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Promote and support the British international school sector say education leaders

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As the UK general election begins, headteachers and education leaders on the Tes Global Advisory Board have announced a five point plan of policy developments any future government must address to promote and support the British international school sector.

The board, formed of 11 members based in Europe, the Middle East, China, India and Asia, (see full membership details below), have said focusing on these issues, which include tackling teacher recruitment and improving university application processes, will ensure schools can meet ever-growing demands for a British education around the world.

Currently hundreds of British international schools operate across the world, employing thousands of teachers and educating tens of thousands of children – including both UK citizens and local children in the school’s host nation – which helps play a major role in promoting the UK and its education system at both a cultural and political level.

As such, the list also calls on the next government to recognise the vital role the sector plays in global education for both UK citizens and international families wanting the very best the British education system can offer and to champion this whenever possible.

The groups five policy asks are as follows:

1. Ensure strong UK teacher recruitment
Increase the number of teaching staff entering the profession to ensure there is a steady pipeline of educators who may wish to work abroad in the international sector.

This should include widening the number of international school accreditations recognised by the Department for Education so more Early Career Teachers can complete their induction while working overseas.

 2. Help teachers return to UK
Do more to promote and recognise the talents and attributes of UK international teachers so they are able to find teaching jobs when they return to the UK – which would help widen the state system’s teacher recruitment pool too.

3. Address overseas student fee issues

Resolve the situation where some UK-citizen students studying in international schools can face paying international fees when applying to home universities.

This should include scrapping plans for UK students who live in Europe to pay international fees for university courses from 2028.

4. Change UCAS application timings

A level exam results should be published earlier in the summer and the UCAS application and acceptance window moved to after this date to make the processes of applying for university more efficient for overseas students and schools.

4. Champion the sector

Do more to recognise, promote and celebrate the value of the British education system to help ensure it remains in high-demand across the globe.

Tes Global Advisory Board chair Dan Worth said: “The British international school sector is a vitally important part of the global education system, helping educate thousands of children across the world.”

“As such, it is vital the next government works with those in the sector to address the challenges and opportunities it faces.

“We hope the five-point list created by the Tes Global Advisory Board provides clarity on how policymakers can do that so the sector continues to grow and promote the best of British education around the world – while also benefiting state education in the UK too.”


The desire for, and value of, a British education is immeasurable for many families who see it as the gold standard. To have a stable supply of high-quality teachers from the UK as well as the availability of bespoke professional learning opportunities will be essential to retain Britain’s educational strength overseas,” Vanita Uppal OBE, Director of The British School New Delhi, India.

“British education, a global gold standard, faces threats. Shrinking teacher pools and qualification changes create uncertainty. British children and students abroad face an unknown future in regard to access to higher education regarding places, fees and visas. The British government needs to prioritise support for these students’ futures and this highly successful industry,Ruth Sanderson, Principal, The British School of Amsterdam

 “The UK education system is more than academic success, it is a vital element of Britain’s soft power projection around the world that shouldn’t be underestimated. Furthermore, teachers that have taught abroad have a breadth of experience and skills that should be recognised by the UK institutions that shaped them to deliver so much to so many,” Mark Leppard MBE, Headmaster of the British School Al Khubairat, United Arab Emirates 



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