Learn from Khadeja, an Expert by Experience, about her advice to help parents understand the English education system
As part of our Experts by Experience project, we interviewed Khadeja who was resettled to North Devon in 2017 with her husband and three young children, about her and her children’s experience in adjusting to the English education system. In addition to this resource, Khadeja has produced a guide to the English education system for newly arrived parents in English and Arabic that you can download from this page. Also, check out Gill’s resource on helping families adjust to the UK’s system from a Community Sponsorship Group’s point of view.
Much of the information included in this resource is also relevant to the education systems in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Originally from Syria, Khadeja’s family lived in Jordan before being resettled to the UK. Before the Syrian conflict, Khadeja had been attending teaching school to become an Arabic teacher for GCSE and A-level equivalent students. Thanks to her academic background in teaching, Khadeja was able to approach schooling in England in a very practical way and clearly distinguish some differences between the Syrian/Middle Eastern approach to education that can help other resettled parents understand the new system. Below are some main differences she’s found between the two systems:
Advice for Community Sponsorship Groups
Khadeja recognizes that not all parents will be as involved as she is since she has a background in teaching and is genuinely interested in her children’s learning. For some parents, groups may need to spend more time explaining what their children are doing in school, help them to get involved and also help them understand why it is important to become interested in their child’s education. Also, groups should make sure the school knows that the parents will have a different perspective about their role in their child’s education.
Advice for newly-resettled parents
Newly-resettled parents should focus on their own English learning in order to keep up with their children. Otherwise they will find that a few years after arriving in the UK, their children will speak English perfectly and they won’t be able to help their children learn.
Parents should also familiarize themselves with technology and the different systems used by the school. Schools in England (and the rest of the UK) rely on technology for homework and communication with parents.
Guide to school in the UK - Arabic version [279.3KB] Download .PDF
Guide to school in the UK - English version [128.3KB] Download .PDF
UK/Syrian school system comparison - Arabic version [217.7KB] Download .PDF