Boarding schools have always adapted to changes in the international market and can overcome the challenges ahead, Caroline Nixon writes


Changes are on the horizon for international recruitment into British boarding schools. Whatever happens longer term as a result of Covid-19, the market in the short term looks difficult. And yet demand for a British education is as high as ever. How has this demand been satisfied in the past and how will its supply change in the future?

British boarding schools have always had international boarders since the days of the Empire. Indeed, one of the drivers for their existence was to cater for the children of British parents working abroad and these children were quickly joined by children of other nationalities. Looking back 30 years, we see from the Independent Schools Council census figures that the percentage of international boarders was very much the same as it is now at 5.4 per cent of all boarders. So this is not a new phenomenon.

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