When families relocate on overseas business assignments it can be a challenging time with considerations such as, housing, location and education to organise. But drawing on the expertise of relocation agents and HR professionals can make all the difference, as can experts at international schools – all are perfectly placed to aid a smooth transition.
With over one hundred different nationalities represented across its school community, ACS International Schools has sound appreciation of what families need when planning their move. Working to support relocation professionals, ACS regularly holds networking events at its three UK based campuses (Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon), which often feature parent panels, allowing relocation professionals to hear families’ experiences first-hand.
Events are designed to share valuable insights, from organising transport documentation to registering children at school, and can offer a different experience to those run by specialist relocation services. Networking mornings at ACS attract a number of attendees, presenting an opportunity to strengthen industry contacts in specific areas such as school admissions, pastoral care, property purchase and household relocation. The reassurance of having reliable contacts creates a peace of mind and lets families know they are in good, knowledgeable hands.
Useful research tools
In addition to providing opportunities to find out about how relocation services can support each other and families, the events provide the chance to hear first-hand from families about their experience of coming to the UK. Panels consisting of parents give a unique insight into the best support received, areas they can go for more help, and how they settled in to their new community. Stories of sat nav miscommunications and confusion over using foreign appliances have previously been regaled, usually funny but also underlining the importance of looking beyond ‘typical’ problems.
Participating in question and answer sessions with parents can be a quick and easy way to see whether current relocation practices are operating in the best way to support families. Such knowledge can provide a catalyst for changes to improve the efficiency and experience of future relocations.
Children’s education is always a top priority and being able to tour prospective schools and speak with students can provide the very reassurance families are looking for. ACS uses student panels, where current ACS students talk about a range of subjects including the International Baccalaureate Programme curriculum and how technology is used in the classroom.
Knowledge is power
The saying ‘A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers’ is particularly true for the relocation industry where being able to properly support a family throughout a move can be pivotal to its success. Taking advantage of networking events such as those provided by ACS is an excellent way to keep fully abreast of the needs of relocating families and to help others make a smooth transition to their new life in the UK.
By Caroline Breeds, ACS International Schools
Find out more at www.acs-schools.com