We are moving to London and would like to send children to a good-level day school. How can you help us?
Recently, such requests from clients who are moving to London for work, permanent residence or to reunite with family have become routine. We can help in the selection both of schools near your area of residence, and of those near which you will be able to find accommodation. In any case, we will be able to help you even in most urgent situation, thanks to our expertise in this field.
For our clients whose children enter day schools in London, we have developed a special educational concierge service. It will shortly familiarize both the student and his or her family with the local educational process, and extra classes with a tutor will help eliminate gaps in knowledge.
Do you arrange children to be placed for secondary education in Swiss schools? We heard that studying there opens up great opportunities for elite tertiary studies and future career. Is it true?
Yes, we help prepare for entering Swiss schools, and we will be happy to help you with this. Undoubtedly, Swiss schools are among the most prestigious secondary educational institutions of the world due to the highest quality of education, along with excellent conditions for studying and living.
One of the most distinctive features of these schools is that you can get an education in different languages - English, French or German. The major advantage of the studying process, in our opinion, is that it is carried out by several acknowledged standards: The Swiss (Matura), German (Abitur), French (Baccalaureat), British (GCSE & A-level) and Anglo-American (American High school diploma, IB, AP). All of these are the Swiss specialty yet it makes studying there the most expensive.
What is your most popular service?
We do not divide our services into more or less popular categories. Sometimes a minor circumstance has a significant impact on child’s future, and only a professional can view the situation as a whole from the beginning. That is why we offer a range of services that literally covers all aspects of studying in the most prestigious educational institutions. Originally, Chelsea Education was founded with the intention of helping future students find and enter the best boarding schools, and to this day a significant part of our customers is looking for this very service.
We would like our son to enter an elite high school such as Eaton or Harrow. When is it best to start applying to schools? He is now 4 years old.
If you mean to reach a successful in entering schools of such level, we recommend contacting us as soon as possible. Some schools, for example, must be applied to immediately after the child’s birth.
Together we will design your son’s educational plan for many years in advance with the purpose of his consistent studying the leading educational institutions of the country. A perfect run-up in this direction for your son will be going to one of the top preparatory schools, from which, in turn, boys at the age of 13 traditionally enter elite high schools, such as Eton, Harrow, Westminster, Winchester and others. We will professionally accompany you at all stages, such as preparing for exams, interviews and much more.
What is the difference between an educational consulting company like you and an educational agency?
The answer is very simple. Educational agencies enter into contracts with a number of different schools and colleges and respectively offer only these institutions to their client. As a consulting company, we use an opposite approach - we are initially taking into account the personal qualities, interests and abilities of the future student and provide him with a professional choice of the most suitable educational institutions.
We heard that you sometimes turn down customers who want to draw on your guardianship services. Why are you doing this?
We do it solely to maintain the high quality of our services. Being a relatively small company, we cannot compete with specialized guardianship agencies, which have hundreds and sometimes thousands of students whom they provide guardianship services to, and we don’t see it as our objective. Sometimes, we face a difficult choice of denying our potential clients a guardianship service, because we believe that this will do a disserve to our active clients whom we cooperate with at the moment. This is a rare situation, but if it arises, we will definitely recommend an excellent guardianship agency, which we are absolutely confident in.
How do you work with families that do not live in the UK, having your head office is in London? How do you work with Russian families, for example?
Yes, our head office is in London, but this never interfered with our customer communications. We can cooperate in the way most convenient to you – our outstanding Moscow crew will promptly find a solution to your problems on the spot or forward them to our London office if needed. Thanks to modern telecommunications technologies, customers from all over the world come to us. Now they have the opportunity to use our services and apply to foreign schools without leaving their country. The entire admittance process, including academic testing, interviews and entrance exams - all this can be done remotely.
At the same time, we always recommend our clients to come personally and visit schools before making a choice of an educational institution. To do this, we provide full visa support, assistance in tickets and accommodation booking - be sure, we will set your trip up in full scale.
We plan to send our son to study at one of the best universities in the United States after he graduated high boarding school in England. Did you have clients with a similar situation?
