There are many different Boarding school rankings published in the UK.
The reason why we don’t highlight rankings on the site is because none of the current rankings systems take account of the specific needs of international students.
Why does this matter?
1. Many of the highest ranked schools (and the rankings are primarily driven by success in public exams; GCSE/IGCSE, A Levels/IBACC) in the UK have very high entry criteria and therefore one would expect their academic results to be better than other schools whose entry criteria are lower.
2. When assessing pupils at time of enrolment many top ranking schools insist on a very high level of English language competency. Again, many very bright international students may not perform well enough in English language proficiency tests at this time and therefore may not be accepted.
3. Due to the high level of English language proficiency many top ranking schools require, the EAL (English as an Additional Language) support they offer to international students may well not be as strong as at more internationally focused schools that have rigorous English language instruction in place to help international students, for whom English is not their first language, develop their language skills during their time at the school.
Becoming truly fluent in English, or any second language, takes many years of study, therefore more intensive EAL support for international students may be essential to ensure they perform to the very best of their ability when the time comes for them to take public exams such as; GCSE/IGCSE & A Levels/IBACC.
All schools featured on UK Education Guide do offer formal EAL provision and we are not suggesting that any school featured is not very capable of supporting an international student to excel, but we are suggesting that just using a ‘ranking’ as a way of evaluating a school will not necessarily highlight the schools that are the best ‘fit’ for each specific child.