Education Options for Expats Coming to the UK
When making the move to the UK with children, choosing the right school is a top priority. International schools can often be the most popular option for an expat student in the UK due to the ability to provide similar standards of schooling from around the world. A serious point to consider when making the move is that the majority of expats who come to the UK have limited term contracts. Therefore when choosing a school a key factor to take into account is how well the education received will translate into the next place of learning.
ACS International Schools offer international learning which includes the full International Baccalaureate programme as well as a US High School Diploma. The ACS is made up of 4 schools, 3 of which are located in England and 1 in Qatar. Depending on which campus is chosen, students are accepted from as young as 2 all the way to 18, this provides the students with an exceptional learning environment throughout their formative years. ACS core values include; engaging in the community, being a catalyst for positive change, promoting excellence through learning and enriching the international experience. These values have been reflected most recently when ACS Egham held an International Fair organised by their PTO. The whole school community came together to raise funds for local charities. In addition, 21 students from across the US were welcomed to ACS Cobham to enjoy a two-week residential programme. Whilst boarding at the school the students were given a real insight into what student life is like in the UK.
Once you have found the perfect school, it’s time to find the perfect family home. Prime housing locations for ACS Egham include Virginia Water, Egham, Ascot and Sunningdale/Sunninghill. For ACS Cobham there is the choice of Cobham, Weybridge, Walton on Thames and Esher and for ACS Hillingdon there is Gerrard’s Cross, Denham and Ealing. One of the many benefits of these locations is that they provide peaceful and enjoyable neighbourhoods for the whole family. Due to the proximity of each of these locations to the schools, the extensive bus network provided by ACS ensures safe and efficient transport to and from the schools. Alternatively each of these locations is just a short drive of less than 20 minutes. With the knowledge that the children have arrived safely for a day of education, it’s time to make the often wearisome journey to work. However with regular train services, commuting to Central London is not only practical but painless too. You can expect a typical train journey to take about 35 minutes. There is also easy access to many of the major motorways, allowing you to reach destinations such as Heathrow or Gatwick Airport with minimal effort.
If the above locations sound like they are ticking all the boxes but you would like more options to consider then TASIS (The American School in England), which is located in Thorpe (just 2 miles from Egham) could be the ideal addition. On offer is a broad-based American curriculum, the International Baccalaureate Diploma program and Advanced Placement Courses. Additionally TASIS also offers extensive arts, sports and activities programmes. The success of each of these programmes can be seen on the TASIS website, which showcases a variety of their recent events. Not only does the school boast extensive academic opportunities but also on offer is the option for pupils aged 14-18 to take advantage of the schools boarding programme. In this environment students will learn to take responsibility for much of their lives, grow in maturity and develop their cultural awareness.
If living centrally is preferred, then The American School is a great option. As the name suggests the school does have a large percentage of pupils from the USA however over a third of the student body hold more than one passport. ASL offers an American curriculum with older students being able to elect to take Advanced Placement courses and SAT’s in Grades 11 and 12. The school takes great pride in its educational community which is reflected in their Mission Statement, ‘Our mission is to develop the intellect and character of each student by providing an outstanding American education with a global perspective.’
When looking for a property in Central London, don’t panic, it doesn’t have to cost the earth and a 2 hour commute doesn’t have to greet you when stepping outside the front door. Popular housing locations surrounding the ASL are St Johns Wood, Maida Vale, and Hampstead. With each of these desirable locations you are spoilt for choice, not only when it comes to the local amenities but also restaurants, outdoor space and most importantly great transport links. Not only are tube stations, bus stops and taxi ranks located within a short walking distance but a door to door bus service is provided by the ASL. All of these things allow for a great social, school and work life for both parents and children.
As a result of London being such a popular and vibrant city many international schools have established themselves both centrally and within the suburbs. Whether being in the heart of the capital or residing in the quieter, more residential outskirts you never have to compromise. The areas surrounding London boast numerous transport links, a multitude of amenities and a wealth of activities - for these reasons and many more, popular locations to relocate to include Kew, Kingston Twickenham and Richmond. The German School of London benefits from being located within a short 10-25 minute commute from each of these attractive locations. The school prides itself upon its strategy of recognising the importance of investing towards a more sustainable future. Furthermore thanks to the school’s extensive bus service, students can easily be transported from door to door with safety and ease as well as having less of an impact on the environment. In addition to the school’s easily accessible and convenient location, it also boasts a wide and varied curriculum which includes a bilingual teaching programme and has recently introduced the International Baccalaureate. Also offered are multitudes of after school activities, including sports, music and social events some of which are not only offered to students but also to parents and teachers as well.
Making the move to a new country can be daunting so to help you along the way to finding the ideal school and home for your family we have put together useful Area Guides and Information on UK Education to help prepare for a seamless transition into UK life.Area Guides UK Education