French schools in London

(21 Posts)
Riviere Sun 12-Feb-17 15:54:55

We applied at birth to the Ecole Bilingue (apparenly we are #50 on the waiting list!), Ecole des Petits, la Petit Ecole Francaise and Ecole Jaques Prevert. I was wondering what other parents experiences had been in obtaining a spot? We haven't applied to EIFA and Jeannine Manuel because of high fees and not as good Ofsted reviews... but now are having second thoughts given how oversubscribed all the schools seem. Any thoughts/advice would be highly appreciated

OP’s posts: |
Mamabear12 Mon 13-Feb-17 14:05:04

We didn't apply to any of the french nursery schools, but decided to try after first term of reception and were lucky enough to get a spot through the Lycee within a week of our application for a in year transfer. Apparently it is not so easy to do this, but we some how got lucky and we are not French. We are very committed to helping our kids learn the language w part time french nanny be activities after school. I think this helped. But I do know a lot of people who applied to the school and didn't get in. I'm a firm believer of trying and if u don't get in it probably wasn't meant to be. But just because it's difficult does not mean u will not get in. I had people tell me it was impossible, u have to be french or celebrity etc. I almost didn't bother applying bc I thought we would never get a spot. It was only the encouragement from one person who told me to apply and that you did not need to be french, that I decided to apply and I'm so thankful for this. Good luck!

sotiredtoday Tue 14-Feb-17 14:16:36

Just give it time and send your child to an English state school until a place frees up. It will do, eventually. It's hard to say when but waiting lists do move a lot.

Mamabear12 Tue 14-Feb-17 14:46:16

Yes, exactly, there is a lot of movement bc people move back to France etc. But I suspect they are a little choosey on who they accept as well. They don't just accept anyone, as when we applied I know there were 5 spots available and my friend also applied, but didn't get a spot! When my daughter started in Jan only one other child started and I asked about the other spots and was told two more will start end of Feb and they weren't sure about the last spot. I am very curious how they select and choose.

sotiredtoday Tue 14-Feb-17 15:06:02

There is a very clear admissions policy for French schools as there is for English schools which, we must assume, is respected.
I have always been a bit surprised that French school accept children which do not have a personal or family connection with France when these schools are part financed by taxes levied in France.

Mamabear12 Tue 14-Feb-17 16:10:53

In this situation I think it's only fair they accept some non french as it's supposed to be a bilingual class, but all the french go through the British system to get in for free, so it's only fair non french can get in through the french side even though we have to pay. I'm just so happy for the opportunity for my kids to learn french so I do not mind paying and I'm grateful we are able to do so. I was quite surprised though as I always thought u had to be french. This at least enables the classes to be a bit of a mix, although they are majority french. But in order for the bilingual classes to work they definity need some non french kids.

freeone Tue 23-May-17 16:04:54

We have an amazing experience in EIFA school.
We came from Italian school ( in Milan) through Southbank int school in london( awful experience), finally we have found a impressive curriculum and teachers. for our daughters 15 and 13 at EIFA.

They speaks Italian and English and we are getting high level DELE Spanish and DELF French .
Let me say thank you to EIFA.
My daughter 15 is ready to get into IB diploma ; she is improving every subjects she needs in the future.
EIFA is a jewel among old and dark school.
It s news, clean, with brilliant curriculum and program and teachers and more.
I visited many school and EIFA is the best I know of.


freeone Tue 23-May-17 16:22:38

We are Italian
Friends or my daughters at EIFA are English , Spanish ... from other countries.
Public school in London unfortunately have no money and
English rich people prefer English indipendent school .
I found this situation incredible.

