Repatriation after US assignment top challenge for relocating families with school age children

The latest Trends in Global Relocation report from global relocation services provider Cartus, reveals the top challenges facing families moving to international relocation hot spots.

Image illustrating an article titled "Repatriation after US assignment top challenge for relocating families with school age children"
In their fifth annual Trends in Global Relocation: 2015 Biggest Challenges survey, global relocation services provider Cartus asked 148 mobility managers based around the world to tell them about the biggest challenges they are currently facing.While housing costs and temporary living expenses take up the top two areas of concern for professionals helping relocating assignees worldwide, a massive 77 per cent of respondents cited the 'availability of school places' as having a major impact on families and assignees' willingness to accept a new assignment.And in a further twist, the report reveals that families repatriating to the UK after an assignment in the US can face difficulties re-enrolling into the UK education system on their return. Given that, in 2015, the three most frequent countries for job assignments from the UK were the United States, India, and Switzerland, this is becoming a growing concern for relocation managers helping families through transition.In Relocate Global's new annual Guide to International Education and Schools, Education consultant Elizabeth Sawyer of Bennett Schoolplacement Worldwide, explains the differences between the UK and the US education systems. "With key-stage examinations and, eventually, the two-year GCSE programme, followed by the two-year A Level programme, the English system leads students towards increased specialisation," she says. "In contrast, the US system places less emphasis on examinations, and students remain generalists all the way through to the end of secondary school, when they graduate with a high-school diploma at the end of Grade 12, the equivalent of Year 13.""Families moving back to the UK during the secondary years should be aware that a student returning in Year 12, for example, will not yet have a diploma or certificate from either system," says Ms Sawyer. "This is only one example of the kind of repatriation issue parents should be aware of, and plan for, even before they go on assignment."The Cartus survey also identifies the varying standards of education on offer as a significant factor when relocating within the US, posing a serious challenge for families and relocation professionals. "Over the years, one issue has been that the US does not have a national curriculum or national exams," says Ms Sawyer in the Guide to International Education and Schools, "and the content and standards of education have been set at state and even local level, such that there has been little uniformity across states and even districts within a state."However, with planning and good advice these issues are not insurmountable, believes Ms Sawyer. "Careful planning is often key to a smooth transition," she says. A sentiment that is echoed by Robert Abbott, Vice President UK and International Client Services for Cartus. "Although companies in the UK are transferring employees to numerous destinations throughout the world, the United States, India, or Switzerland were the three most frequent destinations in 2015," he said. "Whilst these countries offer exciting new opportunities for employees and companies, advance preparation is the key to successfully overcoming challenges in these new destinations."
Guide to International Education & Schools
Relocate Global's new annual Guide to International Education & Schools looks in detail at school choices in the UK and internationally. To order copies, download an [order form] (387k) , complete it using your keyboard, and email, fax or post it to us.

For more Re:locate news and features on education and schools, click here

Related Articles