Choosing a UK School for your child

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Persons relocating to the UK are often confused about how the UK school system works, and whether their children are eligible to attend a UK state-funded school or not.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the UK is the world’s second-leading study destination. Currently, 84 UK universities feature in the ‘QS World University Rankings 2020’. This signifies the global reputation and popularity of the UK universities.

Admission to UK state-funded school for overseas children

In most cases, children from overseas have the right to attend state-funded schools in England. A child may not be refused a school place simply because of doubts about his or her immigration status.

The following children are however NOT entitled to a UK state education:

  • Children from non-EEA countries who are in the UK as short-term visitors, such as tourists or persons visiting relatives.
  • The children from non-EEA countries who have permission to study in the UK. Children, in this case, are allowed to study in England on the basis that they have to attend an independent fee-paying school.

UK Private Schools

All children (see exclusions above) from the age of 5 to 16 years old are entitled to a free place in a state school. This is where most parents choose to send their children. Some who can afford the fees of a Private school do send their children to Private schools.

Private Schools are also known as independent schools, and charge fees for children to attend these schools, as opposed to being funded by the UK Government.

Private schools do not have to follow the national curriculum, but have to be registered with the government and are regularly inspected.

School Terms in the UK

Schools in the UK run their academic year from early September to Mid-July. Each year is broken up into 3 terms. The Autumn terms run from early September to mid-December, Spring term runs from Easter to mid-July with half term falling in late May or early June.

Types of UK Schools

  • Nursery

The Nursery is for children from as young as a few weeks to 3 years old. These are generally privately run schools (though there, are State run ones as well).

  • Nursery classes

Nursery classes are attached to Primary Schools. They have separate buildings and playgrounds but share the same headteacher and staff. They follow the Early Years Foundation Curriculum.

  • Primary School

These schools are for children from 4- 11 years old.  They currently follow the Early Years Foundation Curriculum, moving on to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum.

  • Secondary Schools

These are schools for children from 11 to 16 or 18. These schools follow the Key stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum.

  • Sixth Form Colleges

These institutions cater for Young people from 16 to 19 years old.  Here the students do their A levels and other certificates that are accessible after the age of 16.

The Best Universities for International Students in the UK

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, these were the top five UK universities:

Deciding on a UK school for your child

When deciding on a UK school for your child, it might be worth your while to check out league tables and evaluation by the UK Government body, OFSTED.