British Families Move Out to Get Into Good Schools

October 22, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. relocate / riˈloʊ keɪt / (v.) – to leave one’s current location to move to another place
Example: I relocated to Tokyo to be closer to my university.

2. sought-after / ˈsɔtˌæf tər / (adj.) – in demand or desired by many people
Example: Harvard University is one of the most sought-after universities in the world.

3. secure / sɪˈkyʊər / (v.) – to have or get something and prevent it from being taken away
Example: He secured a position in the school.

4. resort to / rɪˈzɔrt tu / (v. phrase) – to do something because there are no other options
Example: Her parents resorted to borrowing money to pay for her tuition.

5. slot / slɒt / (n.) – a place in a group
Example: The school will open 200 slots for students next year.


Read the text below.
Many families in the United Kingdom have relocated so their children would have a better chance of getting into sought-after schools.

This is according to a survey done by market research agency Opinium Research for Santander UK [sahn-tahn-DER yoo-key], a major bank company in the United Kingdom. This survey involved over 4,500 parents from all over the country.

According to the results of the survey, 26% of the parents have either bought or rented a new house just to get an address near desirable schools. Almost half of the families who relocated plan to leave the place they just moved into after their children secure a spot in a good school. On the other hand, 30% said that they plan to stay in their new address until their children finish studying in the sought-after schools.

Many of these parents resort to relocating because most well-known schools in the country are more likely to admit students who live near the campus. Also, the competition for school slots has become tougher as the population in the country increases. This means that more students are competing for the limited slots that the schools have.

School administrations in the United Kingdom require that the main residence of students be indicated in their application. However, another survey revealed that 12% of parents in the country put a wrong address in their children’s school application so school administrators would think that they live near the school they are applying to.

Lying about one’s address, however, violates school application rules. Thus, parents who lie can lose the chance of enrolling their children into good schools if they are caught.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were a parent, would you also relocate just to secure a school slot for your child? Why?
·         What else can parents do to ensure that their children get into good schools?

Discussion B

·         Please describe the school application process in your town/community.
·         Given the chance, how would you improve this process?

October 22, 2015