If you are an American moving to London and your family is going to be joining you on your adventure then part of your planning is going to be education. Your choice of education for your children will affect which neighborhood of London you choose to live in. The schooling system in England is divided into districts. You are not allowed to attend a school in another zone or area if you do not live in that area. Notable exceptions are the public schools. (Remember that private schools are known as public schools in England!)
It you have teens that are nearing college age, and are planning on going to college in the States or Canada, then you may find it more beneficial to place your child at a private school that follows a standardized American curriculum. If you have younger children though, then they will benefit from being in an English school where they can meet other children and form friendships within their peer groups.
While there are a number of differences between the system of education in England and America, you’ll find that the similarities are more marked. It said that the English system offers a wider view on the world, and certainly the curriculum is not as narrow as many found in America. There is also a greater degree of specialization when children move into the higher grades at high school.
For the last two years before university a scholar will focus on three main areas of study – A-Levels and will be expected to show a high level of competency in each subject in order to pass. That said, it is also true that the system of education may be more geared towards life skills in Americans schools. Drivers-Ed classes are not taught in English schools!
English schools also tend to use external examinations far more often to achieve the standard of education need to pass a particular grade. In Year 9, this is Grade 8 if you follow the American schooling system, there is a formal examination that is marked externally to ensure that standards are being met across the country.
If you’re moving with your family, you’re about to embark on a huge adventure and giving your children the chance to experience a different type of education is possibly the best global experience you can give them.