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星期四 2017年5月18號
【SCMP Education Post:Boarding Insider】The Independent Schools Council Census of 2017
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) Census of 2017 has been released. In this report, Britannia StudyLink (BSL) highlights several important issues and implications regarding Hong Kong parents’ approach to sending their children to study at a UK independent school. BSL also reports on the changing demographics affecting UK independent schools

The ISC acts on behalf of the 1,301 independent schools in the UK. It also brings together seven associations of independent schools alongside their headteachers, bursars and governors. The ISC is widely considered as one of the most authoritative sources of information concerning the UK’s education landscape.
 
There are now record numbers of pupils at ISC member schools – 522,879 pupils, the highest level since records began in 1974. This is around 4,500 pupils more than in 2016. Although pupil numbers have remained stable, a “marginal decrease” in the number of boarding pupils (0.2%) and an increase in the number of day pupils are trends worth following over the next few years.
 
There has been a reasonable increase in the number of British pupils from 364,651 in 2016 to 387,738 in 2017, but with the demand for British boarding places becoming stronger in countries such as China, it is reasonable to assume that the ratio of British pupils to overseas pupils in boarding houses will remain roughly the same in the years to come. For 2017, the total number of boarders is 74,603. There are no precise figures for the number of international students who board but 27,281 overseas students have parents overseas while another 23,192 have parents in the UK.
 
Increased demand from overseas, and a more uncertain economic climate in the UK over the past ten years, has meant that UK independent schools have had to be canny when it comes to international recruitment. The majority of schools have found the right balance in terms of the number of nationalities represented while British boarding schools’ traditional values and boarding ethos have gone unaffected. The fusion of glorious histories and tradition with globalisation is working wonders at Britain’s top boarding schools.

The number of pupils educated in Independent School Council international campuses, or “franchise schools”, abroad has outstripped the number of pupils taught in Britain for the first time. ISC members currently operate 59 campuses abroad, educating 31,773 pupils – an increase from 46 campuses last year with 27,619 pupils. In these schools, children may receive an intensely academic education which is a far cry from a character-building and holistic British boarding education. Many of these franchise schools are adapting to local demand and one wonders about the ethicality of a leading brand becoming overly commercial. These schools should be abiding by the true ethos which British boarding schools have worked hard to mould throughout their glorious histories.Between 2016 and 2017, fees rose by their lowest level since 1994 at 3.5%. However, one must be cautious with this single figure alone because the ISC has considered fee increases by region and it is natural that more undesirable regions will not see significant fee increases. It is worth noting that the average boarding fee has increased by 4.1%. Boarding numbers have been steady over the years but it is surprising to learn that 74% of ISC boarding schools have fewer than half their pupils boarding. Financials dictate and day schooling is becoming increasingly popular with families. Although full-time boarding numbers at Sixth Form are strong, figures for those boarding at Senior and Junior and below levels are disappointing – only 44,000 children board out of approximately 389,000 pupils at these levels.
 
In terms of the number of pupils from Hong Kong at ISC Schools, there has been a small increase of 172 from 4,766 in 2016 to 4,938 in 2017. Britannia StudyLink, the largest education consultancy in Hong Kong, registers over 500 students a year to British boarding schools, while a third of pupils studying at Prep Schools are Britannia pupils. Although progress is being made, the number of new Hong Kong pupils with parents living overseas has not risen substantially. This academic year saw an increase of 125 new starters at Senior level. However, Britannia StudyLink is more concerned about the number of starters at Junior level this year - only 12 more pupils than 2016.
 
On the basis of the number of starters at Junior level from Hong Kong, it is doubtful whether a convincing majority of Hong Kong students are immersed in, and hence benefitting from, the essence of a British education. It is possible to infer that many families are content with enrolling children as late as possible with academic reasons in mind. Many parents still believe that entry into a prestigious university, as opposed to the development of transferable skills and life experience at boarding school, is the be- all and end-all of a British education.
 
Although there is clearly a great deal of work to be done when it comes to enrolling more Hong Kong pupils into Prep School, Hong Kong families respect the value of boarding as opposed to attending day school. One only has to look at the figures for non-British pupils with parents who live in the UK. Hong Kong has almost three times more boarders than pupils in day schools. For some countries, such as France, Germany and Russia, the number of pupils in day schools outstrips the number of boarders. Chinese parents living in the UK sent 606 children to day schools.
 
In summary, UK independent schools are balancing the intake of international students and British pupils as well as they can. It is not reasonable to ass
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#熱門話題
1 寄宿百科 2 英國大學
3 談英國 4 赴英須知
5 赴英遊學 6 選校攻略
7 留英所得 8 親子關係
9 英名校大比拼 10 留英專家分享
專家博客
英識教育創辦人及2017年英國傑出校友。九歲起接受英國教育,於華威大學政治經濟系碩士畢業,留英長達15年。現於香港各大報章撰寫教育專欄,分享對英國寄宿學校的專業見解及留學經驗。
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英識首席顧問。曾留學英美,具豐富海外升學配對經驗。現於《星島日報》、《英文虎報》等撰寫教育專欄,耐心解答香港家長及同學升學疑難。
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#院校分析
論名氣,Oundle 未追得上 Eton、Wycombe Abbey 等頂級名校,但學校的學術成績在英國依然名列前茅。作為傳統名校,Oundle 非常重視全人發展,為學生提供多元課餘活動選擇。學校奉行英國碩果僅存的 House Dining System,或是令香港家長趨之若鶩的一大原因。
Bromsgrove 的師生比例是一比八,比一般的寄宿學校低。此外,綜合我曾到訪的學校,此校硬件設施之完善,可入選全英設備最佳的三大校園。校方不惜工本為學生提供舒適環境,甚至收購附近的酒店改建成宿舍,令宿生有名符其實的「五星級享受」。此校極具前瞻性,是國際化的英國宿校。
Brighton College 是英國首屈一指的私校,是香港家長最愛的寄宿學校之一。 看一間學校,除了教育宗旨、多元化活動、成績之外,更要看校長的魄力。十年前,校長 Mr. Richard Cairns 成為 Brighton College 校長後,把學校由全英國接近 150 名推至首 20 名。除了在教育方針上大力推動改革之外,也為了保持學生的求知慾而非常努力,是難得的好校長。
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