Thursday, 27 May 2010

“Overseas schooling – what would you prefer for your children?”

Looking to the UK, and with the Conservatives this week announcing some considerable changes to the UK’s education system, today we’re discussing the issue of expat schooling. The Academies Bill is likely to drive significant changes to the way many schools are run with greater independence from local authorities and more freedom in the curriculum students are taught. But how does this compare with schools abroad? Are expats happy with type of education their children are receiving?

Indeed many schools in countries such as Sweden, Singapore and the U.S already use such models but the relevant success of these has been somewhat mixed.

Perhaps one of the biggest growing trends over the last decade or so has been the growth of many British schools expanding their offerings overseas, for example the Harrow International School which since being founded in 1998 has 2 schools in Bangkok and Beijing. These schools generally follow an adapted English national curriculum but often include several bespoke subjects such as Thai or Chinese studies. Interestingly, according to a recent report by the Telegraph these schools offer such a strong academic experience that places are highly sought after even from local students.

But do these schools really provide a true expat experience? Do children get more out of attending “British” schools abroad or should they aim to see more of the local culture? Are you happy with the level of education your child experiences whilst being schooled abroad? Tell us how you feel by completing the 2010 Expat Explorer Survey.

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