Choosing A Summer School
Attending a Summer School presents a great opportunity for your child to make new friends, widen their horizons, gain independence and discover new strengths. Summer Schools are becoming increasing more popular in the UK. There are a wide range of Summer schools, activity camps and courses available, you just have to consider your child's needs and interests. Some of the main considerations are listed below:
Location - How close is the Summer school/camp to your home?
Cost - What are the costs and do they fit your budget?
Transport - Is transport available? Is there an extra cost?
Types of activities - What does your child enjoy doing? Choose a Summer school/camp that interests them or focuses on what your child enjoys or excels at while allowing them to try new things.
Childcare vouchers - Many employers offer tax-free childcare vouchers. Do they accept these vouchers? If so, which vouchers do they accept?
Ofsted - Have they been Ofsted inspected?
English Language Summer schools are a great way for your child to learn English in the UK. They combine intensive English lessons with a range of cultural excursions, sports, activities, arts. Their free time is also a valuable chance to practice English whilst socialising with children from all over the world. They also gain insight into what it's like to board at a UK private school or University.
- If your child is a citizen of an EU/EEA country, they do not require a visa to study in the UK.
- Non-EU students who are under the age of 18 and want to study in the UK for upto 6 months will require a CHILD VISITOR VISA. If they wish to study for more than 6 months they require a TIER 4 (CHILD) VISA.
- Non-EU students who are 18yrs and over and want to study in the UK for upto 6 months will require a STUDENT VISITOR VISA. If they wish to study for more than 6 months they require a TIER 4 (GENERAL) VISA.
Many Summer schools will assistant you in visa applications. For more information visit the UK Border Agency Website
Other Questions or Factors to Consider
Are they accredited? - English Language schools should be accredited by the The British Council
Day vs Residential - Which option would suit your child best? Do day camps offer flexible hours for working parents?
Age range -Are the children grouped by age? Are the activities age-appropriate?
How are the children supervised? - What is the ratio of staff to children? For residential camps, will there be supervision in the accomodation units?
What is a typical days schedule? - Is there a good balance of activities?
Discipline - What is their behaviour policy? Is discipline stricter or more relaxed than you would expect?
Is your child included in the decision making process? - Every child has likes and dislikes, they should have some input into the decision
Reputation - How many students choose to return there? Is there a list of parents who you can contact for feedback?
Food - Do they need to bring a packed lunch or is food provided? If food provided ask for sample menus. Are snacks available throughout the day and after evening meal (for residential camps)?
Mobile Phones - Are children allowed phone calls? Are Ipods, mobile phones other electrical equipment allowed?
Valuables - Is there a safety deposit box where children can store passport, money, other valuables?
Insurance - A copy of the company's insuarance certificate should be available
CRB - Are all employees CRB checked?
Weather - If activities are based outdoors, do they have an indoor option if weather too cold, hot or wet?
Equipment - What should my child bring? Sporting equipment, stationery, musical instruments
Clothing - What should my child wear? Should I pack a change of clothes?
Suncream - Will suncream be provided?
Illness - If my child is ill will I be entitled to a refund? Some companies offer an optional customer protection plan .
Packing Lists - Do they have a packing list available?
Guardianship of International Students
- Summer Schools may require parents of International students to appoint a UK-based guardian. Some overseas parents have friends or relatives in the UK who are happy to undertake this responsibility, others have no-one to help them.
- There are many Guardianship companies available that provide students with a secure and caring environment during their stay in the UK.
AEGIS is the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students. It brings together schools and guardianship organisations to promote the welfare of international students.
- For more information about companies that provide Guardianship services please visit our Guardianship Page more »
Dept of Education - Summer Schools Programme
- All secondary schools (including academies) have been given the option to run Summer schools during the
Summer holidays. The new government programme aims to help disadvantaged Year 6 pupils make a successful
transition from primary to secondary school. Schools that opt in will be accessing £50 million of Pupil Premium funding to provide one or two week Summer schools.
For more information and to find your nearest participating school visit the
Financing Summer School
There is no doubt that Summer schools offer great benefits for children and teens. However, sometimes parents struggle to find the necessary funds. Here are some money saving tips
Childcare vouchers - Many employers offer tax-free childcare vouchers. They're a special government scheme operated through employers that allow you to pay for childcare from your PRE-tax salary. Find out if the Summer School accepts these vouchers
Early bird discounts - Book early to save money
Sibling or multiple booking discounts - If you're booking 2 or more children onto a course, many companies offer discount
New customer discount - Some Summer schools offer 10% discounts for new customers
School fees planning - visit our school fees planning page for a list of financial advisors to help with managing costs.