If you’ve visited boarding houses before in the UK, you’ll quickly realise that there is a huge variety of different boarding provisions available for your child. Some are new, bright and modern; others will be steeped in history in buildings that were built centuries ago. To add to the choice, schools will adopt their own boarding models and offer a variety of options for parents depending on what works best for the school and its students, and the facilities and resources available.
Children in the UK are now back at school, with the UK Government saying that there will be no further national lockdowns. The school experience for most UK children is slowly returning to something a little more normal – children no longer have to wear face masks and are no longer restricted to ‘social bubbles’ within schools. We will shortly be seeing a national programme which will extend our national Covid vaccination programme to children aged 12-15 years old, so things appear to be moving in the right direction.
We work with many boarding schools and they all offer international students support to improve their English. Most educationalists agree that being able to communicate in a common language aids not only academic development and progress but with younger students, in particular, helps them to acquire social skills that are so important in those early years. Communications problems can be the key barrier to student integration so it is vital that the 27,000 international students studying at UK boarding schools get the help and support they need to fully settle into school life.
There is no doubt that the UK provides the gold standard for independent boarding education, with a well-established market of hundreds of successful schools providing a superior environment where a child can thrive and make the most of the many opportunities available. If you’re a parent from overseas though, there is an extra consideration – guardianships.
Many overseas parents who are considering a boarding school education for their child don’t look beyond London and the South East and instead limit their search to the home counties. In many cases, this can be a mistake because other areas of England, such as Boarding Schools in the North of England, are blessed with some fantastic boarding schools in some of the most beautiful and unique surroundings.
Boarding schools in the UK are recognised globally as some of the best educational institutions. Their reputation is rightly justified and built on excellent teaching as well as state-of-the-art facilities. One aspect rarely discussed is their duty-of-care role – the provision of pastoral support meaning every child’s mental and physical wellbeing is at the centre of a school’s daily operation as well as its long-term strategy.
If you’re reading this blog, you will already be interested in finding out more about UK boarding schools and what they can offer your child. For families not residing in the UK, the choice of schools can be bewildering and the considerations daunting. For students joining a UK boarding school from abroad, there are some additional things to think about when choosing the right school. This is where our consultants at Which Boarding School can really add value to your thinking.
No two boarding schools offer the same experience but in general week days follow a similar pattern. The school day is pretty long, ensuring students get a well-rounded experience of both the academic and extra-curricular. With so many activities to get involved in, a child at a UK boarding school is rarely bored or lonely.
The UK’s departure from the EU in December 2020 signals a change in visa requirements for students who wish to study in the UK. For students already in the UK before 31st December 2020, there is the option of applying for pre-settled status before June 30, 2021. With this option the student will not need to apply for a visa and can stay in the UK for several years.
If the student enters the country after December 31, 2020, there are several options depending on the length of course. For academic courses lasting less than 6 months starting in January 2021, the student simply needs the letter of acceptance from the school, evidence that the course lasts up to 6 months and an indication of start date. Passports will be stamped indicating short term study with the date of entry into the country, which will authorize you to be in the country for a period of up to 6 months.
In addition, you will need to purchase private health insurance for your stay in the UK, which will provide health protection and access to medical staff should you need it.
In preparation for the opening of British boarding schools in September 2020 al member schools of BSA (Boarding Schools Association) to which the vast majority of schools we work with belong, have voluntarily adopted the BSA Covid-Safe Charter. This document describes the minimum requirements the schools will meet to comply with all government rules. These minimum requirements are: Read More
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday 10th May, Which Boarding School have extracted the information pertinent to UK Boarding Schools outlined in the UK’s Government plans to move us out of lockdown. Understandably, the plans are conditional upon infection rates which are still relatively high compared to other countries, so at the moment we still have uncertainty regarding the opening of schools and other key measures which will affect students and their families. Some of the key points are:
Boarding schools in England, as in the rest of the world, have been greatly affected by COVID-19, and there is still much uncertainty around examinations, fees, temporary school closures and much more. We work and keep in regular contact with some of the top boarding schools in the UK, all of which have the students’ best interests at heart. Read More
School has started again and there will be some pupils who will have a pretty tough time with homesickness, especially if it’s their first time away from home, so we asked some ex-boarders how they coped with those difficult moments. They all agreed that the best piece of advice they could give would be to make friends and to keep busy.