Of course, we have clients who follow a similar strategy. The usual motive in such cases is that parents would like to keep a relatively young child from frequent transatlantic flights, often with a transfer between flights in a third country. Parents would prefer their child to get a secondary education "closer" - in the UK, and apply to American universities during the last year of school.
In such cases, to be admitted to prestigious universities the student will have to pass the SAT or ACT tests, no matter what program the student came through in England, A-level or IB. To help overcome possible problems we propose the best tutors who specialize in preparing for these tests and who are experts in entering the top universities of North America.
Can you help my daughter apply to universities through UCAS?
Admission to British universities occurs by means of centralized UCAS system, regardless of whether the student is studying in the UK or abroad. Using this system, you can simultaneously apply to five British universities.
We certainly provide assistance in applying to UCAS, however, we see the careful consideration of universities and specialties before submitting documents to this system as the most crucial part of the whole process.
Generally, two categories of clients come to us for this service. The first category is local or foreign students who study in the UK. Although the most part of schools and colleges help with the applications, parents of students ask us to thoroughly double-check everything. The second category is students who graduate schools in other countries. This category of students will benefit most from additional expert support in all the subtleties of the admission process - choosing the right educational institutions, submitting documents, writing a Personal Statement, etc. This support will have a particular value upon certain situations such as going through «Clearance» - when a student tries to enter other than the originally chosen university due to the shortfall in passing scores, and «Adjustment» - when the received test scores are higher than expected and the student can count on entering a more prestigious university.
We have not yet been your clients, and we come to London next weekend. Can you promptly arrange a visit to several schools? How much will it cost?
We are sure that we will be able to help you, though a week’s time is usually insufficient to organize such visits. In order to solve this efficiently, we need to know the reason why would you want to attend specific schools. However, it’s worth remembering that there are always reasonable grounds for schools to refuse in accepting any third parties – a school can be passing through inspection, internal examinations and other activities these days.
It is usual for one of our employees to take part during these visits, when he or she could tell about the local education system, types of schools, admission rules and give answers to many questions the parents always have. For families of future students, these days are always full of impressions coming from socializing with school staff and other involved persons and provide great amount of information. While learning more about our principles and methods of work these families often become our clients. We will be happy to help you at this stage of your search, and we are always determined to create long-term cooperation and friendship.
The cost of this service depends on the number of schools visited, their location and a few of other factors. For a rough estimate of the trip cost, describe your plans and preferences to our specialists, and as soon as schools send us approvals, we will be able to calculate the final cost of this program of visits.
We live abroad and we think about sending our daughter to study in the UK. Does she have to come personally for interviews and entrance exams? Is it possible to carry out the whole process from a distance, without coming to school?
Yes, it is possible. The good news is that the vast majority of schools has “in absentia” policy and can accept students without personal visit. Most often it will be enough to conduct an interview with the school via video link. Required exam tests can be sent to the nearest representative office of the British Council, the local school where the child is currently studying or to an accredited agency in your city. We help organize all related activities. However, we want to draw your attention to the fact that a number of schools do not provide a place without personal contact with the candidate; in this case we will notify you about this restriction in advance.
Approximately a quarter of our clients enter private schools in the UK remotely. Nevertheless, we always recommend that students' families come to the UK and personally familiarize themselves with a number of schools before submitting documents. Or, if they have already received offers from schools, come to confirm their choice. Undoubtedly it is not always possible for a number of reasons.
As for our clients who enter private colleges or pre-university courses, we could say that about 80-85 percent of them do it remotely.
If we come to you in July, will you still be able to get my child to boarding school with the education starting in September? Is it too late and will we have to lose the school year and come following September?
A late request is certainly makes it difficult to find schools, especially given the fact that the majority of school employees are on summer leave in July. However, we are confident that we will be able to help you even within such a short period - we deal with similar situations every summer, and sometimes we manage to find places even in a number of good schools. We pay special attention to the fact that there are always shortages in some schools, but we prefer not to work with such schools, since this indirectly indicates that the quality of education does not meet our criteria of choice.
My child was expelled from school due to misbehavior; he will have to leave it tomorrow. Can you help us transfer him to another school as quickly as possible, even though it is already the middle of the school year?
