Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Education, 99% of the time, is the most important factor of the relocation process for families moving with Children. Therefore we thought it would be a good idea to give a brief overview of the School Application system in the UK.
Types of Schools as defined by the UK GOV:
State schools receive funding through their local authority or directly from the government.
Community schools, which are sometimes called local authority maintained schools - they are not influenced by business or religious groups and follow the national curriculum
Foundation schools and voluntary schools, which are funded by the local authority but have more freedom to change the way they do things - sometimes they are supported by representatives from religious groups
Academies and free schools, which are run by not-for-profit academy trusts, are independent from the local authority - they have more freedom to change how they run things and can follow a different curriculum
Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local authority. They have more control over how they do things.
Grammar schools, which can be run by the local authority, a foundation body or an academy trust - they select their pupils based on academic ability and there is a test to get in
Private Schools (also known as ‘independent schools’) charge fees to attend instead of being funded by the government. Pupils do not have to follow the national curriculum. All private schools must be registered with the government and are inspected regularly.
Applying for a School
In almost all cases overseas children are entitled to access the education system. It is the responsibility of the parents to have the correct VISA application to proceed and the right to abode.
Each County Council has slightly different procedures on how to apply for a school, some apply directly with the school and others will need to go through the local council for applications. This will also depend on the time you year a child is applying for school, i.e. pre- or mid- term. Information will be provided on the local council’s website on their procedure.
It is common for schools to priorities applicants based on where you live. Therefore, providing evidence or proof of address can sometimes elevate the chances of being accepted to an oversubscribed school.
Admission authorities must consider all in-year applications and should not refuse an application simply because a parent or child currently lives in another country.
If a parent is unable to provide evidence of a return to the area (before the new school year for applications in the normal admissions round or by the start of the next term for in-year applications), admission authorities could apply a catchment area policy or distance tie-break using the parents’ place of residence at the point the application is made.
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