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Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 16 Dec 2018 | 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.

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My kid 17yrs old,IGCSE Candidate.From Bangladesh, how can I get visa& part time job with scholarship?
Imtiaz - 16-Dec-18 @ 12:55 PM
hello I'm 17 years old. I'm a Ghanaian but I'm living in Barcelona. I would like to study in UK and attend school there. How do I apply as a foreign student and what are the requirements? Thank You.
Abrantie - 7-Dec-18 @ 3:41 PM
I am 15years old and completion primary school and I want to study high school abroad I am Arabic speaker , and I want sponsorship to facilitate me with my study.
Adil Fadlalla - 21-Nov-18 @ 7:26 PM
My 14 year old overseas son will be joining me in the uk shortly. It is possible that he can start school in the midterm?
Tandy - 17-Nov-18 @ 6:42 PM
Hi, I have 2 kids (14 and 12) both study under French system in UAE. We might see ourselves moving to UK in 2019 what are the possibilities of enrolling them with British schools?Mind you we won't be living in London where the French schools are! So it won't be an option.
Fatin - 11-Nov-18 @ 6:36 AM
Hi. I'm a student studying in the UAE and am currently in Year 12 (Sixth Form). Is it possible for me to go to Year 13 in the UK even if I study internationally and if I can't study there, what are the general requirements to study in Year 13 in the UK. I have average grades in school and English is my first language.
Mimi - 29-Oct-18 @ 4:31 PM
I'm 17 years old. I'm a Ghanaian but I've been living in Italy for the past 2 years. I would like to study in UK. I would like to attend school there. how do I apply as a foreign students and what are the requirements? thanks
ike - 25-Oct-18 @ 9:29 AM
I am 15 years old. I am from Bangladesh.I want to study in UK.How can I get a visa.
Nabil - 23-Oct-18 @ 9:24 AM
Hi Iam a 16yr old Ugandan living in Finland. I would like study in the UK how can i get a visa and what can i do?pliz Help
Janet - 17-Oct-18 @ 9:07 AM
I would like toget enrolled in the 6th form ( year 12) of the English Education , taking in consideration that I am an internatioanl student, am I obliged tosit for exams to get an admission? Please keep inmind that I am a fluent speaker ofthe english languagewith two englishcertificates and great grades on my daily school
Maria - 7-Oct-18 @ 8:56 PM
I am studying in Armenia in 9th grade and I want to study abroad in high school. Can you help me?
Greta - 4-Oct-18 @ 4:24 PM
I am studying 8th standard in India right now but I wanted to move myself to UK for 9th standard so could you help find a path for me as this an important part of my life.
Winston - 27-Sep-18 @ 8:36 PM
Hi I'm currently working with several private schools in the UK, who are looking to admit international students. If there are any parents interested email me at enquiries at gostudy-uk dot com
Riz - 27-Sep-18 @ 1:18 AM
I am in India obtained a portuguese Nationality I would like to enrol my son to a school in uk but he is a slow learner can you help me with his education information as to where should I enrol him and which class
Alan - 26-Sep-18 @ 4:44 PM
Hey. I am a 17 year old from India. I am going to get my Portuguese passport in a month or so. What grade will I have to join? I'm studying 12th grade commerce. Can I join a college in mid October?
Kim - 20-Sep-18 @ 3:16 PM
i want to take admission for class 11th in one of the uk's school as an international student
unknown - 15-Sep-18 @ 8:37 AM
Hi I would like my son to study in uk. He is currently in Ukg in pakistan. I want him to start first standard in any UK school. how to apply as foreign student and what are the requirements.thanks
imti - 6-Sep-18 @ 11:34 PM
Sir I am from India I want admission in class 11th
Salman - 6-Sep-18 @ 4:27 PM
I'm from Pakistan and i wanna study in UK.... what will i do? Help plz
Kamgar - 5-Sep-18 @ 7:43 PM
Im single mom working and living in reading. I am interested to send my 12 yrs old daughter to uk school funded system. For your info . They got PR permenant resident. So, what should i do to apply for my daughter school in uk? Thanks.
rachel506 - 3-Sep-18 @ 7:44 AM
Hi there,Iam staying in India with my family and I have a 2 year old son Iam working here as an art restorer my dad and mom are frequent visitor over there in London , so my parents wants my son to study in London from starting pls help me what is the criteria and requirements for the school
Ravi - 28-Aug-18 @ 4:19 AM
Please, I would like some advice on behalf of my sister. My sister and her two sons, 14yrs and 17yrs old are relocating to London from Nigeria...all are British citizens. The 17yrs old has just completed secondary in Nigeria whilst the 14yrs old is hoping to begin the equivalent of SS1 in the UK...please how would she go about admitting the 14yrs old boy into any public school...what requirements would the boy need to fulfil. The 17yrs old boy would probably need where to do a sort of foundation learning preparing him for University. Please advice. Thank you.
Alexis - 27-Aug-18 @ 2:13 PM
@Ni - the school will assess whether she needs to be put back a year and they will if need be.
FayeV - 17-Aug-18 @ 10:13 AM
Hello Dear, We are (international) students parents ( in Manchester) looking to find place for our kids in private school ..any one can help me ?
Abdullah - 16-Aug-18 @ 10:12 PM
I have a daughter who is 15 and we are planning to come to UK this year.Would it be possible to put her to a lower year (year 10) though she is supposed to be in year 11
Ni - 16-Aug-18 @ 5:45 PM
Hi there, I live in uk and my Nephew India and want to get into education from year 11 in uk, and get good training too. Could you please advice please to where to start from. Thank you
Sara - 15-Aug-18 @ 1:45 PM
Im single mom working and living in malaysia. I am interested to send my 12 yrs old daughter to uk school funded system. For your info, my sister and her husband and family is staying and working therein UK . They got PR permenant resident. So, what should i do to apply for my daughter school in uk? Thanks.
Azzy - 15-Aug-18 @ 1:16 AM
Hello! I'm Latvian Citizen and 16 years old this year i will end a 9th grade. So I'm want start/end studies from 10 to 12 grades in United Kingdom. Cani'm apply for school in United Kingdom in 2019 ? I'have place where stay my cousin have citizenship . After school i'm want apply for college. Is this is possible? Can I apply for school without a parents, because they won't go with me to United Kingdom
latvianboy13 - 11-Aug-18 @ 2:47 PM
I live in UK but not British citizen .My sister's son wants to study in UK and he is only 13 years old and could you please give me anadvise abouthow it's possibleand how can I apply for admission processand visa formalities?
PRINCE - 7-Aug-18 @ 10:58 AM
My son is a 7 and a naturalised UK citizen with Turkish parents. I am currently employed in Turkey and he has been going to a Turkish primary school with English a second language. He is very advanced in academically. However despite 11 hours of English he gets a week, his English may not be sufficient to get him into a primary school in my catchment area (Wandsworth London) if we plan to apply for school admissions in the UK for 2019/2020. are there primary schools that takeUK students without the full command of English?And are there transitional steps?thanks
Tunc - 31-Jul-18 @ 1:59 PM
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