Friday, 10 July 2015

Choosing the right #British #boarding school - Ten Top Tips for #international or #expat parents.

  • Consider your parental aspirations for their future, in tandem with your child’s individual talents, personality and needs. They must feel ‘at home’ in the right type of environment to enable them to meet your aspirations.
  • Get to grips with the British curriculum and decide what format and teaching styles will best suit your child as they transfer from their school outside the UK.  Understanding the age and school years for school transition, for example prep to senior school at age 11 or 13, will make the entry and settling in process less tricky.
  • Look for an extensive 7 day a week programme, ideally with lessons on a Saturday morning. Weekends can be lonely if there’s not enough to keep busy.
  • Be wary of schools offering flexi and weekly boarding, if total boarding numbers are small. A high percentage of full boarders is crucial.
  • Extend your search area outside the South East. Considering flight routes from regional airports instead of just Heathrow and Gatwick, opens up a whole host of great full boarding schools across the UK. With generally speaking less competition for places, chances are you might have more choice of schools, especially if you are looking at short-notice.
  • International schools raise children who are very culturally aware and who feel comfortable within a global community. Review the percentage of international pupils at your short-listed boarding schools. Will your child feel more comfortable in a UK school with a higher percentage of international pupils? Or are they more suited to a largely British school community, with only a sprinkling of international children.
  • Ask about parental communication and reporting. Technology now allows for sophisticated web-based feedback and reporting systems for parents. Some schools even stream live video of lunchtime concerts or plays. This will ensure you still feel part of your child’s life at school, even if you live overseas.
  • Meet the head and the houseparents when you visit. These key people will shape your child’s future, so you need to agree with their educational philosophy and feel you can build a good working relationship with them over the years your child is at boarding school.
  • Food is important. In-house dining creates a homely pastoral feel, whilst for fussy eaters, central dining may offer more extensive choice.
  • Be wary of in-country experts who give advice in return for a financial incentive from schools. Advice from an independent source is crucial.

Would you like advice on choosing the right British boarding school from our team of professional, friendly, independent education consultant experts?

Give Claire a call on (+44 )1865 522066

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