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Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 27 Apr 2017 | 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.

Tips

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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Dassy baby - Your Question:
We currently live in Nigeria, my children are British ages 10 & 11 respectively dey currently school in Nigeria because their father worked there, I want them to come to London and. E in a state boarding school. I want to know the right school I should apply to, because of where they're coming from, in order for them to fit in. I want a school that can really relate with the children from abroad very well and the children will be comfortable with. Thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the ISC list here. It will show you the paid schools in your vicinity.
GetTheRightSchool - 28-Apr-17 @ 12:31 PM
We currently live in Nigeria, my children are British ages 10 & 11 respectively dey currently school in Nigeria because their father worked there, I want them to come to London and. E in a state boarding school. I want to know the right school I should apply to, because of where they're coming from, in order for them to fit in. I want a school that can really relate with the children from abroad very well and the children will be comfortable with. Thanks
Dassy baby - 27-Apr-17 @ 8:23 PM
We are UK parents but moved to Germany 3 years ago. My daughter will start German school this September (a year early for German kids). She is 5. In England her peers are in reception and can read and write already. It looks like we may have to move back to UK in a year (so after her Year 1 here) but I'm worried this may mean she is behind the school system in UK in terms of what she can do. She is a fluent English and German speaker and bright. I have been trying to teach her to read English but not being a teacher it is difficult. I don't really want to uproot her now she's set to start the local school to change her to an International School as the move itself will be a challenge.Would it be usual for her to have to start a year below or at that age can they catch up quickly? She'll be 6 when we move.
worriedmum - 26-Apr-17 @ 7:45 AM
Hey, m a 15 years old girl and I'm deciding to shift to london.But I don't know in which standard will they promote me I mean do I have to repeat 8th standard there? Please lemme know !!
Karina - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:03 PM
I have a 15 year old daughter who is going to finish fifth grade. I know, she is really below level. Well actually five grades. Her weakness is Mathematics. We are moving to London this summer. I was hoping if she will be able to be accepted in a secondary day school in London,England in Year 7 as a 15-year old.(Being placed with 11-year old kids). So, can you please answer me whether if she starts at Year 7 and finish Year 11 at age 20 will they accept that? And then will she able to study for sixth-form education at age 21 and 22(when she finished Year 11)? And what is the age limit of finishing secondary school in London?
Rosie - 17-Apr-17 @ 7:40 PM
I have a 9 years old niece from nigerian who wants to study here in London.How can I go about it please.Her father resides in America so she has citizenship.Can you please advise please thank you
Jayn - 6-Apr-17 @ 10:25 PM
I would like to send my 10 years old boy to UK to continue his studies. His Uncle an Aunty and their families already migrated about 10 years ago in U.K. Now staying in Kent, deal. I would want my boy to study there with his niece and nephew. May i know the procedure to follow up? Thank you. Yogi
Yogi - 25-Mar-17 @ 4:00 AM
I am a citizen of UK. A friend of mine from India is very keen for his two sons to get educated in England.The boys are currentlyaged 12&14.They are studying in an English medium school and as I noticed they are good in studies. May I please know details of any boarding school where they could be admitted, of course subject to Governmental conditions being fulfilled and their educational levels are found suitable by the school here. Thank You .
Krish - 21-Mar-17 @ 2:14 PM
If spanish secondary school students (ages 14-16) want to reside in the UK for 9 months (one school year) do they need to be registered with the council or just registering in the school is enough. Do they need a tutor? If staying with a host family, do they need any special requirements?
Clara - 19-Mar-17 @ 10:30 PM
keoncu - Your Question:
My kid is 6 years old and I would like to come to UK for a month during summer period and send him to a class where he could socialize and improve his English skills.

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a visitor visa for you and your son. Please see link here. You would have to apply for a private course for your son.
GetTheRightSchool - 17-Mar-17 @ 2:21 PM
My kid is 6 years old and I would like to come to UK for a month during summer period and send him to a class where he could socialize and improve his English skills.
keoncu - 17-Mar-17 @ 11:22 AM
Hi,i am 13 years old and we are going to move to london with a tourist visa so can i attend public schools as i. free schools with a visa???
KD - 12-Mar-17 @ 5:24 PM
MSN - Your Question:
Hi I am planing to come to England within 4 months with my son 13 Years old and a daughter 17 years. What should I do make them join schools in london.

