any selected schools for us to choose, there are any good suggestions? How can we get the assistance from UK council in Malaysia. Thanks a lot for your information.
Anne - 19-Feb-20 @ 11:11 AM
I'd like to apply the primary school enrollment for my 6 years old son from Malaysia. May I know there are any selected schools for us to choose, there are any good suggestions? How can we can the assistance from UK council in Malaysia.
Anne - 19-Feb-20 @ 11:09 AM
Hello. I hope you are doing well. I’m writing to you for my brother.He is 13 years old and I want him complete his school in UK and then get into university in the UK. Now he is currently studying in 8th grade. He is studying in russian language and besides that he is strengthening his english as well. Can you let me know about requirements for transferring from home country school to the Uk school? Thanks in advance
HiNaz - 1-Feb-20 @ 11:01 AM
Hi, my daughter and granddaughter wish to relocate to the uk from Iran but the stumbling block is my granddaughter only speaks Farsi. She is 5 years old in August and will be of primary school age. How can she attend when she doesn't speak English? Please could you advise what steps can be taken. Thank you for your assistance.
Deiana - 15-Jan-20 @ 3:00 PM
Its new year ,hope you all good ? I have ever prayed my children enroll in one of the uk school where effective teaching can improve them ,And ,security is second priority .my self and my wife have pondered and agreed on decision to bring in our children to the uk. We want it happen in few months from now. One more thing, racism is another thing, i won'tlike my childrenbe bully by some white .my children love uk so much.i hope you will help ger back to me promptly? Thanks
Smart - 2-Jan-20 @ 6:05 PM
Hi, I am Rakibul from Bangladesh. My age is 17 year.i am a student of Cambridge in 2019 I had finish my O Levels . And I was planning to join my high school and rest of my study in United Kingdom. I want a school which is affordable in average . I need some help to find out all of them will all the requirements needed . I will be so benefited if you help me out from here
Rakibul - 26-Dec-19 @ 1:38 AM
We are living in Egypt, I want to send my 2 boys to a school in UK. I will not relocate, just the kids & their mum. However, I need to know the path way & from where to start? Thx
Mido - 16-Dec-19 @ 9:41 AM
hi I am 50 years old I want to attend a boarding school in the UK but I need a fully-funded scholarship my GPA for my latest report card was 62.44 percent out of a hundred percent at school and I feel that I want to be out of my current country in the movie here so I want to attend the boarding school or home stay with people from the UK I am really excited because I want to attend English school my English is pretty fluent as his my African we don't have money to send me to school in the UK and pay the full to be shown because the currency exchange is too high so please help me out I'm only 15.
t.txmi - 7-Dec-19 @ 1:15 PM
Hi, We will be moving to UK (Leeds) from India in January and have 2 kids of 11 years old.I am interested to join them in state funded school. Please advice how easy or difficult it is to get admission. Thank you
Sh - 5-Dec-19 @ 5:37 PM
Hi, My daughter is 16 in Oct 2020, we intend to bring my daughter in June 2020. I want her to complete high school in the UK I am from Mongolia. She is currently in Grade 10 in home country.And what are the requirements? Thank you so much.
Puujee - 5-Dec-19 @ 1:21 PM
Hi, my son will be coming to join me here in uk next year and he is 16 yrs old..will he be able to find placement as year 11 here? Or is it possible for me to find him a placement now for next year so that it will be ready by the time he arrives? Thank you so much for replying in myquery.
Ria - 24-Nov-19 @ 11:40 PM
My son comleted 5 years on 22-09-2014. We r relocating from India this Jan 2020. Will my son can get admission in schools in current term and in which class ?
Mannan - 23-Nov-19 @ 11:12 AM
Hello, I want my 16 year old daughter complete high school in the UK.We are from Russia. She is currently in Grade 10. How does she apply being a citizen of Russia? And what are the requirements? Thank you so much. Evgeniya
Evgeniya - 18-Nov-19 @ 9:40 AM
Hello, We are moving back to the UK from Dubai. My son is currently studying A Level in a British curriculum school. He is currently doing year 13 with both AQA Oxford and Cambridge board examinations. We are planning to return to the UK and have him complete his A form in the UK. Can he complete year 13 in the UK? We will be in Central London, Maidavale and looking at Saint Augustine for his school choice. Please advise if transfer from Dubai to UK is possible and if he can complete year 13 I’m the UK. We don’t want him to miss a year. Thank you for your time and assistance.
Waldo - 18-Nov-19 @ 8:27 AM
iam in grade 8 and doing olevles means in o1s iam and further iwant to study in uk.for a tier 4 general please tell me qhat can i do how i apply my visa
ameera - 16-Nov-19 @ 9:40 PM
Hi. I’m 17 years old and I just moved to London last week. I’m from Spain and i finished ESO (high school) there. What can I study here in London? Please advice me.
mlch - 14-Nov-19 @ 9:53 AM
i am studying in england for now and i am planning to move to india after my year 10 gcse.which year will i be in india?
ellery - 13-Nov-19 @ 12:50 PM
Good Morning I'm coming to London to look for work with my 6 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son, what state funded schools can I apply for and what visas would I have to get for all three of us for the long term stay. Please advise accordingly. Thanks. Plus I'd be living with my cousin she will care for us.
shan - 12-Nov-19 @ 1:50 PM
Hi Iam currently looking for a school for my granddaughter who will be joining me in the uk she is 13 turning 14 in January.pls advice
Khonas - 5-Nov-19 @ 3:36 PM
Hi I'm Andrew I will be moving to UK next and I want to come complete my school there. How do I apply and what are the requirements. Please advise.
Andrew - 30-Oct-19 @ 8:05 PM
We are from South Africa and will move to UK next year. My son is currently in Grade 7 and turning 14 in December. It seems to be a year behind England. Will he be able to start with year 9 in Sept 2020 if he is turning 15 in Dec 2020?
Carien - 28-Oct-19 @ 9:11 AM
Hi my name is Genevievi my son is 13 yrs and my sister wants him to go to school in uk fromzambia ..my sister lives in the uk
Genevievi khaitano - 22-Oct-19 @ 3:23 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments