Expat dilemma about childrens schools about to be solved

Published:  13 Oct at 6 PM
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A perennial panic button for expat workers moving abroad with their families may be removed over the next several years.

The provision of international schools for the children of expats as well as those of the high society element in local society is, it has to be admitted, big business. Global education companies provide an English language-based streamlined service for frequent movers dragging their families from country to country, with none of the uncertainties of different standards of education.

For expat parents, using an international school chain gives reassurance that their kids’ education will follow a well-trodden path, never mind which country they’re heading for next. Parents also benefit from the community aspect and social life provided by the major chains, and their kids benefit from multicultural interaction at peer level and globally recognised qualifications.

American chains such as GEMS. ISS and United World College spread themselves wide and British education firms including the British Schools Group operate in China, Manila and six other locations. A total of 2,000 schools worldwide offer a British-based curriculum, with the International Baccalaureate the most sought-after qualification.

The international market offers scope for expansion, with BSG considering more operations in China and the Gulf region, already running out of places and causing fierce competition. North Africa is also considered a growth hub for a British-style education.

As a result, well-known British schools are joining the race to establish schools overseas. Dulwich College already has a presence in China, with three schools, and Nord Anglia is in the Balkans, Northern Europe and Asia. Harrow has branches in Beijing and Thailand and a Hong Kong branch is in the planning stages.

South Korea is embracing the concept with enthusiasm via Dwight, and Repton School has a branch in Dubai. British media including the Telegraph have online comparison charts to help parents make the best decision.
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