Wise Words – Looking at the Right Age for a Child to Study in the UK

“When can I send my child to the UK to study?  What is the right age?”


This is a common question that I get asked by parents.  Of course, there is no single answer.  Some children are happy to study abroad from the age of 10, but others are not ready at age 18.  When you are discussing this question with a client, you can use the initials POEM to help you.


P = Personal care

Can children look after themselves?

Can they clean their teeth, wash their hair, shower, and put on their clothes?

Can they feed themselves?


O = Organised

Can they follow a timetable, pack their books and get to lessons on time?

Can they look after their valuables: their phone, money, passport?

Can they cross a road safely?


E = Experience

Have they ever spent a night away from home?

Have they travelled anywhere with a group?

Have they been on any summer camps?


M = Motivation

Do they themselves want to try studying in the UK?

Are they excited about this idea?

Are you prepared for the change in your own life if they go?


If the answer to most of these questions is ‘yes’, then your child is probably ready to come to a school in the UK.


But if you are not sure, why not ‘try before you buy’?  Send your child on an Etherton Education summer course for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks, and let them come back home.  99% will tell you they had a great time and they are interested in studying in the UK full-time in future.  A few will decide it is not for them.  But it is better for both children and parents if they can have a short taste of real British boarding-school life before they make the decision.


Our Family Summer Course at Dean Close School in Cheltenham is the ideal start for children aged 6-10 years. Children live in boarding houses.  Parents live in hotels near the school.  By spending this time away from their parents, children develop more confidence and independence, but parents can see them every day and share many activities together.


For older children from 10-15 years, our academic summer courses at Wellington School and Badminton School provide very secure environments with excellent pastoral care.  For students aged 15-17 years, our courses at Lord Wandsworth College helps them become young adults.


At Etherton Education we are very experienced in looking after children and helping them to develop.  One of the greatest compliments came from a Mum who met her son at the end of his course and was amazed by the changes in him.  She told me, “My son has grown into a man this summer!


If you have any questions about any of our courses please contact our Admissions Team and we would be delighted to assist!


Peter Etherton, April 2019.