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  • Writer's pictureBennett International

What's Going On With Schools In England?

Updated: May 27, 2020

Despite COVID-19 and the fact that many schools around the world are still closed, they continue to prepare for when students, new and old, will be back with them. Bennett’s UK-based team of education consultants has kindly compiled the following update for us:

Schools in the UK are Open for Business in Terms of Applications

“Boris Johnson has announced that UK schools may have phased openings as of June 1st, which means that although it’s not yet clear exactly when individual schools will open, private schools, councils, and state schools are getting ready for applications for this September. Some of the international schools are filling already, and we encourage families to talk with an education consultancy (we would be happy to recommend one!) now about their schooling options for September. This is also the case for good British private schools. Likewise, families who will use the state system typically begin working with us in the spring so that we may explain to them how the state application process works. We say this now to discourage families from waiting until their relocation is 100% certain before beginning their school search.”

Private and International Schools

Fee-paying schools are open for business and getting prepared for when their schools open fully. They are conducting their admissions processes online—everything from virtual tours to interviews and information sessions, and they are eager to be as helpful as possible. Many private schools are happy to have us arrange meetings with senior teachers online and want to encourage children to take admissions assessment tests at home before they make the move to the UK, and our consultants say that this is working really well. Of course, we advise speaking with us or other school experts before picking out a school online. Many schools do a great job of marketing and have wonderful websites but may feel very different when one visits in person. It’s a good idea, and very reassuring, to seek experienced counsel when considering options.”

State Schools and Councils

“In the UK a family typically cannot apply for a place at a state school via their local council until the child is living in the new permanent family home. Our consultants are finding that councils are currently willing to be more flexible, however, and are willing to accept applications that they will keep on file for when schools open; they can’t yet commit to whether or not they will have spots in particular grades/years, and we expect them to be more revealing as the lockdown restrictions lift further. We do encourage families to speak with us now about using the state system—we will help them to narrow down their areas of interest and to understand which schools would be a good fit and how the application process will work; and, of course, how we will support them throughout the process.”




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