There are around 2,500 private schools in Britain, so finding the one that is the right fit for your child can be a daunting task.
The Show provides you with a unique forum to get all your questions answered.
1. What happens at the Show?
Throughout both days parents can have one-on-one talks with leading British boarding schools, meeting school heads and admissions staff. Leading experts will also be on hand to help you understand the choices and smooth your child's transition into the highly competitive UK system.
Hearing about the children from Italy already attending British boarding schools, quickly dispels some of the myths surrounding boarding education.
The global recognition of "British education” as a brand is one of its great strengths and has been for hundreds of years, literally. The finest institutions combine the best of English heritage, century-old traditions and time-tested practices with the innovation of a modern, forward-looking education. These schools have forged a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t
2. How do I find the right school?
According to Bonas MacFarlane one of the most crucial factors in ensuring that your child has a happy and fulfilling school experience is to invest time finding the school that has the right fit for your child, rather than choosing the school solely for its name. Every child is unique, so parents should consider the suitability of their child to the school and actively endeavour to choose the school, as much as the school chooses the child.
There are around 2,500 private schools in Britain, each with their own distinct personality. It is imperative to send a child to a school which is a good match.
3. How do I match a school to my child's needs?
Parents should ask themselves a series of important questions in the process of assessing if a school is right for their child, such as:
- What are the needs of my child academically, pastorally and from an extracurricular perspective?
- Which school will best satisfy these needs, now and in the future?
- What qualities do I want him/her to develop?
- Would my child be better suited for an all-boys, all-girls or co-ed environment?
- Is a day school or a boarding school the most appropriate option?
4. What age would be best to begin boarding?
The more you can think ahead the better. Some families send their children to British schools at a young age to make their child properly bilingual, and then return into the Italian system for senior school and university. These days it’s more common that families want the children to be able to access the world’s top universities in the UK and USA.
There are clear benefits to starting early to get a firm foundation in the English language, and reap all the benefits of the British curriculum. Talking with schools and advisors will help you to work out the best age to send my child to boarding school, 8, 11, 13 or 16 years? Is my child ready to live independently?
5. If my child boards, how often will we see him/her?
The days of full terms away from families are long gone. Schools will be able to tell you about how pupils keep in touch with their families. The top schools are very experienced at managing the needs of overseas families. Ask schools about when you can visit and how flexible they are about taking children out from school. You should also talk with schools at length about their boarding culture.
All schools use terms such as “full-boarding” and “flexi-boarding” they define these terms differently. In most of the well-known boarding schools the school day starts at breakfast and ends at bed time, and weekends are packed with sports matches, rehearsals, activities and enrichment. In other schools the curriculum is more akin to a day school, and boarders live in small houses with their own after-school programme.
6. Fees, scholarships & financial aid, visas
Boarding fees at UK schools can cost upwards of £30,000 per year. Many schools offer scholarships, which recognise academic, artistic and sporting achievements, but at many schools these days bursaries, which provide financial aid, are usually needs based rather than related to scholarships.