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Can a foreign child go to state school?

Can a foreign child go to state school?

The answer is yes. To lawfully enter the country to access a school, foreign national children resident outside the UK will normally need:

  • A UK address.
  • An immigration status which otherwise permits them to enter the UK to study at a school.

The UK government outlines the responsibilities of state schools and their admission authorities:

  • Must not refuse to admit a child based on their nationality or immigration status nor remove them from the roll on this basis.
  • Must not ask to see passports or other immigration information as a condition of admission.
  • With the exception of children who are Irish nationals, must not actively recruit foreign national children who are still resident overseas as pupils.

According to the UK government: “It is the responsibility of the parents of foreign national children to check that their children have a right under their UK entry conditions to study at a school before applying for a place. It is not the role of state-funded schools or local authorities to ask for proof of eligibility before offering a place.”


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