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Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 14 Feb 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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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
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
Tony - 22-Jan-17 @ 3:27 PM
My daughter would like to study gr10 in 2017 to usa uk
Vivi - 19-Jan-17 @ 7:45 PM
Soni - Your Question:
We are shifting to the UK next year and my son will enter Year 11. I've been told that schools do not accept learners in Year 11 due to GCSES that started in Year 10 already.what will my options be in this case. He will need to enrol into a school but how will that be possible if schools don't accept. Please assist me.

Our Response:
Due to the fact the curriculum and examination boards rarely match from school to school, many schools do not accept Year 11 (age 15+) pupils, unless they are moving from a compatible GCSE programme. The options usually are that pupils can join a Year 10 class with 14-year-olds to follow the prescribed two-year course to GCSE. In some independent schools, a one-year foundation class for international students may be an option. This helps prepare the children as much as possible for transition toA-level courses. You would have to contact the school you wish to sign your son up to in order to find out your options. Or contact the Local Education Authority of the area you are moving to, if you wish to apply to send your child to a state school.
GetTheRightSchool - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:21 AM
I have a Bulgarian girlfriend whose son is coming to live in the uk and has a limited knowledge of English,what school should I look at putting him in to so he can learn and understand english more. He is 7yrs old.
Hmmbisto - 10-Jan-17 @ 7:43 PM
We are shifting to the UK next year and my son will enter Year 11. I've been told that schools do not accept learners in Year 11 due to GCSES that started in Year 10 already.what will my options be in this case. He will need to enrol into a school but how will that be possible if schools don't accept. Please assist me.
Soni - 10-Jan-17 @ 9:18 AM
Hi , I am from india, for my husband Work ,we r going to shift uk for 1 yr. I have 3yrs old kid . can I get her admitted in school for free early education.
Manti - 7-Jan-17 @ 10:42 AM
Hi i am in iran and my son is 5 years old if i want to enroll him in a private school in uk what i should do how much is it cost and does he live whit me after school or he should stay at school in a week thanks
Sh - 6-Jan-17 @ 7:08 AM
Hi i am leaving in UK and my doughter is year 3, my freind leave in other countey (Iran) and she asked me if they want their doughter (8 years old) come to UK for study in privet school with her family quranty , is it possible? How and how much cost, can you help me i answer to them, Kind regards
Mahsa - 12-Dec-16 @ 7:10 AM
Hi there, We have a Chinese friend who has a 5.5-year-old boy andis going to London for academic research for half a year. Can her boy apply for a school here to study for six months? Regrds,
Alex - 26-Nov-16 @ 4:12 PM
We have friends in northern France with a15 year old son. The son wants to come to the uk to improve his English. We can't accommodate him so are trying to find an organisation to help us. They can pay around £5000 for the 3months. He is a nice lad and speaks quite a bit of English already. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Bernard - 24-Nov-16 @ 11:34 AM
I have new Bulgarian neighbours moved in about a month ago they have 2 lovely 12yr olds . They don't speak any English and none of them can read or write. They want the children to go to school . Where can I direct them to?
Pk - 23-Nov-16 @ 9:45 PM
We are returning to the UK next year and my daughter will enter Year 11. I've been told that schools do not accept learners in Year 11 due to GCSES that started in Year 10 already.My daughter will only be 15, what will my options be in this case. She will need to enrol into a school but how will that be possible if schools don't accept. Please assist me
SA question - 23-Nov-16 @ 4:56 PM
Hi, i am British citizen, i have lived in Uk for 12 years now,on March Next year 2017 i am planning on blinging my 9 year girl into uk from Tanzania East Africa on Visiting visa, can i apply for a school while she is in Uk? as she is in year 3 going to 4 next year January at her School back in Africa. Thank you very much.
Shaba - 18-Nov-16 @ 11:22 AM
Hi, I am accompanying my wife along with 8 year old kid for Birmingham uk from India during Feb 2017. She is been transferred to uk on work basis. My concern about my son education. He will be completing his second grade schooling in Bangalore, India. I would like to know few info regarding this. 1. Can we get school admission for our son in mid year. 2. What will be tution fee structure Request for reply for further planning Regards Chandra
Chandra - 11-Nov-16 @ 10:33 AM
Hi there, I am planning a move to the UK from Ireland in June 2017. My son is currently in 3rd years of secondary school here, he will take his Junior Certificate exams in June 2017, hence why I am waiting until then.We both want him to do A Levels as he wanst to go on to Uni, he is a bit undecided re what his career plans are as yet.He does have ideas.He will be 15 sitting his exams and turns 16 mid September 2017.I am desperatey trying to find out where he stands in terms of entering a school sixth form to do A Levels, I would be so gratefu if anyone can advise or point me in the direction of someone who can help. His education is so important to me and I want him to have the best opportunities.I want to start preparing for thiso move in terms of schooling now to ensure he avails of the best opportuity. Thanks in advance
Irishgal - 8-Nov-16 @ 9:34 AM
My sister will be in Scotland for a month visiting my dying mother. She will have her 9 year old daughter. Both have dual British /Australian citizenship. Would the child be able to attend a Scottish school for that month?
Moby - 5-Nov-16 @ 11:08 AM
Hi, My husband was relocated here from India through his company . I accompanied him and we left our son to finish his schooling. He is 15 1/2 studying in a Cambridge board school . I want to bring him next year and get his admission for sixth form. I just wanted to know what would the fee be - as per a U.K. Student or foreign student.
Anna - 5-Nov-16 @ 8:02 AM
Hi! Im an 15 year old colombian, who in case of studying in the UK will be in a second term year 10, I have a Short Term Student visa for 6 months, and Im living with my aunt (British citizen). Can I study in a State School? Thank you very much
15YearOldColombian - 4-Nov-16 @ 11:37 PM
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