A Very British Education: How To Pick The Best Private School For Your Expat Child


Choosing the perfect school for a child is a difficult thing. It’s even more complex when your child comes from an expat background and has therefore lived and schooled in several countries and cities throughout their life.

What’s the best way to choose your child’s school and how do you know that a certain school is the best for your child?

Here are some pointers to steer you in the right direction.

#1. Know your child well.

Picking a school just because it has a great reputation or is the most prestigious might be seem like a logical idea but in actuality it can lead to your child feeling unhappy and academically under-performing. When choosing the best school for your child consider your child’s interests, academic ability and needs. For instance, some renowned public and private schools are great for children that are musical whilst others are superb for children that are solely academically inclined.

                        Harrow School, London.

                        Harrow School, London.

#2. Learn as much about the schools you’re considering as possible.

What’s their academic track record? Do they use a one-size fits all approach to learning or do they tailor lessons to meet the needs of each child? Do they encourage their students to pursue careers in the arts or in STEM fields? Do they care about their students personal and psychological wellbeing or do they only focus on academic performance? These are just a few of the questions that you should be asking yourself when viewing or contacting private and public schools.

#3.  Research boarding options.

Do the schools you’re considering offer boarding facilities? For example, if you live in Dubai but want to send your child to school in the UK but are unable to move here, it’s worth considering schools that allow your child to board. A school with boarding facilities would therefore be a better option than one without in such a case.

#4. Prepare your child for the entrance exams.

Most private and public schools require applicants to sit an entrance test such as the 7+ or 11+. When considering which private school to send your child to, be mindful of whether your child will need to sit the Common Entrance exam. In order for your child to stand the best chances of winning a place at their desired school, it’s vital to prepare them for any school entrance test that they might sit.