Why choose the British Education

British education, both school and university level, has achieved a worldwide reputation for quality. This is reflected in a report, published by the British Council in 2007 that showed education to be worth more to British exports than the financial services or the automotive industry (Global Value: The Value of UK Education and Training Exports). The reputation of the British educational tradition is due in part to the fame and academic excellence of institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge, and at school level, renowned independent schools such as Eton, Harrow and Winchester. British education is focussed on processes and outcomes - what should a child know and be able to do at any given age - as opposed to emphasising the acquisition of specific knowledge. The National Curriculum for England and Wales takes a progressive approach. From 0 to 18-plus each stage builds upon what has come before. Certain key principles, starting from the early years, run through the whole of the education system: the notion that each child is unique and that this is important; an emphasis on developing positive relationships (with teachers, parents, peers); a focus on enabling environments (learning does not happen exclusively in the classroom); and finally, learning and development - looking at outcomes and results, but only as one facet of a child's education.

The British education emphasises on the development of the student, particularly at the Primary level there is a great deal of scope for creativity and individuality in the classroom. When all of this is considered alongside the continuity and transferability offered by the British education around the world, and the fact that British institutions offer qualifications that are recognised internationally, it is little wonder that the industry of British schools abroad continues to flourish and expand.

The popularity of British education can be seen in the huge number of British schools outside of the UK. There are more than 2000 schools outside of Britain teaching elements of the UK National Curriculum. More are opening every year [statistics courtesy of ISC Research Limited]. Students from these schools account for a significant percentage of the overseas students doing undergraduate degrees at UK universities. Choosing a British International school not only gives students the benefit of a British education, but it is also eminently transferrable. The structure and consistency of the National Curriculum allows students to move easily, if necessary, between British schools in various countries including the UK, and facilitates an easy progression to university in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

Most British schools abroad follow the National Curriculum (often incorporating some variations), structured around the Key Stages, and possibly offering the National Curriculum Tests. Secondary students at many British schools abroad will take IGCSEs, the international version of the GCSE exams taken in England. These are recognised as the equivalent to GCSEs. As in the UK, these are followed by A levels. This is one progression route into university; another option offered by a number of British schools is the International Baccalaureate (IB). This qualification is equally acceptable for entrance to university in the UK and elsewhere.