On the move supporting the smooth transition of a child's education

Throughout a child’s life, one of the biggest factors that shape so many key decisions and opportunities is education. Therefore, when it comes to relocating, it’s vital that all the necessary steps are taken to ensure that their teaching and learning experience is as smooth as possible, with minimal disruption.

In the informative and lively webinar below, Relocate’s, Fiona Murchie explores with Professor Sara de Freitas and Esther Clark from InterHigh, what exceptional online schools look like and why virtual schooling is fast becoming a solution for many international families.

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This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People, the new home of Relocate Magazine.
Click on the cover to access the digital edition or on the links below to read all of the articles on our website.
International schools’ business models include the expectation of a fluid student base. As many of their families move from country to country, students undoubtedly come and go. But is there more that schools can do to maintain the relationship with their students and potentially retain them, or are there alternative options that parents can, and should, consider?Esther Clark, director of InterHigh online school, explains the opportunities available to international schools to help make their offering more attractive to new families and how relocation companies and education consultants can support the smooth integration of schooling.Generally linked to their parents’ careers, a proportion of many international schools’ student population doesn’t remain long enough to benefit from an uninterrupted educational experience. For the most part, international schools have accepted that this approach is the ‘norm’ and something they have to deal with rather than address. However, there is an alternative; Covid-19 demonstrated the power and potential of edtech, and while digital platforms and resources have been around for many years prior, the pandemic has certainly accelerated schools’ usage.While we have seen the rollout of various online tools and resources to facilitate remote working throughout school closures, there is in fact a more permanent  and effective solution that would benefit both international schools and relocating families.

Online schooling

One option for families who may need to move to another country is using fully online schools where the live, face-to-face teaching provision is flexible and accessible for any subject and for any length of time. Some students who use this well-established form of learning are full-time, while others only use the service for a few months, while travelling abroad, or join to study a specific subject that may not be available at their physical school.Enrolling a child into a standalone online school such as InterHigh will ensure that children have continuity, stability and flexibility in regard to their education no matter their location.Table tennis champion, Anna Hursey, provides us with one such example. As the youngest athlete in the history of any sport to compete in the Commonwealth Games, Anna’s training schedule makes her education increasingly complex. Anna used to study at Cardiff High School in Wales, a mixed comprehensive school in the UK. She was happy at the school and did well, but as the pressure of her training impacted on her schooling and she suffered academically. The ideal option for Anna was to join an online school where she had the flexibility to continue with her education whilst also developing her table tennis career. Wherever she was travelling in the world, she was able to progress with her education alongside her training. This flexibility has been key for Anna in pursuing her sporting aspirations, without jeopardising her academic progress.

International School Partnerships

Another attractive option for parents will be considering international schools that have partnered with an online school to provide greater opportunities. This could be from a continuity point of view, or in regard to enhancing their offer by way of subjects, teachers and a variety of learning opportunities.When we consider what international families look for in a school we can probably summarise this as ‘a British curriculum delivered by British teachers, with the highest quality standards and pass marks in a broad range of subjects.’ It is this last requirement, namely the broad range of subjects, that many international schools may struggle to support. Children coming from overseas to a new school often come with an expectation to continue studying subjects from their previous school. This could include IGCSE curriculum areas such as certain music specialisms or any number of languages from Cantonese to Cajun French.
Therefore, the flexibility of online schooling means that if an international school doesn’t have a teacher in place to offer any area of the curriculum, the students may be able to ‘attend’ an online school remotely, just for this subject. Working in partnership with online schools demonstrates a significant amount of flexibility and breadth of subjects, which is a highly attractive option to many families. In essence, online schools become a powerful extension to an international school and their learning offer.The other issue that international schools face is the natural flow of students arriving and leaving each year. Even if they are only moving to another country for a short period of time these students are often permanently ‘lost’ from the school.

Learn more about InterHigh:

But there is a way to retain these students and minimise disruption. Year 10 French student, Adrien, constantly moves between the two countries due to his father’s business, and the fact his mother works between Australia and France. Despite being happy with his education in Sydney, the same couldn’t be said for his time in France. Living near the French Swiss border, the best teachers often get jobs in the Swiss schools which pay two to three times higher salaries, leaving a lower standard of teaching in the schools near Adrien’s home.To secure the highest level of education, Adrien started studying with InterHigh. Once again, Adrien’s school in Sydney could have retained Adrien as a student by offering him a place at an online school while he is in France before returning to them when he arrives back in Australia.

Supporting the move

Families require a swift yet smooth relocation experience, not least for their child’s education. Whether due to job relocation requirements, because their child is an aspiring actor, model, or athlete, or they simply want to study a subject not offered by their local school, it is important for relocation companies and education consultants to advise on the best possible solutions to ease the transition.Therefore, considering online schools or those international schools providing blended learning opportunities will help fulfil a family’s long or shortterm needs and ensure they have the reassurance and confidence that their children will be able to academically and socially succeed, regardless of their location.To discover more, or to discuss admissions and study options, visit: www.interhigh.co.uk

Watch the InterHigh replay video


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