Supporting families through relocation: Advice from leading international schools

Relocate Global’s International Education Forum, 19 February gathered together experts from leading international schools to discuss how to tackle the unique challenges facing families in global transition.

Parents helping kids with schoolwork

The emotional and psychological effects of an international relocation on an entire family can sometimes be overlooked when considering taking on a new international assignment. Finding the right school for their child in their new location will of course be at the top of the list of priorities for any family, but not all schools are created equal when it comes to family support. Tapping into invaluable resources such as well-developed pastoral care programmes, language support for new students and parent support groups can make the difference between a successful relocation and a failed assignment.

Relocate Global brought together education experts and school leaders, as well as HR and relocation professionals, at London’s Institute of Directors for the International Education Forum, to tackle some of the unique issues that internationally relocating families face when selecting a new school for their child.

Taking a look at some of the unexpected challenges facing overseas families making a move to the UK, Nellie Bailey, Associate Director of Admissions at TASIS, The American School in England describes the challenge as the, “loss of the everyday norm.”

“Lots of schools have “buddy programmes” but we have a programme called the Parents’ Information and Resource Committee (PIRCS) at TASIS aimed at the whole family, not just the child,” says Ms Bailey. “They are there when parents are having that hard day, a tough time. We want the parents to feel as though they have a connection, from understanding what pieces of uniform to buy to helping with where to get your haircut. We give families information before they arrive about doctors and dentists and the towns in the area.  These are really important things as they bring back the norm.”