How to choose a British boarding school

In Boarding school, School options by Carole Hallett MobbsLeave a Comment

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Why a boarding school may be the best option

As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be happy successful adults. A good education is vital in this aim and one of the reasons we put so much time, energy and sometimes money, into finding the right school for our children.

So what can we expect our children to gain from a good education apart from being educated in the three R’s and other academic subjects? Well of course a good school gives its pupils so much more!

It can teach them discipline and social skills and give them friendships which can remain with them for the rest of their lives. Perhaps more importantly, it can also provide the stability that is sometimes diminished by the unrelenting demands of our careers and business lives.

Difficulties finding the right school overseas

For those of us whose careers take us to foreign climes it can be even more difficult to find the right schools for our children. Many international schools around the world, for example in the Gulf region or Hong Kong are substantially oversubscribed, with places at British curriculum schools even scarcer.  Assuming we do find the right school, however, what do we do when our careers take us to another country?

Well, the solution to all of these issues could reside in a boarding school somewhere in the UK.

A stable and consistent education

The choice is broad; the standards high and there will not be a problem finding a place. In addition your child’s education will be stable and consistent as it will not be affected by any relocations forced on you by the demands of your career or business life.

UK boarding schools are consistently at the top of GCSE and A-level league tables with many of their alumni attending leading UK universities. However boarding schools also know that a student who does not shine in the classroom, or may possibly have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, may become an accomplished artist, an engaging actor, or an outstanding sportsman.

As a boarder, the extended day gives greater opportunities for your children to pursue a superb range of extra-curricular activities, far beyond those available in the state sector. These experiences add to a more rounded individual, better able to compete in the global market.

How to find the best boarding school for your child

Before you start frantically Googling schools, maybe just pause for a moment. There are approximately 600 boarding schools in the UK, each with different facilities, teaching styles, traditions and personalities. The idiosyncratic nature of British boarding schools is a great strength, enabling different schools to cater to different needs.

Choosing the right school for your child is time consuming and one of the most important decisions to affect their future life chances.



For tips on choosing a school for your expat child, please check out my book – ‘Expat Education: An Expat’s Guide to Choosing a School Overseas‘ – available on your local Amazon. I have dedicated a whole chapter to choosing a boarding school!



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