For expat families moving to Northampton, picking a school will be a priority, as this choice will have a critical influence on their children's transition into life in the UK. Most government schools and some private schools in the UK base admission on catchments, so parents' choice of school could influence their accommodation choices. The UK school year typically runs from September to July, with breaks in December, March/April and July/August.
The two main kinds of institutions in Northampton are state (public) and independent (private) schools. State and independent schools vary in quality, but independent schools often have the advantage of smaller classes and better facilities. Parents can look up prospective schools on the website of Ofsted, the government department for inspecting educational institutions.
State-funded schools in Northampton
State schools are free for citizens and legal residents, but their standard of education varies widely. Many state schools are separated by gender, and some are affiliated with a religious background. Several state schools in Northamptonshire are academies, meaning that they are managed by not-for-profit academy trusts instead of the local government. They sometimes have additional funding from local businesses, faith groups or voluntary organisations.
Some of Northampton's top state schools include Whitehills Primary School, Weston Favell CE Primary School and the Northampton School for Boys.
Independent schools in Northampton
Independent schools charge fees and are privately run. Most independent schools in Northampton teach the national curriculum, though some offer other curricula. Independent schools are not held to the same regulations as state schools, and they also often offer a higher teacher-student ratio, a wider or specialised range of subjects and extra-curriculars, and better facilities.
Independent schools near Northampton include Spratton Hall School, St Peter's School, Maidwell Hall and Oundle School, which was established in 1556.
International schools in Northampton
International schools present expat families the opportunity to continue their home curriculum while living in their host country, and they're good for those who plan on living in the UK for the short term. Although there are no international schools in Northampton, some expats choose one of the independent schools that offer the internationally recognised IB curriculum.
Special-needs education in Northampton
Children in the UK are understood as having special educational needs if they have a disability or difficulty that means they need more support than children normally get. All mainstream schools in the UK have special educational needs consultants, and parents who think their children need extra support can ask for an assessment to develop an EHC (Education, Health and Care) plan.
As much as possible, children with special educational needs are kept in mainstream schools, with extra support that can include a special learning programme, provisions for the child's disability, or extra help from teachers or assistants. If the child requires more support than mainstream schools can provide, the child can be assigned to a special school. There are a number of outstanding special schools in Northampton that cater for children with various special educational needs.
Tutors in Northampton
Newcomers to Northampton may want to hire tutors, either to help their children get acquainted with the new curriculum or improve their English language skills – or retain their foreign-language skills. Tutors are straightforward enough to find; parents can ask teachers and fellow parents for recommendations or look online for reviews.
There's a wide variety of tutoring companies to choose from, with some of the most popular being Tutor House, Superprof and Tavistock Tutors.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance. 20% off premiums booked before 31st March
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
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