New to Oxfordshire?

Moving can bring many changes to your life. Find out what you need to do if you've moved to Oxfordshire, and how to settle in.
Girl standing apart from her friends

Oxfordshire is an exciting place to live as a young person. It's home to a diverse, mobile, and growing population. There are lots of things to do, and different ways to learn and get employment.

People move to town for all kinds of reasons. They might be moving for work or to be with family. They might come with their family to one of Oxfordshire's military bases. Some come as refugees or asylum seekers. All are welcome.

Take Action: Watch this video to find out how some young people deal with moving home.

What you need to do if you've moved to Oxfordshire

Apply for a school place

If you're under 16, or under 18 and want to attend a school-based 6th form, you'll need your parents to apply for an in-year transfer to school on the Oxfordshire County Council website.

The website has details of area Secondary schools, and about transport to school.

My story: Citizenship means to become a citizen in the country you live in.

Which is a big deal.

Many people around the world come to England. If they weren’t born in England they get citizenship at some point in their life. I wasn’t born in England, so I had to get a citizenship to become a citizen.

On the day of my citizenship I was excited. I got mine done in the Oxfordshire County Council. The building was huge and very formal, it looked like the House of Commons.

In the hall there were many people there also waiting to get their citizenship. I was nervous because I had to go and get my certificate up in front of all those people. I felt nervous like everyone’s eyes were on me. Then afterwards I felt very proud of my mum for passing the life in the UK test and becoming a citizen in Oxford. Then we celebrated with food. - Anon, Oxford

Find a post-16 destination

If you're 16-18, and don't want to go to a school-based sixth form, there are lots of good options. You can study at one of our local FE colleges or go to a UTC or Studio School. If you're ready for the workplace, you can get an apprenticeship or traineeship. If you're not sure what to do, or if there are problems which might stop you learning, then you can get support from the EET Support Service who can help with things like anxiety, benefits, not knowing what you want to do, and more.

Register with the EET Support Service

When you move into the area, the local authority where you used to live should tell us, so that we can provide support if you need it. But this can take time. To get the best support right away, register and help us keep your information up to date. On the same form, you can ask for extra support and register to newsletters about events, activities and opportunities for young people in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire County Council keeps information about all young people. This is to help us help you better.

Find things to do

Having things to do will help you settle in to your new home and make friends. There's something for everyone, and moving is a good time to try something new, or to find a new place to do a familiar activity you enjoy. Exploring your area, checking noticeboards and asking at your new school or college are great ways to find out about clubs, events and activities you can do. But there's also help available online:

Take Action: Activities Oxfordshire lists activities for young people aged 14-19 (up to 25 with SEND). You can find clubs and youth groups; sport and leisure; arts, dance, and theatre; and much more! and you can also follow @actsoxfordshire on Twitter and Activities Oxfordshire on Facebook

Make Friends

Making new friends isn't always easy. But it's worth the effort. If you have good friends, then you'll be happier, more confident and have more fun. Remember that building friendships takes time! Doing things together (like sports or an after school club), helping other people and showing an interest in their ideas and experiences all help.

Instant Expert: Use these tips from Childline to help make new friends.

Why do people move to Oxfordshire?

Oxfordshire has a diverse and mobile population. This means that lots of people move to the county from all over the UK and the world. Here are some reasons why people choose to move to Oxfordshire:


Many people move their families to Oxfordshire while they work or study at Oxford University or Oxford Brookes University.

Armed Forces

Oxfordshire has a large military presence with more than 8,500 military personnel and almost 5,000 family members living and working in the county. RAF Brize Norton is the largest station of the Royal Air Force in the UK.

Science and Technology

Oxfordshire is home to a huge variety of science and technology companies. Many of them based near Didcot in the south of the county, or in and around Oxford. People move to Oxfordshire to work, and bring their families.

Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Asylum seekers and refugees can come to Oxfordshire with their families, and sometimes young refugees come alone. Learn more about local support for young asylum seekers and refugees.

Make new people feel at home

Is there someone new in your school or local area? Children who have just arrived in Oxfordshire may be missing friends or family members and not be sure where to go locally to have fun and meet other children. You can help:

  • Welcome them
  • Ask them about themselves
  • Invite them to join in with activities, events and games

People come to Oxfordshire from all over the world. Sometimes new people will speak different languages, wear different clothes and eat different food. This is a great opportunity to find out about different cultures. Sometimes they seem very similar to you, but they might still be lonely if they are new to the area.

Here are some ways that local children have helped make young people new to the area welcome:

  • Learned each other's languages
  • Smiled and been friendly
  • Asked them about themselves
  • Invited them to try a club or sport you go to and like
  • Shown them around and introduced them to your other friends

Being open-minded about differences, and willing to try out new things, like games, activities, festivals and food all help with being welcoming, and make your life more interesting, too.

Instant Expert: Explore population and migration trends in Oxfordshire with the  Birth, Death, and Migration Story.

Find out more

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