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Urgent advice about secondary school

(15 Posts)
alessandraV Tue 07-Jul-20 20:34:46

A friend of mine is moving to London in September and she has a DD starting year 8. She is not British and she won’t be admitted in a estate school, so she is looking for a private one. Ideally she would live near her work in brook street but could also go to NW or SW (she also has to rent). Could you advise some good private/international school? American schools are out of the equation ( too expensive). Thank you all!

OP’s posts: |
wineandmusic Tue 07-Jul-20 21:05:57

I am afraid your friend cannot afford most of London private school if American school is too expensive. The fees are similar.

wineandmusic Tue 07-Jul-20 21:07:57

I am afraid your friend cannot afford most of London private school if American school is too expensive. The fees are similar.

After8itsgrownuptime Tue 07-Jul-20 21:15:26

That’s quite a big geography she is looking at. If you could narrow it down to NW or SW London we might be able to help a bit. Also what sort of fees is she looking to pay? I’m SW London and near me school fees range from £4100 going up to £8500 per term for a day pupil so quite a difference. You may also need to add travel on to this as well which if it’s a school bus is approx 3-400 per term.
Surely she is entitled to a state school place if she is going to live here, work and pay taxes etc . Why does she think she won’t get one? Sorry if it’s a naive question but I thought as long as you paid council tax on the property you lived in , or were registered there , then you can claim a school place in borough? Mind you finding a school with space in London will be harder

RedCatBlueCat Tue 07-Jul-20 21:21:50

I would look again at state school admissions criteria. If both legally in the UK, my understanding is her daughter would be entitled to a state place.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 07-Jul-20 21:21:52

You say your friend’s child won’t be admitted to a state school as she is not British. There are many thousands of non-British families enjoying the state schools in London. It is not a pre-requisite to be British to attend a state school. If your friend is working and has no restrictions on her visa saying otherwise and also not on a tier 4 visa then I understand that your friend’s children are entitled to schooling at the expense of the state.

BendingSpoons Tue 07-Jul-20 21:22:23

She would be entitled to a state place. Children are entitled to education and health care even if their parents aren't. Saying that it is not easy to get a place at a good school as a mid-year application. I don't have enough knowledge to advise on individual schools.

ZarkingBell Tue 07-Jul-20 22:03:36

Surely if she's hoping to get an allowance to rent near Brook Street (I take it you mean central London Brook Street) she's an idea of how much she's going to get?
Why would you move with children without looking into the costs?
I've been an expat. You agree this stuff before signing!

W00t Tue 07-Jul-20 23:47:08

Any child under 16 is entitled to a place in a state school. However, she may have to accept a place at a school that is some distance from where she is living, dependent on how oversubscribed schools are in the area. You can't apply until you have an address though.

alessandraV Wed 08-Jul-20 03:44:24

Thank you for all your comments and help. She is a diplomat and has been transferred with no much time in advance. She has an older daughter going to university (soas), so she is happy to have an opportunity to live with her 2 DD. Yes, I mean brook street central london. She knows that she is entitled to a place but I'd writing to schools and boroughs and is not getting a place so far. That's why she thought that maybe a private one could be a way out, £4500 per term should be fine, I guess!

Ideally she would prefer to be in SW because of work...

Thank you for all your help

OP’s posts: |
happytoday73 Wed 08-Jul-20 03:48:31

She will not get a state school until she has her address sorted so needs to concentrate on getting a home, council tax bill etc and then contact local authority to most local school with space.

RedCatBlueCat Wed 08-Jul-20 07:18:37

When she is in the uk and has an address, contact the local education authority, or look at the website, for in year school admissions and follow that process.

I'm not surprised the schools arent replying - they cant offer a place because state schools are allocated centrally by each council.
We had 3 weeks from a school place offer to be in the school, or the place offer would be retracted. We also had to prove a uk address, and they wanted to see boarding cards to prove we'd actually travelled to the uk, along with our uk visa (I just sent them the photo page of our passports, as they were British ones). Until she has all that info forget about schools.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 08-Jul-20 07:28:30

Your friend is gong to struggle to get a decent school with that budget. GDST schools at secondary are at least £1,300 a term more. Further out you have Bromley Independent Grammar (senior school of Wickham Court) but it is a tiny Co-Ed school and not very academic despite its name, it’s fees for senior school are a smidge under £4,500 a term and reflect that it probably isn’t the first choice for most parents so they have priced accordingly.

As others have said, your friend needs to get a UK address and then once settled the local authority will be obliged to find a state place. It may not be the most popular or closest school but they will have to offer a place.

lanthanum Wed 08-Jul-20 13:24:32

Westminster (who work in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea) say:
"The Admissions Team holds information on place availability in schools across the 2 boroughs and will seek to support the families of any child without school provision. "

It may well be worth making contact with the admissions team, who will know which schools she is most likely to be offered once she has an address in the area to apply from. They won't be able to offer a place at this point, but may be able to say what is likely to happen once she arrives.

Their contat details are 020 7745 6432 or 020 7745 6433, or at

alessandraV Wed 08-Jul-20 19:25:56

@RedCatBlueCat @PettsWoodParadise @lanthanum Thank you so much!!!! 🥰🥰

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