Category: Boarding schools

How has pastoral care changed during the pandemic? The Guardianship view…

“One particular aspect of additional support that Guardians have offered is the provision of holiday camps during school holidays”

The additional stresses to both existing and new students due to Covid cannot be overestimated. Many existing students have not been able to return home for over 18 months, whilst some new students have been bewildered on arriving in the UK without the benefits of a prior visit due to Covid restrictions.

“This is why we have now added a medical questionnaire at the start of UK Education Guide’s student screening process, to particularly highlight any existing mental health issues,” says director, Rafael Garcia-Krailing.

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Cultural education – easing the transition to the UK education system for international students

“Telling a Chinese student to critically appraise a text can often make them feel uncomfortable and the word ‘critical’ suggests ‘censure’”

A recent survey from UKI Student and School Forum and featured in The PIE News highlighted that international boarding school students, despite having potentially studied for several years in the UK, still worry about studying at degree level.

The transition to the UK education system is not an easy one for any international young person to make, but Paul Breen, from University of Westminster has some strong views on how the transition could be eased.

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The changing role of the education agent

“We will be increasing, not decreasing, our webinar and online training for agents post pandemic”

 Prior to Covid-19 Agents prided themselves on the face to face relationships they built with both families and boarding schools but the pandemic has forced a rethink and required both agents and schools to pivot significant marketing and recruitment activity online. Pat Moores of UK Education Guide explains.

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Boarding schools: the value of the arts in a Covid-19 world

“Creativity, critical reasoning and team building are all vital soft skills for the 21st century”

It certainly seems true that while academic skills and qualifications continue to be vital stepping stones to a top university and a fulfilling career, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of the arts in not only helping to deal with the impact of the pandemic, but also in developing skills that are really suited to success in a post pandemic world. UK Education Guide director and co-founder Pat Moores explains.

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Addressing online safety for boarding school pupils in a Covid-19 world

“How can schools and parents keep up to date with what sites and apps provide the greatest risks?” 

Patrolling the online habits of boarding school pupils has always been a challenge, but as pupils have needed to spend even more time online to study during Covid-19, the challenge has become even greater. UK Education Guide director and co-founder Pat Moores explains.

The scale of the problem cannot be underestimated, Europol has reported an increase in some countries in offenders attempting to contact young people via social media since the outbreak of the virus.

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Can the recruitment of pupils for UK boarding schools ever be 100% online?

“Marketing budgets, once heavily weighted to foreign travel for recruitment purposes, are now shifting to google ads, Instagram and Facebook”

Covid-19 has heralded a shift to an online world which has implications for every aspect of boarding school operations, writes Pat Moores, director and co-founder of UK Education Guide. Clearly, the most obvious impact has been on teaching, shifting almost overnight to Microsoft teams and other online learning platforms.

However, the impact is also being felt in pupil recruitment. The days when agents and schools met in large conference spaces to talk to each other and make agent agreements has also shifted online.

So how far can algorithms and automated online applications processes ever replace traditional Agents, school admissions teams and a school tour?

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Helping boarding schools stand out in a Covid-19 world

“An increased and continued focus on IT seems a good place to start.”

It’s a very competitive world boarding schools are facing – the market was already competitive pre-Covid-19 – and the reality is some schools won’t survive and won’t re-open in September 2020, writes Pat Moores, director and co-founder of UK Education Guide.

So how can schools enhance their offer to make sure they do thrive in this new world?

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How international schools can soothe back-to-school panic

“It is important that schools show a willingness to hear the worries and fears of parents.”

Many teachers might soon be asked to put away their computers and webcams and return to reality at the front of the classroom, writes Katie Harwood of Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in Switzerland. Naturally, this restoration of normality might not be so simple as it seems on the surface, and students and staff alike will likely feel a little daunted by it. Many might even have to return from their home countries, having sought comfort from familiarity during the pandemic. However, there are a few simple things schools can do to make their teachers and students feel more comfortable about the situation.

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Boarding school and state school collaboration in the UK

“Private and state schools cater to different markets…so, if it is handled sensitively, long term relationships can be successful”

 

The UK boarding school sector, home to approximately 29,000 international pupils requiring a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK  is criticised in some quarters for the perceived lack of ‘sharing’ of resources & expertise with pupils attending state-run schools in the UK.

This builds domestic political pressure on the sector as only 7% of children in the UK attend private/boarding schools. But what is the reality?

One scheme worthy of note is the Boarding School Partnerships (BSP) programme that advises local authorities on how, when and where to place vulnerable young people in boarding schools. Some pupils are already in the care system, having been removed from their families, whilst others may be close to the edge of care.

According to Colin Morrison, founding Chair of the Department for Education’s three-year-old boarding School Partnerships (BSP), there are approximately 750 young people currently being supported in state and independent boarding schools by specialist charities and an additional 1,500 by local authorities.

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‘Honesty’ the key component for successful boarding school placements

“Trying to shoehorn a child into an unsuitable environment can be disastrous for both the child, family and the school itself”

When considering an overseas boarding school education, there are so many factors for parents to consider, writes Pat Moores of UK Education Guide. Meanwhile, schools and agents bombard families with information that may or may not be relevant to them.

We asked guardians and schools if they were only allowed to provide just one piece of advice to parents to help them make the best decision for their children, what would it be?

Interestingly, the answers received almost all followed a similar theme and we highlight three responses below:

Julia Evans, Director at Cambridge Guardian Angels, argues that the most important thing is to ask parents and agents to be honest about the information they provide schools & guardians.

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