Expat demand for international school places soars

Published:  13 Jun at 6 PM
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Searching for an international school for your children is one of the most daunting tasks for expat parents on long-term assignments overseas.

Packing up and moving to a strange land to take up a new job is tough enough for singles – for parents with children of school age it can be a nightmare. Successfully identifying an international school to suit the needs of your youngsters can depend on where in the world you’re located, although most popular expat destinations now have several such schools to choose between.

The expat-related education industry has seen phenomenal growth over the past decade or so, mostly as the result of increasing globalisation of the workforce. In most expat destinations, the demand for international education has reached new heights and is still growing, with the total of students at such schools doubling since 2006 and expected to double again by 2026.

Four out of every ten international schools offer the tried and true UK-based curriculum, given in the English language to expat students from across the world. With English still the international language, its use in all education sectors gives an undeniable advantage to young people, whatever their native language.

Although inspection by bodies which also inspect the UK’s independent public schools is voluntary for international schools, parents find it a good initial checkpoint as to the school’s suitability. Checking on educational standards, the focus of education provided and the sense of community at the school itself can help parents make the right decision for their children.

If the school has a sixth form, it’s a good idea to request details of which universities have accepted former pupils, and examination results can give a better idea of the school’s academic standards. A good number of recently established international schools are linked with famous independent public schools in the UK, and are used to fielding tough questions from UK expat parents.

A holistic approach to education is important, as it encourages expat youngsters to take an interest in and identify with their new surroundings and culture. Famous British schools with overseas branches include Harrow, Repton, Dulwich College, Haileybury, Marlborough, Sherbourne and Kings’ College, Wimbledon.
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