Everything an immigrant parent should know when enrolling a child in a UK school

Everything an immigrant parent should know when enrolling a child in a UK school
One of the most difficult problems you’d face after successfully migrating to a country is when it’s time to send your kids to school. It’s a bit of a predicament because not all schooling systems operate the same way. 
Half of this means that you have to prepare your kids for all the stuff (read more about them here) they might encounter when they finally meet their new classmates, the adjustment period, dealing with the bullies, behaving properly, making friends, etc. The other half is all about understanding how the UK education system works, when to enrol, and everything in between.
 The UK Education Path
According to the UK law, every child is required to start their primary school education at the age of five (four in Northern Ireland). Some parents, though not compulsory, send their kids to nursery school at the age of three or four. 
Secondary education begins at age 11. By the time the child reaches 16, he or she can now decide to get higher education and eventually earn a degree from a university. Similar to other countries, 16-year olds must pass several qualification tests such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education or the Standard Grades and Intermediates (in Scotland) to be admissible for further education.
The UK education system currently ranks 20th in the global education standings. A crucial factor contributing to this commendable feat is the impressive rate of immigration to the UK, which is primarily fueled by students wanting to get a piece of the country’s outstanding education system.
Tuition Fee
While most schools in the UK are state-funded, a significant percentage of them are still privately run. The termly tuition fee will no longer be your problem if you plan to send you kid to a state school, though you will still have to cover costs for extra-curricular activities such as field trips and museum visits. Private schools, on the other hand, typically charge £2000 to £4000 a term. In posher cities, independent schools charge up to £7000 per term.
Normally, there are three terms for the majority of schools in the UK, and each of these is split into a half term. Some state-funded schools deviate from this norm and employ a four-to-five-terms-a-year system.
School Terms for 2017
  • Spring term begins Tuesday 3 January and ends on 31 March. Half term is from Monday 13 February to Friday 17 February (59 school days)
  • Summer term starts Tuesday 18 April and ends on Friday 21 July. Half term is from Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June (57 school days).
  • Autumn term begins Monday 4 September and ends on Wednesday 20 December, while half term is from Monday 23 October until Friday 27 October (73 school days).
 Exact dates, as well as the holidays may vary depending on the country (England, Northern Island, Scotland, and Wales) and type of school (state, independent, homeschooling), but this will only be slight. The UK law, in most cases, allows foreign children to study in a local state regardless if it’s independent or state-funded. The only thing you need to prepare are the proper papers such as a valid UK visa and necessary transfer documents (papers from the child’s former school); proving that you are eligible to stay in the country. 
However, children from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries who are here as short-term visitors and children from non-EEA countries allowed only to study in an independent, fee-paying school are prohibited from enrolling in a state-funded school.
What Every Parent Needs To Know
Experts say that all parents—whether they’re immigrant or not—must accompany their child to school, at least for the first few weeks. This period should be used to familiarise themselves with their child’s everyday environment, as well as with the people who surround him/her.  Parents must talk to the teachers not only on the first day but often to track their child’s progress and for safety purposes as well. They are also encouraged to leave their mobile number with their teacher—in the event of an emergency—or to save their mobile number on their child’s mobile phone (if they have one).
Want to to know if you can apply for a student visa? How best to apply for one? How to maximise your chances for approval?  Our OISC Regulated UK Migration Consultants can answer your questions and guide you on the best options for a student visa to the UK.  

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