Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Brexit – opportunity or disaster for British independent schools in the UK?

British schools in the UK have for some time been a popular option amongst European families. Why?

  • Developing independence through sixth form studies of both the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme or A levels as a pathway to places at top universities in both the UK and Europe.
  • Accessing the all-round education approach across academics, sport and the Arts that is British education.
  • British boarding as a settled long-term alternative to frequent transitions between international schools when relocating families are working both in London and other financial centres of Europe.
  • Outstanding support for each child as an individual, including for those diverse educational needs.
  • Short-term placements of up to one year as a tried and tested route towards bi-lingual children with cultural understanding who are equipped to work in a Global world.
According to the ISC 2016 annual census of their 1,280 member schools, over 15,000 or 33% of international children attending ISC member schools are from European countries. Nearly 8,000 of these children, or 55%, have parents living in the UK.

It’s hard to argue with the significant benefits enjoyed by both European families and the UK schools who educate their children as a result of this free-flowing working relationship. So, it’s not surprising that many in the education sector are now asking what does Brexit mean for these children and their families, not to mention the implications for the schools themselves?

  • Firstly, the advice is not to panic. Keep calm and carry on! New regulations regarding EU nationals studying in UK schools should take at least 2 years to agree and implement. UK schools have been quick to reassure families from across Europe with children already in UK schools that it will be business as usual for the foreseeable future.
  • UK independent schools as a whole are a force to be reckoned with, contributing significantly to the economy as a whole. With a Global reputation for excellence, I just can’t envisage a situation where they submit to changes in visa rules without a fight to retain their international element. Just as they did with the charities commission, professional bodies such as ISC will be lobbying key decision makers to present a strong case for the status quo. I believe that it’s highly likely their voices will be heard when it comes to Brexit immigration negotiations and retaining the rights for EU nationals to gain easy access to study within UK schools and universities.
  • Making lemonade out of lemons, there is recent evidence to indicate that some international families appear to have seen the recent currency fluctuations in Sterling as an opportunity to now access the outstanding British school system at a reduced cost. If you’re buying education in Euros or Dollars, you now get more bang for your buck. With British international schools overseas retaining high fee levels, suddenly the UK-based schools look appealing, even if it means boarding. Last-minute enquiry numbers for Sept 2016 entry from new European families looking to join a UK independent school are up!
  • In other parts of the world, international boarding school parents have seen a similar opportunity due to currency fluctuations and are looking to pay a number of terms school fees in advance. At least in the short-term, cash flow in UK schools should remain strong allowing continued investment in facilities and resources to maintain their outstanding reputation across the world.

The post-Brexit, not to be missed, opportunity for parents to meet UK schools face-to-face

Does UK-based British education have last-minute appeal to you?

Register now for your complimentary invitation to this exclusive event for parents ON SATURDAY 16TH JULY IN LONDON. Click this link for more information and to register.

Not to be missed! Your opportunity to meet over 50 British schools face-to-face to discuss your child. An extensive seminar programme on the day will offer lots of useful tips on how to make this happen. Independent Consultants will be on hand to advise and guide you each step of the way.

Need more information about The Country Life Future Schools Fairs - visit the website

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