As with many other aspects of living in the Channel Islands, the education system differs from one bailiwick to the next. As such, expats will need to take into account the exact location of their new home before considering schooling options for their children. There are a few common aspects, however.
Compulsory schooling throughout the Channel Islands is from ages 5 to 16, after which most students choose to continue with either A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate, either of which can be obtained through the various post-secondary schools. Public schooling is free of charge from ages 3 to 18. Schools in Jersey and Guernsey generally follow the same curriculum as in England and offer high standards of education.
Public schools in Channel Islands
Public schools in the Channel Islands are either completely free (non-fee-paying) or partly funded by the government (fee-paying). Though fee-paying schools aren't free, the fact that they are partly government-funded means that fees are much lower than at private schools.
There are around 25 non-fee-paying primary and secondary schools in Jersey, with most primary schools also having a pre-school section. Jersey is also home to two primary and two secondary fee-paying government schools.
Guernsey has fewer than 20 non-fee-paying primary and secondary schools. The only alternative option is private schools, since there aren't any fee-paying government schools in Guernsey.
Private schools in Channel Islands
Expats can choose to send their children to one of a handful of independent private schools on the islands, but these are few and far between and are significantly more expensive. They are typically single-sex schools with a religious basis. Jersey has around 10 private schools, most of which are primary schools, while Guernsey has fewer than five private schools.
Special-needs education in Channel Islands
If parents think that their child may need extra assistance in school, they can put in a request for their child to be assessed by the local council. Children with special educational needs will have an individual plan drawn up by the council. This plan will specify a particular school for them to attend, be it a mainstream or special school. The named school is obligated to give the child a place.
Tutors in Channel Islands
Tutors can be helpful for expat families in a number of situations. Children from abroad may need a little help with catching up to the local curriculum or could benefit from extra tutoring for the English language if it isn't their mother tongue. Those parents worried about children losing their mother-tongue language skills while in the Channel Islands should consider hiring a tutor who is a fellow native speaker and who can help maintain fluency.
There's a wide variety of tutoring companies to choose from, with some of the most popular being First Tutors and Allangate Academics.
►See Moving to Channel Islands for an overview of the country
Are you an expat living in Channel Islands?
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