Education and ESOL resources

Education (ages 5-16)

If you are settling in the North East of England and have a child aged between 5 and 16, you are required to make sure they get a full-time education. For help with applying for a state-funded school place, contact the school admissions team at your local council. Find your local council.

Free school meals for children

The children of BN(O) visa holders are eligible for free school meals, subject to maximum income and savings thresholds. The capital (savings) threshold is £16,000, while the income thresholds are as follows:  

  • £22,700 per annum for families outside London with one child.  
  • £26,300 per annum for families outside London with two or more children.

You can apply for free school meals online on your local council’s website. Find your local council’s website and apply for free school meals.

Resources for learning and using English

The British Council offers resources aimed at adults. You will need to take a free online test first to establish your level of English. The website also offers an online tutor, but you have to pay for this.

BBC Bitesize is free to use and covers a range of topics, including English, maths, and science.

BBC Learning English has a wide variety of features, grammar, pronunciation, videos to watch, quizzes, and a children’s section.

The Open University offers a number of free courses that can be accessed online. The courses cover a wide range of subjects, from English skills for life and an introduction to bookkeeping and accounting, to succeed with maths.

ESOL Courses provides free digital resources for teaching and learning English. Practice your English with their free interactive listening lessons, reading exercises, quizzes and games.

National Geographic Kids has resources available for children in primary school.

University College London have compiled a list of resources including primary, secondary and ESOL.

UKHK’s Welcome Magazine is an engaging resource for Hong Kong children living in the UK. You can order the book directly on the UKHK website. The book is free of charge, including postage.

UKHK has developed a youth page and three videos which look at issues around making friends, differences in UK and Hong Kong schooling, and ways to integrate well. The youth page also has downloadable resources, including a PDF discussion plan for a group session with Hong Kong teenagers.