A British international school is a school which teach the British National Curriculum or has a British orientation, outside of the UK.
Who uses a British international school?
There are around four and a half million pupils across the globe studying in more than 8,000 English teaching schools - and of those, around 3700 are British international schools.
A British international school is often used by children of British people working abroad, for example in embassies or businesses, or perhaps in the armed forces. This may be a permanent or short-term situation.
The British education system has a strong reputation around the world, and many non-British parents will choose a British international school for the curriculum which is usually broad and balanced. An education at a British international school will equip students with the skills and qualifications they need either to enter or re-enter the UK education system later.
Why choose a British international school?
Most British parents working abroad will intend to return to the UK at some point. Therefore it makes sense for them to send their children to a British international school, where they will not only receive an education which allows them to attend a school when they return to the UK without too many problems, but also teaches them about the British culture which may be very different from the culture where they are living.
Non British parents may decide they prefer the British education system and want their child to attend a British university. For them a British international school may be a good way to prepare for life as a student at a British university.
Features of a British international school
Aside from following a British oriented curriculum with British qualifications, a British international school has other features which may appeal to parents and students, both British and non British. They usually provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and opportunities, as well as offering strong welfare support. British international schools are also popular because they help to provide an understanding of modern British society which can serve students well when they eventually either return to Britain or come here for the first time.
Do British international schools have Ofsted inspections?
Schools in the UK are subject to inspections from Ofsted on a regular basis. This is compulsory inside the UK. For British schools outside of the UK, the Department for Education has a voluntary scheme for inspection whereby schools are inspected against a common set of standards. Inspections are performed by inspectorates which are approved by the Department for Education and monitored by Ofsted. Similar to Ofsted, they produce inspection reports which gauge the performance and quality of provision in the school. A key component of an inspection for British international schools (referred to as British Schools Overseas or BSO) looks at the extent to which the school displays a British character in curriculum, ethos, pastoral care and teaching.