Echo – Principal’s recommendation after moving from an unsuitable school


Echo was 16 years old. She was studying in a top high school in China before coming over to the UK. Although her humanities and creative subjects were exceptionally strong, she was not recognised for her achievements, as science subjects are considered well above the humanities. She came to the UK through a China-based agent, hoping to realise her dream of becoming an artist. The agent recommended a one-year IGCSE. She then came to us for services in the UK.

When our consultant took her to the school for registration, she asked if Echo had chosen her IGCSE subject options. Both Echo and her mother said they were told that there was no need to do so. The Consultant explained that this appeared bizarre from her experience and insisted checking with the school on her IGCSE subjects and found out that the school provided a fixed set of subjects e.g. maths, physics, chemistry, biology and EAL.  Echo became extremely disappointed as she could not study Art and History. The situation became worse when she found out she had to continue to study physics which was her weakest and least favourite subject. Echo’s mother immediately contacted the agent in China and it turned out that the agent had no idea about it despite a clear explanation of the school’s marketing material and only thought they needed to find a one-year IGCSE course for Echo.

WSE Solution

The WSE consultant told Echo that there was a possibility of moving to another school suitable for Echo, but also explained the complexity of visa applications and uncertainty of securing a place in a new school in a week’s time. After careful consideration, Echo’s parents decided to stay with the school. We felt that it was unfair for Echo to study all the subjects she did not sign for but more importantly, having no relevant subject in art or humanities in GCSE would be a huge hindrance for her university application to an art course. We negotiated with the school to swap physics with art, so Echo would still be motivated to study in Britain and establish some foundation for her sixth form studies.


Now Echo has gone to a sixth form college to study Art. She loves all the subjects she is taking. Her goal is to secure a place at St Martins with the support of WSE and her school Art Department.  

She was recently selected to be an International Prefect in her new school.


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