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: 4 Oct 2019 | 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, we run a church 'youth group' currently for 11 - 16 year olds.Can we extend the age to include 18 year olds?If we do have 18 year olds in with younger children are there any restrictions we need to put in place or safeguard measures? Thanks.
Jasper - 4-Oct-19 @ 5:29 PM
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
  • Sarah
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    This leave to first bit write a school in derby
    23 November 2019
  • Sarah
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Instead in voluntary in your school please let me know soon
    23 November 2019
  • Jojo
    Re: DBS Checks
    8 years ago I tried to kill myself and so I was arrested for carrying a knife (which I only used on myself), as a result I was given a caution (the…
    22 November 2019
  • Ella
    Re: Working at a Children's Home
    How old is the requirement to work in most children's home? Either respite or residential. As I applied when I was 19, and got…
    20 November 2019
  • Rochelle D
    Re: Voluntary Work in Schools
    Hello, I'm Rochelle, I have a Level 3 extended diploma in health and social care. I done a lot of work experience in nurseries. I want…
    18 November 2019
  • Rinku
    Re: Start a Creche from Home?
    I want to start my own Creche from home. Pls advice want will b the next step.
    11 November 2019
  • Arty vlub
    Re: Working with Children Through Cross Community Groups
    Hi. We are currently in the process of setting up regular art workshop aimed for children aged 5 to…
    6 November 2019
  • Tiny
    Re: Children Act 2004
    Also forgot to mention that the social worker has not seen me, spoke to me or carried out an assessment.. Should that not if been done at the…
    6 November 2019
  • Tiny
    Re: Children Act 2004
    Can anyone please explain how social worker can go to my now ex house an tell her if she doesn't end it then she wont keep her kids an if…
    6 November 2019
  • Zami
    Re: Classroom Assistant
    Hi, I am interested in being a teaching assistant in a primary school. I have childcare level 3 certificate and I am working as a nursery…
    2 November 2019