How can we help?
We offer independent and comparable profiles for many schools on the site, that specifically meet the needs of international pupils and you will find below the criteria we use to select the schools and universities we feature. Our small team has many years of experience working in both UK and international education.
Pat Moores BSc (Director and Co-Founder of UK Education Guide)
Pat has worked in international businesses at Manager and Director level for over 30 years. She has specialised in the Education market for the past 15 years. Her Education work has included working in UK schools alongside supporting various UK & US Universities in consultancy role as well as in an international student recruitment role. Pat is a frequent education blogger and champions the needs of international students and their families in the UK Education system. You can find out more about the team behind UK Education Guide here
How have we selected the Boarding Schools featured on the site?
There are over 1,000 Boarding schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Most have a specific focus on pupils who have English as a first language, already live in the UK and are familiar with the UK education system and British culture.
We have therefore pre-selected schools against the following criteria that reflect a significant focus on international students and an international approach to education & culture. Schools must meet all the criteria below to be featured on the site.
–Offer full time Boarding options-many schools not featured on the site recruit mainly ‘weekly’ boarders who go home at the weekends. For international students, this can mean that the school is quite empty at the weekend and this can be challenging socially for some pupils and make settling in much harder. We look for schools that have at least 10% of all pupils as Boarders, so there is a real boarding school ‘community’.
–Accept international students from outside of the EU-some schools only recruit international students from within the European Union, so they are not featured on the site.
– All offer a range of dietary options for Boarding pupils-all schools featured offer vegetarian and vegan options and many also offer halal and kosher meals.
– Clearly offer a structured support programme to teach English as a second language, and offer an EAL (English as an additional language) department and/or have an International study centre. Some schools are of interest to international parents because they have low international student numbers, but this has to be balanced with a clear commitment to EAL, as this, in almost all cases, except where English is a pupil’s first language, will be needed to ensure all international students achieve their academic potential.
(We also feature schools that are established in the UK, but also have international campuses).
How can you find the right school for your child?
There are filters on the Boarding school home page to help you find the right school.
–Location-There is an interactive map to see where schools are located. We also highlight how far each school is from a major international airport.
-Fees*-To allow for reasonable fee comparison, we have focused on published, annual international fees for Years 10-11 (GCSE years) unless otherwise stated.
–Type of school-We split schools into 3 categories and highlight each type of school by use of icons-
International schools-highlighted on the Boarding school profile page with a ‘globe’ icon, always include a level of EAL provision in the cost shown, recognising that pupils at these schools will almost certainly need additional EAL support.
Mainstream schools-highlighted with a ‘book’ icon are schools for British students that also take international pupils who have already attained an English language competency equivalent to at least IELTS 5 (fluent speakers and highly competent in written English).
Special schools-highlighted with a ‘star’ icon that have added capacity to support those children and young people with additional learning and/or physical needs.
*Please note, whilst we have made every reasonable effort to make the fees fair and comparable, some schools do ask for additional payment for ‘extras’ such as; music, sports tuition and EAL (English as an Additional Language) provision.
BAISIS–We have also highlighted schools that are members of BAISIS on our site. BAISIS is the British Association of Independent Schools with International Students.
Why we particularly feature BAISIS schools? Our site aim is to offer clear and objective information for international parents and prospective students about the UK education market. To support this aim we also highlight those organisations that champion quality standards within UK education. BAISIS is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to promote best practice in academic and pastoral provision for international students. It has a long term aim to introduce a quality standard for schools in the UK so parents can be assured that schools with this quality standard will offer the very best, consistent support for their children while they are studying in the UK.
What we can and can’t help with?
We are happy to work with parents in different ways, depending on what support they are looking for.
1.Progressing school enquiries-there is a Request for Information form on each Boarding school profile page. Simply fill this in and we will then liaise directly with the schools you have selected to make sure you get the information you require-there is no charge for this service.
2.Bespoke service-we offer a matching service for parents and pupils who want more help in finding the right school for their child.
This process involves working with you to produce a short list of schools which meet your family’s needs and then we liaise with each school and provide all information necessary to make an informed decision about which school to accept, there is a small charge for this service-£100. This fee in no way covers all the time we will spend working with you, but it is an indication that you are serious about your intention to access the UK Education market.
There are 2 parts of the enrolment process that for legal reasons we cannot broker:
Visa applications-we are happy to provide free introductions to appropriate legal firms (OISC licensed or experienced immigration lawyers) in the UK that can support you through the Visa application process (we do not take a fee from these firms) or we suggest that you get in touch with your local British Council office to ask for advice about local legal support to help with Visa applications.
Guardianship-we are happy to support the use of AEGIS Guardians for pupils under 16 who are coming to study in the UK. However, the relationship between each guardian and family involves a separate agreement that will be specific to each child and therefore this is not something we can broker. Please do visit our page on Guardianship for more information about why we support AEGIS and for more information about when and why your child might need a guardian whilst studying in the UK.
Have we missed a great school or college?
If we have, please tell us, we are always happy to add new schools that are offering a great international student experience.
Sadly, there are a few schools that have met our criteria for feature, but are not currently featured on the site. The reason for this is that they pass the enquiries we give them directly to Agents who sometimes do not confirm back to us that they have contacted you. We pride ourselves on making sure that every enquiry we receive gets a quick and complete response, when we cannot confirm this is happening we do withdraw the school/college from the site.