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.rmarriage-2016-8757-8832-repatriation-after-us-assignment-top-challenge-for-relocating-families-with-school-age-children_8121_t12

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.”