We regularly receive requests for the urgent transfer to other schools for a variety of reasons, and solving such complex cases is exactly what excites us the most in our work. We throw our best personnel to this front, and the entire office is literally suspended until the new school is confirmed.
Our local agency in Bulgaria has put our child in a private school, but neither the child nor we are satisfied with this school for a number of reasons. How soon can you transfer him to another school?
We face similar situations every year, for the most part at the end of September - beginning of October. We might say that we solve such cases on a regular basis. If you feel that the school does not fit your child for any reason - no matter whether he has just entered, or has already been studying for some time - then we recommend contacting us immediately. Naturally, we cannot do wonders, but our good professional relations with many other schools will help find you the best alternative option available at the moment
It also happens that the children and their parents who have just entered boarding schools give in to panic - at first everything may seem wrong, the school is bad, etc. In such cases, we help thoroughly analyze the causes of such concerns, and sometimes the need for transfer disappears. We keep to the principle of solving the problem rather than fleeing from it and we believe that rash change of schools tends to hurt the child the most.
My child has been expelled from his current school for misbehaviour. Can you help us to find a new school quickly providing that it is in the middle of an academic year?
Year after year we have had phone calls from parents asking us to urgently move a child to a different school for varying reasons. In some circumstances, this might prove to be difficult but we are up for any challenge. Often our whole office takes on the mission to find a suitable school and we are all so relieved when it’s over and we have made another successful (yet stressful!) placement.
My child has been placed in a boarding school in the UK by our local education agent in Bulgaria but both we and our child are not happy with her current school. Can you help us to move her to a different school ASAP?
We always filled with these requests at the end of September/beginning of October of each academic year because of the exact situation described in the question. We can certainly help and we actually do this on a regular basis. Please contact us as early as possible when you feel that a current school might not be suitable for your child and we will try our best in order to find them a more appropriate school and move the child as quickly as possible.
What is your pricing policy? Do you offer discounts for children of the same family?
The price varies depending on the level of service provided. For example, selecting and applying to the boarding schools differs from selecting the day schools in London. And yes, we grant discounts for the family members. If we are simultaneously supervising more than one child from one family, we could provide a discount up to 50% for the other child.
How can you identify if one preparatory school is academically stronger than another? They do not publish the results of the exams of their leavers.
Secondary schools annually publish the so-called “league tables”, i.e. the results of their students’ final examinations. This gives us an understanding of how well the school is doing in academic terms.
On the other hand, criteria for assessing the level of preparatory schools are somewhat different. The key purpose of preparatory schools is to prepare their students directly for entering secondary schools at the age of 13. In order to determine how good one or another preparatory school is, it is enough to look at the list of secondary schools where its leavers have entered. It is fairly difficult to get to a popular preparatory school, whose students later enter the most sought after elite schools in the country. To get there the documents must be submitted several years prior to the estimated date of entrance.
What number of schools simultaneously do you recommend to apply to?
It is necessary to consider many factors at a time - family preferences, academic progress of the candidate himself, his age group and how soon he is planned to start studies, etc. We know that some educational advisers provide families with a list of 10 or more schools of choice. Too wide option makes it difficult to compare all the strengths of schools and, as a result, the choice itself cannot be optimal. We focus on quality rather than quantity, and we prefer that families concentrate on choosing from a relatively small, specially designed list of schools, where the child will be able to maximize its potential. Therefore, we consider it reasonable to submit documents in from three to five schools on average.
Is it possible to get into a good school if we try it at a time different from the basic age of admission (11+ or 13+ years)?
Yes, as you have correctly noted, the basic age of admission is 7, 11, 13 and 16 years and the moment for submitting applications in most schools ends about a year before the corresponding date. We always recommend submitting documents to schools in advance, in order to have time to elaborate a plan for further education of your child, to have time for a specific tutor or to prepare for entrance exams. However, there is always the opportunity to go to a good school at any time during the academic year, as families often face changing life circumstances, students go to other schools, etc. Over the years of our work, we have developed good relations with many schools, and we quite decisive in that we can arrange your child’s admission to the best possible educational institution.