The UK’s Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) has received confirmation that young learners will be able to study up to six months at independent schools on a visitor visa, clarifying recent conflicting advice from government departments.

Confusion for independent schools had been created by a Department for Education email in late June that advised young learners would not be able to study short courses on visitor visas at independent schools after October 1st, 2021.

However, the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) sought urgent clarification on the issue, and the Department for Education has now confirmed that study up to six months is allowed for visitors.

In communication to the BSA, the Department for Education said that visitors of any nationality can enter the UK on a visitor visa and take a course up to six months long at an independent school with a sponsor license. Courses longer than six months will require a Child Study Visa.

The UK’s Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) has received confirmation that young learners will be able to study up to six months at independent schools on a visitor visa, clarifying recent conflicting advice from government departments.

Confusion for independent schools had been created by a Department for Education email in late June that advised young learners would not be able to study short courses on visitor visas at independent schools after October 1st, 2021.

However, the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) sought urgent clarification on the issue, and the Department for Education has now confirmed that study up to six months is allowed for visitors.

In communication to the BSA, the Department for Education said that visitors of any nationality can enter the UK on a visitor visa and take a course up to six months long at an independent school with a sponsor license. Courses longer than six months will require a Child Study Visa.

In communication to the BSA, the Department for Education said that visitors of any nationality can enter the UK on a visitor visa and take a course up to six months long at an independent school with a sponsor license. Courses longer than six months will require a Child Study Visa.

Click here to read the BSA communication to members on the issue.

As previously reported, rules on visitor visas changed last year when the Short-Term Study route was removed, meaning that courses up to six months can be taken without a visa.

In separate news, the BSA Group has unveiled a new membership association to champion health and wellbeing in schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.

The Health in Education Association (Hieda) will officially launch in September 2021, with key functions including providing guidance on mental health and wellbeing and training resources for healthcare professionals and non-medical personnel responsible for health and wellbeing. A consultancy service can be tailored to the specific needs of any member.

Robin Fletcher, CEO of the BSA Group, said, “Hieda has a crucial role to play in the promotion and provision of all aspects of health and wellbeing support in both work and educational settings.”

The Boarding Schools’ Association also recently celebrated the first anniversary of the British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (BAISIS) becoming part of the BSA Group.

Caroline Nixon , Director of BAISIS , said, “We’ve enjoyed a very successful first year as part of BSA Group; our membership has already grown to nearly 100 since we joined the group. Going forward, we’re aiming to continue expanding our membership base internationally, and offering the best possible support and guidance to staff and students. Having the resources of BSA Group behind us puts us in a great position to be able to achieve this.”

Click here to read BSA’s full press release on the BAISIS anniversary.

By Matthew Knott
News Editor, Study Travel Network