Home > Ask Our Experts > Do Foreign Children Have a Right to A Classroom Assistant?

Do Foreign Children Have a Right to A Classroom Assistant?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 12 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
Foreign Child Children Assistant

Q.Do foreign national children have the right to a classroom assistant in primary 1 if their English is not that great and the teacher is very impatient with them?

(Miss Deborah Foster, 12 September 2008)


Being a foreign national child and speaking poor English can be very hard for children in UK primary schools and they have extra challenges to face. However, just the fact of being a foreign national sadly doesn’t automatically give them the right to have a classroom assistant, although it can certainly help their learning and development if they do have extra support.

For teachers, teaching a class of children is demanding in itself, but it presents extra challenges when one child doesn’t have very good English. This is one reason why it may seem that they’re being impatient with them, but it may not be intentional.

If you’re concerned about your child not having good enough English skills to cope well in the classroom or keep up with what the class is being taught, then in the first instance it’s advisable to speak to the classroom teacher or school head for advice and help. Explain the situation and the difficulties that your child is having, especially if they may not be aware of everything yet (i.e. when the child has only just arrived at the school) and politely ask if any extra help can be provided.

Most schools do have several classroom assistants, or teaching assistants, available and they may work one-on-one with certain pupils or support the classroom as a whole. Hopefully the school in question will already have a classroom assistant who can step in and help. Depending on the language in question and the degree of difficulty your child is having, they should be able to help your child through their difficulties and slowly pick up extra language skills.

In addition to the help they receive at school, as a parent you can help by trying to improve your child’s grasp of English at home. For example, you could try and speak English as much as possible, if English isn’t your native tongue, read English books together and ensure your child is clear about all the essential and basic English words. If you feel they could do with an extra boost of help, you could explore extra-curricular tuition – the school may be able to recommend a suitable tutor.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi, I together with my partner would like to start a children's' home of about 3 to 4 childrens. We are from a nursing background. Could you kindly advice re: start up costs, any funding available and where it can be obtained, qualification requirements and if there is demand? Plus any other relevant information. Thanks
Win - 12-Apr-17 @ 12:05 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kel
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hello I have been out of work for quite a while now bringing up my children but I am looking for voluntry work now with children. I…
    22 April 2019
  • Brookie
    Re: Working at a Children's Home
    Hi there. My name is Brooke Alexander and I am 21 years old. I am currently studying my Bachelor of Arts at University but feeling…
    22 April 2019
  • Michael
    Re: Working as a Learning Support Assistant
    Hi, I live in Myanmar teaching English Lang and Lit. I have taught P 3,4, and 5 here over the last 2 academic years.…
    15 April 2019
  • Dorthy
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hi, I want to enter into college to study childcare,but want to do voluntary work in any school closer to me. Plesse can you…
    14 April 2019
  • debs
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hello there, i am looking for some experience in the classroom, i eould like to volunteer, I am available anytime. Please let me know.…
    8 April 2019
  • Afrin Rahman
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hi kam from India, now in UK with a Friend in Prestatyn. Ism 49 years old .Has being working as a teacher in India since 1995.Iam…
    7 April 2019
  • LENA
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hello to you all, I am Hellen looking for volunteers who can come and work in a pre-primary school teach learners reading, writing,…
    5 April 2019
  • Shane81
    Re: DBS Checks
    I have volunteered to coach my kids football team, many years ago I was cautioned for ABH split an idiots lip who attacked me. Will this prevent me from…
    4 April 2019
  • Sara
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hello there I would like to do some voluntary work at school .
    3 April 2019
  • Anju
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hi Iam sheethal,Iam interested in volunteering at primary school at Crawley area.I would like to broaden my experience. I have…
    1 April 2019