Career progression and professional development are common goals when relocating overseas. However, the main focus for any assignee moving with their family will be the well-being of their children. Until their nearest and dearest have settled into life in London, professional targets won’t be a priority.
Choosing a school that matches their family’s requirements is perhaps the most important decision an assignee will make during their relocation. Particularly if they plan on investing their hard-earned cash in private education. Get this right and their kids will feel at home in no time.
The last thing they need are concerns about rising school fees and the potential impact of Brexit on independent schools confusing the issue.
According to the annual census of leading independent schools in the UK, the average fee for attending a top private school has risen past £17,000 a year for the first time. However, the data – collected from the 1,300 members of the Independent Schools Council – revealed an increase of just 3.3% compared with 2017 – the slowest annual rise since 1994.
This doesn’t appear to have reduced the appetite for private education in the UK. In fact, the number of students attending the council’s member schools has increased to 529,000 – 53,000 of which are non-British pupils – the highest figure since its records began in 1974. Any concerns over the number of available spaces have been allayed by the rise in the number of new schools joining the group.
What about international schools? The 2018 ExpatFinder international school fees survey places the UK third in their annual cost league table, behind Switzerland and Belgium. Remember, you get what you pay for. Whatever type of independent school your employee opts for in the UK, their kids will benefit from excellent teaching standards, first-class facilities and manageable class sizes that facilitate pupil/teacher interaction – plus they’ll love the number of holidays.
EU citizens’ rights to enter the UK to live and work after Brexit is a hot topic as negotiations gather pace. One thing is certain: it’s in the best interest of Britain’s independent schools to continue attracting students from all corners of the globe to study in the UK.
Whatever the outcome of the immigration discussions, employees should keep a close eye on the performance of the pound over the coming months. When the British public defied all predictions by voting to leave the EU, the pound plummeted in value. Fast-forward more than two years and it remains in the doldrums, as Brexit uncertainty continues to apply pressure.
While a weak pound isn’t welcome news for everyone, foreign families looking to send their kids to an independent school in the UK are rubbing their hands together as fees become more affordable.
Get help from the experts
A London relocation agency can help take the hassle out of an employee’s school search. For example, Simply London offer two options, depending on their needs and budget:
- School phone consultation – advice on schools, admissions and the general process.
- Full school search package – an in-depth, bespoke service that’s tailored to your family’s requirements.