Rich school for rich people ???
Is not my ideology ..

freeone Tue 23-May-17 16:28:06

After disgusting selection in English school, French school accept people.
My daughter speaks 4 languages snd I retain a shame selection from school.
School is a human right
School is for everyone and my daughter have learned french... in 1 year😜😜😜
Tenkiu EIFA

MrsT75 Fri 20-Oct-17 09:25:36

50th on the list doesn’t seem too bad, much depends on how many forms they have etc. If they have 3 forms then it’s 60 kids - you see the maths.
With some moving away so in reality you’re probably 40th on the list if not higher...
Do you know how where you are on the lists at other schools?

LadyEB Tue 30-Jan-18 15:39:30

Dear Roberta, would you be willing to let me know what happened to you at Southbank? SB Kensington? We are considering both schools and it's a hard choice to make when you don't know the country, nor any parents at the schools. Just visiting alone and online research is not enough to make such an important decision. Many thanks!

EG29 Thu 01-Feb-18 15:01:23

hello, any mUm with kids at Jeannine Manuel or CFBL? What is your experience? Do you think they are french or rather multicultural?
We would love EIFA but no places for now , sigh.. For the EIFa moms, do you think there are departures every year?
Thanks a lot!!

Mamabear12 Thu 01-Feb-18 20:33:34

Not sure about those schools, my children attend a Lycée school, which we were told are impossible to get into, but we managed to get our kids in, even though we are not French and do not speak it. (Don't get my wrong, we put A LOT of effort in to help our kids learn French. DD is fluent after a year and son just started, but I think he will be the same). So, where there is a will there is a way. Do not give up if you do not get your kids in to the school you want. I would suggest keep trying. One of my friends applied three times until she got her son in.

EG29 Thu 01-Feb-18 20:43:20

Mamabear, u mean De Gaulle? Yes, not giving up but problem is once u start in a french school you cant move to another one as they have an agreement between them.. x

Mamabear12 Fri 02-Feb-18 12:59:52

Oh really? I did not know that. Not that we are going to switch our kids. But what happens if someone moves? They can not attend the one that is closer to them if there is space? So strange!!! My kids are at one of the Lycées in London, so yes Charles De Gaulle. The school my kids attend has kids from other Nationalities, but the majority are French or at least half French. There are departures every year, especially during winter break, as families move home during this time or after summer. We got our spot just before xmas, when I decided to apply on a whim (I always wanted to get my dc in the school, but never thought we would get a space). Anyway, we were lucky as within a week we had a spot. I think it was because people are less likely to transfer their kids during mid year. I think a lot of schools in London kids seem to come and go, because the other school my daughter attended was the same, as so many international families and people move back home to their countries.

mika7612 Thu 17-May-18 14:18:18


How is the charles de gaulle lycee as compared to other french bilingual schools. we are moving back to London this summer, and my son should be starting CP. Thank you.

Mamabear12 Thu 17-May-18 20:47:26

I am not sure. My only experience with bilingual schools is with the one my children attend. They are happy there and I plan to keep them there. Do I think it could be better? Yes....its definitely jam packed with kids and oversubscribed with a huge waiting list! But it does not stop me from sending them there and they are happy. If you want your child to keep speaking French, then definitely send them to a bilingual school. I would figure out where you can a spot before moving to a certain location.

EG29 Mon 26-Nov-18 18:51:28

hello mums any reviews/feedback on EIFA school in London? Do you know how many pupils they have in secondary school classes?
ANy info is helpful thank you! smile

mika7612 Fri 12-Apr-19 17:12:14

EG29 did you finally register for EIFa? how is the school?

Fallingbythedozens Wed 16-Oct-19 20:16:58


cjjlondon Sat 30-Nov-19 13:50:12

Hi - I am happy to add an EIFA update. My son attends the school and we are very pleased with the quality of the fully bilingual experience. We have been there for two years now and our son started with no French and is now able to follow classes in both languages. There is a huge effort underway to improve on all the schools ratings, including adding the IB next year and add another building to the school in 2020. If you have any concerns, I would encourage you to schedule a tour and meet with the school's director who is incredibly dedicated to seeing each child succeed.

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