Simply Learning Tuition offers a comprehensive range of relocation services for families moving to the United Kingdom from overseas, who are hoping to apply to a UK school. Our relocation service has been highly praised by parents in the Good Schools Guide, we have received multiple rewards from Relocate Global and we are recommended by the prestigious Spears 500. We are used extensively by parents who want to choose the right independent, grammar or state school for their child.
Relocation can be an exciting time for children, offering a host of new opportunities and inspiration. In the midst of so much change, Simply Learning Tuition provides a bespoke programme of support to ensure a seamless move to the best school for each child. Our experienced team of education consultants, private tutors and mentors will take care of every part of the move, from choosing the right school or university, to making a successful application.
Tuition for UK School Entrance Exams
Many relocating families already have a shortlist of schools that they want to apply to. Others are unfamiliar with the top British schools and their entrance requirements. Our education consultants have experience of a wide range of the UK’s leading schools, and will be able to recommend a shortlist of schools that are just right for your child. They can also advise on visits, registration dates, assessments and visa requirements. Our team offers guidance on which syllabus would be most suitable for your child (GCSE, IGCSE, Pre U, International Baccalaureate).
Our process starts with a gentle assessment to work out a child’s current academic level. If necessary, we will recommend a programme of private tuition from tutors who specialise in entrance examinations such as the 11 Plus, 13 Plus, 16 Plus and UKiset. We are adept at the fine art of securing ‘occasional places’ for children moving outside of a mainstream entrance year.
We also prepare students for university and competitive Oxbridge admissions.
Our School and University Placement Services
Most of the relocating families we work with make use of either a school or university shortlist, or a full placement support package:
– School or University Shortlist – SLT’s personalised list of suitable schools with available places, and our support in choosing the best school for your child
– Placement Package – SLT’s full service, including assessment, shortlisting and placement; planning open days and private visits, accompanying you on these and completing all the application paperwork.
Although UK schools are very good at helping children become familiar with their new curriculum, many students benefit from a period of one-to-one tuition to bring them up to speed with the curriculum of the school they will be joining. We usually arrange this to take place during the holiday preceding the first term at their new school.
For families who require help finding property in Central and Greater London, we have a partnership with a leading property finder and estate agency service.
Frequently Asked Questions
As early as possible, depending on the entry point. Simply Learning Tuition can advise on ‘occasional places’, for situations where your child enters the school year outside of the regular entry point. Some schools require families’ registration by a certain date, and these deadlines are inflexible.
School prestige is a key factor in the challenge faced. The more prestigious the institution, the harder it will be to secure a place, and the earlier you should start your application process. To ensure you receive your desired outcome, you will want to have plenty of time to visit schools and tie in a property search.
For state schools governed by location, they need a house and proof of residency first. For independent schools, you can have more autonomy to choose the school first. Families often gravitate towards a certain area for work, or because of family connections. For others, relocation provides a blank slate for the family. Especially if the child is in full boarding – where they will only return home a couple of times a term and for holidays – it is important to consider where you would like your home to be.
For independent (fee paying) schools, applicants should contact the school directly to learn more about their admissions requirements, and their advice for overseas applicants.
For families who are applying to British independent schools from outside the UK, the typical application process comprises the following:
1. Choose a school
2. Apply and be offered a place
3. Collect written confirmation from the school (called a CAS, or ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’)
4. Complete visa application - including submission of documents and payment of fees
5. Arrive in the UK
- For a Child Student Visa, you can arrive in the UK up to 1 month before your course starts.
- For a Student Visa, if your course lasts for 6 months or less, you can arrive up to one week prior to the start date. If longer than 6 months, you can arrive up to 1 month before the course begins.
For state schools, you apply through your local council (even if you’re applying for schools in another council area or you’ve just moved to England). If you’re applying from another country, contact the local council in the area where you’re going to live.
Unless you are a UK citizen, or have an immigration status that gives you ‘right of abode’, you must apply for a student visa.
If you are between the ages of 4 and 17 and applying for an independent school, you will need to apply for the Child Student Visa. If you are aged 16 and over, and hoping to study a further or higher education course in the UK for at least 6 months, then you should apply for the Student Visa.
Having right of abode means you’re allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions. This means you do not need a visa to enter the UK, and there is no restriction on how long you can stay in the country. If you are a British citizen, you automatically have right of abode in the UK. Certain Commonwealth citizens may also have this right.
You can prove you have right of abode if you have a UK passport describing you as a British citizen, or a British subject with right of abode. Otherwise, you need to apply for a ‘certificate of entitlement’, which goes in your passport, and proves your right of abode in the UK.
For children aged 4-17 studying at an independent school in the UK, the Child Student Visa application is completed online. It is not a requirement to use an immigration lawyer to apply for a Child Student Visa in the UK. However, many families do, to alleviate some of the worries which come with such an application, and to ensure as few mistakes arise as possible.
The UK Child Student Visa criteria necessitates an applicant to:
- have an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school
- be able to show that you’ll have access to enough money to support yourself in the UK and pay for your course
- have the consent of your parent or guardian to study in the UK – you’ll need to prove this when you apply
If a parent wants to accompany you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Child Student visa.
For children aged 16+ studying at a further or higher education institution in the UK, the Student Visa application is completed online. Whilst many students do find it reassuring to use an immigration lawyer to help them with their application, it is not a specific requirement.
The UK Student Visa criteria necessitates an applicant to:
- have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17 - you’ll need evidence of this when you apply.
If foreign nationals resident outside the UK want to enter the UK to study at an independent school, which is a licensed student sponsor, they should contact the school directly. Children cannot enter to study at schools which are not licensed student sponsors. If the school accepts the application, it will send them a reference number, called a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Parents will need a CAS before they can apply for their child’s visa. You must enter this reference number on your visa application, and you must apply for your visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.
1. CAS Letter - CAS stands for ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’, and is provided by licensed student sponsor schools. If the school accepts a student’s application, they will send them a CAS number. Applicants then use this number on their VISA application.
2. Proof of Funds - In order to successfully apply for a student visa, the Home Office requires that applicants prove their financial status; their ability to sustain themselves for the duration of their study in the UK. The minimum amount depends on whether the student will study in London or elsewhere in the UK.
3. Proof that you meet the required education level – Students are required to prove their knowledge of English by:
- Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.
- Or, by having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18.
4. Meet the language requirements - As per the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), child students must have at least B1 level of English proficiency. Students studying undergraduate or graduate programs (or equivalent courses), must have a B2 level at minimum.
5. Proof of identity - This includes:
- a current passport or other valid travel documentation;
- proof of parental or other legal guardian consent if under 18;
- proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian if under 18 (photos of you two together, etc.);
- a copy of your birth certificate (or another government issued document) that shows the names of your parents.
Applicants should note that certain documents may need to be certified with an apostille stamp. This certifies your public documents, to more easily allow other countries (such as the UK) to legally recognise them.
6. Additional documents – For example, a valid passport (with at least an empty page in order to be able to affix a visa), and your previous passports.
Guardians are your in loco parentis, and provide a very useful service for families who are very distant and perhaps speak little to no English. Guardians are helpful in situations where a parent is unable to live in the UK and, in case of emergencies, to act on behalf of the student’s parents. For Exeats or Half Terms where it is perhaps too far to travel, it can be nice for the student to have a familiar place to stay, for example with a family friend in the UK.
The majority of leading British boarding schools require overseas students to have a guardian because of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding (NMS). Most schools are very capable however, and also have extensive safeguarding policies in place.