There are a few things that the British do very well indeed. Renowned around the world for their tailoring, every man dreams of having a Savile Row suit. British comedy is also revered around the world, exported to and watched in almost every country on the planet. And our education system is also the envy of many across the globe, with parents clamouring to send their kids to one of the great British schools or hoping that they might get accepted to Oxford, Cambridge or any other of the world class universities in the UK.
So it makes a lot of sense that British parents, who for one reason or another find themselves working abroad, want to hang on to certain aspects of the British way of life for their kids. That’s why finding the right international British school is so important. You may not be living in the UK but your most precious ones can still benefit from a British education.
Most of us want the same things for our kids deep down. We hope that they are happy, make the most of their talents, have good friends and have the best possible future. It just so happens that they can find all of those things at a British school. No matter where they are in the world.
With a growing number of expats around the world, there are more British schools to choose from than ever before. To such an extent that expat parents often face the same dilemma as those in the UK: which school to choose.
The advice for expat parents is more or less the same as it would be back home. Visit each school, meet the people that work there and talk to them about what it is you want for your children. This should give you a clearer idea of which school is right for you.
Make sure to ask the right questions too. How big are the classes? What extra curricular activities do they offer? Do the other students you meet and speak to seem genuinely happy there?
It is also worth asking about the curriculum they follow. This is important as it can affect the kind of examinations and standardised tests they will take down the line. Try and find out which universities accepted children from the school in previous years – always a good indicator.
It may be necessary to ask about special provision if your child has additional needs, either physically or in terms of ability.
Ask about the teachers and the school itself. How long has it been in existence? How long have the staff worked there and are they all qualified to an acceptable standard?
As we have said, these are all questions you would ask at any school in the UK, so essentially the rules are the same. You should get a good feel for the school community and quality by visiting, and if you are unsure, visit again and try to speak to other parents. Not every school is right for every child and vice versa, so it is important to know your child’s needs well and do your research.
Just like in the UK, there are examples of great schools and not so great schools. Your duty as a parent is to find out which is which. Some international British schools are long established and come with exceptional reputations, which should give you some clue as to their suitability. Nord Anglia Education, founded in 1972, is a field leader in the provision of international schools, with a new campus recently opening in Sanlitun, China. So with trusted school providers like this, you can always be fairly sure of a quality education for your kids, wherever you are in the world.