Are there international schools outside of London?

London tends to the main destination for international families but Dean Associates offers a nationwide service and have seen increasing numbers of families looking to move into different parts of the UK.

But for families moving outside of London, what are the options?  Are there international schools in other major cities, for example Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool or Edinburgh?

The short answer is no.  The main international schools, including the ACS family, are grouped in Greater London.

Likewise, the national curriculum schools, for example French, German and US schools, are also focused in the capital.

However, many regional British independent schools have an active international division – including English language support –  and some even offer international qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate.

The English state system, though less pro-active in seeking to help international families, will find a place for any child who is legally resident in the UK, and provide any additional support they need to successfully access the curriculum.

There are some families with children at more critical points of their education career, especially in high school, who now look to board their children in one of the London international schools on a weekly or full-time basis.

Tighter admissions regulations for relocating families

Dean Associates is finding that both local authorities and state schools across the UK are applying school admissions rules more stringently.

Previously, many areas were happy to process an application with a copy of a signed tenancy agreement, but there is now more importance being placed on the children being fully resident in the UK before moving forward.

Some local authorities are also being more cautious in accepting temporary serviced accommodation as being “resident” wanting to see proof of longer residency.

This is, no doubt, a response to the greater pressure on school places brought about by the rising birth rate and increased economic migration.  This used to be focused on primary schools but it is starting to work itself through to the secondary sector, especially in London.

A shortage of almost 35,000 secondary school places across the capital is expected by 2020 in a growing capacity crisis for schools.

This is also has a knock-on effect on places in private schools as parents look to secure quality education options for their children, again most felt in Greater London.


Independent school fees rise for 2015/16

Dean Associates has conducted a review of independent schools fees for the new academic year 2015/16.

It shows an average rise of just under 3% on last year, a percentage point above current inflation rates.

Fees remain higher in London and the South-East compared to other parts of the country, and generally higher in international schools rather than English curriculum independent schools.


English school children start school too early

The UK government is planning to give parents the right to delay the school start date for summer born children.

At the moment, children must join school in the academic year in which they turn five.  In principle, this means that summer born children can often be nearly a year younger than peers in their class.

Respected research shows that the negative effects of this forced early start is felt much more keenly in the UK than in many other countries where children start school aged 6 or 7.

It has also been shown that summer children can often under-perform compared to peers in public examinations and fewer stay in formal school after the age of 16.

The government has written to local authorities to provide guidance but may encode it in the school admissions code during this parliament.