Our Response:
If you are applying for a state school place, please see gov.uk link here for more information.
GetTheRightSchool - 6-Mar-17 @ 2:52 PM
Hi I am planing to come to England within 4 months with my son 13 Years old and a daughter 17 years . What should I do make them join schools in london.
MSN - 6-Mar-17 @ 5:00 AM
Relocating to the UK can be a challenging time for both parents and children. Sometimes the main stream education system is not flexible enough to accommodate the personal circumstances of a family that is relocating. This is where international pathway providers play a role : some are very highly academic eg The National Mathematics and Science College based in Coventry, others are more generic but all cater for international students wishing to pursue their studies in the UK.
Ed.educate - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:19 PM
Hello, I'm from South Korea.My daughter is 11 years old. She is fluent in English.My sister lives in U.K. But she doesn't have citizenship. I'm planing to send my daughter to her . I need your advice. Is it possible for my daughter attend to public school. If not any advice for private schools? Thank you, Lily.
Lily - 28-Feb-17 @ 9:45 AM
hie,im 18 years and i have just arrived from Zimbabwe. i was doing my Alvland was now in Upper 6..I have gone to some schools here but they won't take me in because of age.. I really don't know what to do now.. Please help
Ammy - 23-Feb-17 @ 12:49 PM
I am a single parent (from Nigeria)wishing to send my Eleven years old daughter to UK for her Secondary school education. Preferable at a boarding school since I have no intention of relocating with her. Will she be allowed to attend a state school, or at least a "fee paying" state school (if there is such) please what are my options
MR TEE - 21-Feb-17 @ 2:49 PM
Hello. my daughter is 16 , we moved to Scotland on January. She was a full time student in Greece. The local high school doesn t accept her because of the exams on S5.They suggested college which told us we have to pay 1080 pounds because she isntalready one year in UK. All these answers with 3 months of delays.So even if we wanted to send her back to finish school in Greece she has flunked the school year because of absences. Do they have the right to denay education to a child just because she turned 16? She didnt choose to drop school. Do you have any ideas to help the situation?
Harry - 14-Feb-17 @ 7:51 PM
Ivan74 - Your Question:
Hi,I plan to come to England in the next couple of months. My family will join me during the summer.I'm not sure if my 10 year old son is entitled to free state school/We are from Serbia, which is not part of EU or EEA.thank you

Our Response:
Much depends upon how long your visa says you can stay and whether your visa permits it.
GetTheRightSchool - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:45 PM
Hi, I plan to come to England in the next couple of months. My family will join me during the summer. I'm not sure if my 10 year old son is entitled to free state school/ We are from Serbia, which is not part of EU or EEA. thank you
Ivan74 - 6-Feb-17 @ 1:01 PM
Hello, I would like to ask if it's possible to study my final year in the U.K. I'm moving from an EU country to live with my parents which live in the U.K. And what language certificates do I need, documents and etc. Cheers!
Alex - 5-Feb-17 @ 9:38 PM
Az - Your Question:
HI,My daughters; ages 12 and 14 will be moving to UK from Switzerland in July. They have studied in the German language for the past five years. How will they be placed in a British School? Will it be according to ability or age group?Also, how do I start applying to schools? Can I start now or do I have to wait until they come to the UK?Thank you very much, all the information provided is very helpful.Az

Our Response:
It depends upon each particular school and whether you are educating your daughter through state or private education. If language is a barrier, your daughters may have to retake a year. You can see the school admission procedure via the gov.uk link here. You would have to contact fee-paying schools individually, please see ISC link here.
GetTheRightSchool - 1-Feb-17 @ 12:47 PM
HI, My daughters; ages 12 and 14 will be moving to UK from Switzerland in July. They have studied in the German language for the past five years. How will they be placed in a British School? Will it be according to ability or age group? Also, how do I start applying to schools? Can I start now or do I have to wait until they come to the UK? Thank you very much, all the information provided is very helpful. Az
Az - 31-Jan-17 @ 4:14 PM
Hi .. Just want to no if I can bring my niceses from Pakistan nd thy can study in states school or nt .. Plz replay bcknd ur help most appercited .Many thank
Seema - 29-Jan-17 @ 2:46 PM
HiI'm fourteen years of age, I got invited to UK by a British citizen to school in the UK and live there must I attend a state paying school?
bukky - 28-Jan-17 @ 9:48 AM
I am from Pakistan and here in UK for my education. My kids are arriving soon. They will be living here for 6 months with me as my education will be finished with in six months. Is it possible to continue their education here in UK while they are here for six months.
Atta - 28-Jan-17 @ 8:17 AM
FANICADRAGUSIN - Your Question:
Hello my doughter is 14 and she will come to join a school in UK were shood I go to ask about the proses of enroling her to school and in wich grade she will be accsepted.thanks

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
GetTheRightSchool - 25-Jan-17 @ 10:35 AM
Hello my doughter is 14 and she will come to join a school in UK were shood i go to ask about the proses of enroling her to school and in wich grade she will be accsepted.thanks
FANICA DRAGUSIN - 24-Jan-17 @ 11:26 AM
Tony - Your Question:
Hello there.MY niece will be coming from South Africa in August to live in the U.K on a permanent basis. She is at school in Cape Town and is currently in grade 11. What grade will she be going into when she arrives here in the U.K ? She is a British Citizen and therefore a British Passport holder and English is her first language.Would be great if you could ' shed some light on this matter' for me as I have only just arrived here myself and have been out of touch with these matters.Thanking You.Anthony

Our Response:
Much depends upon the school she is going to and what its specific policy is and whether it is a fee-paying or state school. If your niece is going into a state school she may have to step back a year in order to bring her in line with the UK GSCE syllabus. However, much is dependent upon the school too, therefore speaking with the her future school directly is the best advice.
GetTheRightSchool - 23-Jan-17 @ 1:00 PM
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