2nd October 2018
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More private schools rush to open branches abroad
Growing numbers of private schools are opening branches abroad, 20 years after Harrow started the trend by setting up in Bangkok.
At the start of an annual conference of leading independent schools, figures show that 73 have opened at least one sister school abroad or have a partnership with an international school, and more are following suit. They include Dulwich College, Harrow, Rugby, Marlborough College, Wellington College, Wycombe Abbey, Shrewsbury, Repton, King’s College School in Wimbledon, Malvern College, Merchiston Castle, Haileybury and Sherborne. Harrow now has five sister schools and Dulwich College has ten.
The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents more than 250 fee-charging schools and is meeting in Manchester this week, says that the rate of growth is higher than ever. Eleven international British independent schools opened their doors to students in the past academic year.
This year the schools expanding into China include Sedbergh, King’s College School, which is opening two schools in the country, and Merchiston Castle. Andrew Halls, headmaster of King’s College School, hopes that the Chinese schools will allow him to double the bursaries he can offer to British pupils.
Eighteen British independent schools are due to open abroad in the next two years, mainly in China but also in Singapore, Egypt, Oman and India.
John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), discusses the language skills shortage and what independent schools are doing to address the issue.
Scotland’s independent schools maintain a track record of academic excellence, and this has continued in 2018 with another set of outstanding exam results, which is only strengthened by individual and collective success in sports, art, music and other community endeavours.
With upwards of 30,000 pupils across Scotland, these schools, represented by The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), strive to deliver the best level of service to their pupils and parents. Independent schools aim to prepare their pupils for further and higher education, their chosen career and their place as global citizens.
As an education sector that can design and implement a bespoke school curriculum, we are seeing modern languages continue as a popular and desired subject of choice within schools. Nelson Mandela said: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.” This is a powerful reminder that we can’t just rely on English when wanting to build relationships and trust with people from other countries.
From this year’s recent exam results, we can see that languages are topping the league tables with the highest pass rates within independent schools. A total of 68 per cent of pupils who studied foreign languages achieved a Higher grade A.
This demonstrates that independent schools in Scotland are supporting foreign languages as vital skills that children and young people will undoubtedly require in the future. Languages now, as a subject choice, are being held in the same regard as STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in independent school curriculums and elsewhere.
Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/john-edward-languages-skills-essential-for-global-citizens-1-4807375
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