By Kate Shand
Finding the right school and passing the entrance exams can be a stressful and bewildering process as we all know even when you understand the British education system well. Now imagine that you are moving from abroad to the UK, you don’t speak the language and you don’t know anything about the independent school sector and the unique scene of independent day and boarding schools. We recognise that for many international families, the process of finding, and getting into, new schools can be overwhelming, particularly when different people are telling you different things. You will also be juggling property searches, jobs and generally reorganising your entire lives to get ready for the big move which is why expert Schools Advisors are in great demand especially those who have decades of experiences and understand how to advise parents best on these important decisions.
Even the different entry points can often take time to get your head around. The complexity and variety of assessed entry points, whether you are looking at the 4+, 7+, 8+, 11+, 13+ or 16+, the deadlines, rules and regulations can be particularly confusing. We often get asked about the best schools in London. The answer? There isn’t just one. Understandably, relocating families are often drawn to the familiar ‘big names’ but finding the right school is about finding the best match for your children, in practical terms, this means the school which will bring out your child’s unique potential and encourage them to develop into happy, confident learners. For many, this might require an extra boost at the beginning, either in English language or in specific academic subjects. Much will depend on where the students are relocating from. The UK offers a number of highly academic schools and we want our children to have the best opportunity to succeed in these environments if that’s right for them. Of course, pastoral support at this stage is just as important as the academic rigour. Children are flexible and can adapt quickly but the support structure needs to be there to ensure that they are able to cope with the inevitable challenges which will come their way.
As a schools and relocation advisory, our business is often affected by the rises and falls of global politics and events. The outbreak of Ebola saw a number of our families relocate to London, Brexit sees more families rethinking their movements in Europe and now, we wait to see how the result of the American election will impact the families we work with. 2016 has been a particularly memorable year for global politics and also for UK education businesses as we seek to support our families in less stable times. As more families come to the UK searching for the best of British education, we continue to provide expert and unbiased support to identify schools best suited to each child. Placing children in the right school will have a transformative effect on their education and sense of self. It will prepare children for their global future by fostering a can do attitude and a growth mindset to enable them to grasp all the opportunities which will come their way.