The UK is renowned at home and abroad for its excellent universities, with thousands of foreign nationals arriving in the UK to study each year.
But fewer people realise how many foreign children also come to the UK to attend school before university level. If you’re wondering if it’s possible to send your child to study at a UK school – this blog is for you.
Can my child go to the UK to study?
Foreign nationals can send their children to the UK to study at an independent privately-owned school. The UK Government even has a visa dedicated to this type of plan, namely the Child Student Visa.
You will not be able to use this visa to send your child to study at a state-owned primary or secondary school. If you are already in the UK on a substantial visa with your child, they will have the right to attend state schools.
The Child Student Visa at a Glance
The Child Student Visa is for anyone between four and 17 years old wanting to attend a private school in the UK. To be eligible, your child must be the correct age and:
- Have an unconditional acceptance letter to the independent school
- Provide evidence that the child will have the funds to support their stay
- Have parental or guardian consent to study in the UK
If you are under 16, the visa will let the child stay for the course duration (maximum six years) plus four additional months. If you are between 16 and 17, the visa permits the child to stay for the course duration (maximum three years) plus four additional months.
Note, parents will not be allowed to join their child in the UK unless they have their own visa.
Full details can be found here.
Why send your child to study in the UK?
Families from abroad send their children to study in the UK for an array of reasons. One of the most common reasons is so that their child can master the English language at a young age.
Having mastery of written and spoken English is necessary for most higher education institutes, even universities abroad. It could help get their child into a British university in the future. Moreover, fluency in English is highly desirable in the workplace, especially as the world becomes more connected and globalised.
Another reason is that the UK has a high standard of education, especially among private schools here. It may be that the UK can offer a better education to the child than can be accessed in the child’s home country.
More UK schooling information is here!
For more information on the UK’s schooling system and for details about UK grammar schools, see our latest blog posts!