Hey there, Weekend Warriors – how is everything coming along with your upcoming relocation to London UK? Last week I left you hanging (it was a fingernail-biter, I know…) with the different types of state schools in the UK. Not everyone moving to London with a family sends their kids to an American school or an international school, so last Saturday and today are devoted to breaking down UK state and independent schools (don’t forget to also check out, “Relocating to London with Children: The Quick ABCs of British Education“).
We’ve already covered the mainstream and specialist state school options, so let’s move on to state schools with particular characteristics:
- city technology colleges – Urban schools specializing in science, technology, and the work-world, offering GCSEs, A-levels, and vocational qualifications for students aged 11-18; independently run, non-fee paying.
- community and foundation special schools – Same as community and foundation schools mentioned last week, but for students with special needs (physical and/or learning disabilities).
- faith schools – Similar to other state schools, but their particular faith might be reflected in curriculum, staffing, and admissions.
- grammar schools – All or most of students are admitted based on academic ability.
- maintained boarding schools – Free tuition, but charge fees for board and lodging.
- academies – Independently run for students of all abilities; set up by business/charitable/faith organization sponsors in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) and local authority. Academies aim to provide first-class education, so assert freedom from the local authority in the way they are run, the curriculum they provide, the school term, etc. (More information can be found here).
So that covers it for state schools. Next up on the roster are UK independent schools. There are over 2,000 of these in the UK, and they are funded by students’ parents and income from investments (half have charitable status). Though independently run, these schools are still registered with the DfE and are subject to periodic reviews by Ofsted or another inspecting body appointed by the Secretary of State. To learn more about independent schools and conduct a school-search, you can consult the Independent Schools Council website: www.isc.co.uk.
And Direct.gov.uk provides an overview of UK schooling and other UK public services – it’s my go-to source for much information like this!
I hope this helps with your research as you plan your international relocation to London with children of school-age. And remember, London Relocation’s services can help you with finding a school to attend as well as a London apartment to rent, so keep us in mind as you scope out London relocation companies. 🙂