If you are considering moving to London with children, your first thought is going to be for their schooling. The education system in England is slightly different from that in America or Canada, and it can be confusing at first. You might be tempted to place your older children into an American style school especially if they are of college going age, and there are several schools in London that offer the America syllabus, If you have younger children however, you’ll find that placing them into a local school will help them make friends in the community.
Where you live in London will play a large part in choosing your children’s school, so if it is vital that you get them into specific school, you’ll have to choose a London rental in the zoning area for that school. The schools in London are arranged according to area, and it is extremely difficult to get a child into a school in an area other than where you live. Schools in the more well to do areas of London will mean that you are paying a premium rental, but if you are careful, then you can avoid paying exorbitant rents and still send your child to a good school. It can be a matter of one street that makes the difference.
Education in England is divided into distinct age brackets. All children start school when they are five years of age and they attend Primary School until they are eleven. After that they can sit an exam to attend grammar school, or move onto the local comprehensive Secondary School. Between the years of eleven and sixteen, your children will prepare for their GCSE examinations which provide a school leaving certificate. For teenagers who want to attend university, there is a two year A-level course which prepares them for their field of study and for life at university. Most children enter university at the age of eighteen or nineteen.
Most schools in England require their pupils to wear a school uniform, which is decided upon by the school governing body. While you might be tempted to keep your children within an expat conclave, you might be better served by letting them attend a local school. Living in London will be one of the most exciting times in their life; they will learn so much more about their new home if they are fully immersed into the community.