Figures suggest that the pandemic has not diminished the appeal of the independent sector, but what could the lingering impact of Covid-19 be on the sector’s ability to attract international pupils?

Independent Education Today’s James Higgins assesses the impact

Home has taken on a different connotation for many since the UK entered lockdown in the spring of 2020. The perimeters of our lives have tightened. For some international students, the pandemic meant postponing the decision to study at one of Britain’s 500 or so boarding schools.

The i revealed in September that around one in 14 international pupils at British boarding schools have delayed or deferred returning to the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The figures come from a sample of 100 schools that belong to the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA); while only representative, the data suggests that around 88% have returned to their UK dorms. More recent figures are not available – but given that many of those delaying their return are studying remotely, the financial impact on the international recruitment market may be far smaller than feared back in the spring.

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