The objective in school selection is to find the best possible match between the needs of the student and the education provided by the school. Each student has a unique set of learning abilities, interests and social needs, and each school offers a unique combination of curriculum, teaching philosophy, size, tuition, and student body composition. Because of the number of factors to be considered, and the difficulty in measuring these factors, the selection process is both personal and demanding.

Bennett has developed a checklist that many parents find helpful in evaluating schools. The following are examples of the types of questions that should be asked of any potential new school. Please contact us for the full checklist.


  • How do students seem to feel about their school—Engaged? Loyal? Enthusiastic? 

  • How diverse is the student body in terms of social, ethnic, religious, or national status? How important is this to you?

  • What kind of roles do parents play in school affairs?


  • What is the background of the Head of the School?

  • Who are the teachers and what are their credentials?

  • In grades Pre-K through 12, what percentage of teachers have advanced degrees?


  • What is the school’s Mission Statement?

  • Is there an identifiable philosophy of education?

  • What are the education goals of the school and how well does the school community reach those goals?



  • How is the school accredited?

  • How frequently is the school inspected and by what agencies, to ensure that proper academic standards are maintained?

  • Does the school undergo periodic peer review?


  • What is the enrollment of the school?

  • Is the school in a convenient location?

  • Does the school provide transportation and food service?



  • What is the school’s tuition?

  • Is financial assistance available?

  • Are tuition insurance plans available?



The following list provides websites that can be helpful resources. Bennett International does not vouch for the accuracy of information or content on these websites.

Boarding Schools

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)

Private School Admission Testing


Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)

Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

List of Accrediting Organizations


National Network for Immunization Information (NNII)

Immunization Action Coalition


Bennett International recommends that all mobile families maintain an “Education Passport” for each of their school-age children. While requirements vary, schools often request the following materials. The below list of items is comprehensive, and not all of the suggested documentation may be necessary or obtainable for a given child. Well-documented education files will greatly facilitate enrollment and class placement procedures, however, so we recommend the creation of as complete a file as possible:

  1. Names and addresses of schools attended and dates of attendance.

  2. Transcripts: copies of course lists, grades, evaluations, and translations, if necessary.

  3. Description of the most recent curriculum: both an official version and teachers’ outlines of the program are useful, as are copies of the most recent math and English textbooks.

  4. Letters from teachers or others who can speak to the child’s achievements, abilities and character. Private schools often require recommendations from former teachers. These may be difficult to obtain during the summer holidays or after a family has relocated.

  5. Summer contact information for teachers and school personnel a family is leaving.

  6. Standardized testing results and evaluations.

  7. Examples of the child’s work: completed assignments from the most recent academic period, writing samples or special projects.

  8. Medical records: an immunization history, information on specific conditions that might affect the child’s participation in any part of a school program, and results of a full physical examination.

  9. Birth certification, a passport and visa.



Webinar: “Relocating Families with Children with Special Needs: an IEP for Global Mobility”, 14th November 2017

Elizabeth Sawyer hosted an interactive webinar, sponsored by TRC Global Mobility, to help explain some of the potential hurdles of global relocation for families with special needs children. View Webinar Here.

“Countries and their education systems approach learning issues very differently, and cultural differences influence the available support. We will discuss the limitations of many international schools in supporting certain students, and the research that parents and employers should do before an assignment is offered or accepted. We will also explore the profit motive of some schools that claim extensive support systems that may or may not be in place. This webinar will provide some “tools for the toolbox” for planning assignments for special needs children. It will help to ensure the children are supported adequately and avert surprises about a child’s learning profile that could torpedo an assignment.”

Webinar: “Moving With Kids” Summit, Summer 2016


Summer 2016, Elizabeth Sawyer participated in the “Moving With Kids” Summit, hosted by Rachel Yates of The Expat Life Line. Each day of the 14-day summit presented a pre-recorded discussion with a different speaker, and Bennett was asked to provide its perspective on education and globally mobile students. For more information on the summit and its contents, contact Rachel Yates at