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The opportunity for a child to live and go to school in London can be a challenging but rewarding experience that can have a lasting influence. Choosing a school is not always an easy process and requires a lot of thought and research before deciding.
Below you will find the types of schools to choose from:
State schools are mainly government-funded schools, which means that education is completely free. These schools must follow the National Curriculum.
State schools can be schools with a certain faith (Roman Catholic, Church of England, Jewish, etc.).
Independent schools are privately run and charge long-term fees. They are commonly called public or private schools. About 7% of children in England attend independent schools. Some of these schools offer scholarships for those with particular skills or abilities or grants to allow students from low-income backgrounds to participate. Independent schools do not have to follow the National Curriculum, and teachers are not required by law to have official teaching qualifications.
International schools are privately run and charge quarterly fees. They offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which is the only globally recognized education program. It is ideal for children who regularly travel between different countries because the program taught is the same, regardless of school or country.
International schools often address the issue of maintaining expressive skills in the mother tongue. This has been shown by researchers to be an important factor in the development of cognitive skills in adolescence. Most international schools also offer an English as an Additional Language (EAL) program for students of all ages in the school.
International schools are generally quite flexible and welcoming with children of all nationalities, and the staff is well equipped to meet unique needs.
These are independent schools in which, using materials imported from the USA, they best reproduce the style of education available in the USA. They provide a curriculum and social environment similar to the one found in the United States and lead to a high school diploma that helps access to the American higher education. American schools in London generally offer some form of English language assistance to native English speakers.
Other foreign national systems
Some families use one of the other foreign national school systems. London in particular has a variety of other national schools that offer education in languages other than English. These include Arabic (Acton), French (South Kensington, Hammersmith and Kentish Town), German (Richmond), Greek (Holland Park), Japanese (Eagling and Milton Keynes), Norwegian (Wimbledon), Russian (Notting Hill), Spanish ( North Kensington) and Swedish (Barnes).
These foreign national schools offer the advantage of continuity for students in those countries, or continuity even for English language expats who have started in this system while abroad and want to continue. Some of these schools are run under the regulations of the respective governments, and some, such as the German and French schools, are part of a global network.
If you want to find out about the red telephone box, check out our article on this topic: History of the red telephone box.
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