Overseas Education & Boarding Schools
Although Cayman has excellent schools, many parents will look to broaden their children’s horizons by sending them to overseas boarding schools.
Although Cayman has excellent schools, many parents will look to broaden their children’s horizons by sending them to overseas boarding schools. Over the years the image of boarding schools has changed immeasurably; the transformation from the hardship and coldness of Dickens’ Dotheboys Hall to the spellbinding excitement of Hogwarts has been both evolutionary and revolutionary. However, the changes in perception and the reality are not works of fiction; boarding schools in Britain and North America are flourishing and should be a real consideration for families thinking about the future schooling of their children.
What makes a boarding school education special?
- First Rate Education
The reputation of leading schools in the UK, USA and Canada is not just a label of prestige from the past; the academic, sporting and social success of these schools is in the present and the future. Academic excellence, their successes in international exams and their students winning places at Ivy League and Russell Group universities speak for themselves. The structured independence helps teenagers to thrive.
- All-Round Education
Boarding schools are concerned with much more than academic prowess; pupils exceeding their potential in the classroom is paramount, of course, but the ability to be involved in whichever sporting, creative or intellectual pursuit that stimulates a child, is of huge importance too. All these things are on the student’s doorstep; schools are extremely busy places where children are seldom bored or lonely and, rather charmingly, it is still seen to be cool to do something rather than nothing.
Success is achieved through sound teaching and individual care and attention. Staff at boarding schools are with their students twenty-four hours a day and are there to ensure that every child is happy and performing well at all times, addressing problems swiftly. Boarding schools are well-equipped and qualified to support most learning requirements and a wide range of schools offer specialist Additional Support for learning and emotional needs.
Boarding schools have some outstanding facilities and offer beautiful spaces in which youngsters can grow and develop. Academic and sporting facilities can be state-of-the-art, and boarding houses are often not far shy of a reasonable hotel.
Whilst boarding school pupils can no longer rely on the ‘old school tie’ to garner success in later life, a boarding education exposes youngsters to a huge array of people – some they will become life-long friends with, others they will get to know well, but they will probably know these people better than they know anyone else in their lives. The ability to live and work with such a huge number of people is what gives boarding school students the confidence and maturity to excel in their future worlds. Exposure to the wider world and internationalism also helps prepare students for the world of business.
Boarding school fees can seem eye-wateringly expensive – fees can be as high as £32,000 or US$59,000 a year. However, boarding schools are working increasingly hard to ensure that they are not ‘elitist’ and seek to attract the students who will most benefit from all the school has to offer. It is always worth asking about Bursary and Scholarship assistance.
The process of selecting the right school for your children can be something of a minefield. Niall Browne, of BvS Education, and a seasoned former independent school teacher, offers some pointers, such as how to find the right school for your child and ways to avoid being a slave to League Tables.