BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS WITH INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS (BAISIS): SUPPORTING GLOBALLY-MINDED BOARDING AND DAY SCHOOLS
The British Association of Independent Schools with International Students was founded in 1997 by a select group of leading Public Schools with significant numbers of boarding pupils from overseas. The schools came together to develop a common standards framework and to support one another in establishing best practices in admissions, educational provision, safeguarding and pupil onboarding.
British boarding schools (many in the famous “Public School” tradition) have long catered to families based overseas. Historically, however, many of those families have been British expatriate families working in military service, public administration or businesses abroad and who wished for their pupils to be educated under the British system in a safe and familial environment. Occasionally, these schools would also receive applicants from wealthy and aristocratic families from outside the United Kingdom. Increasingly, over the past forty years or so, such schools have become an attractive option for non-British overseas families, particularly those from growing economic markets in Asia and Africa. The growth of the affluent middle classes overseas has lead to a boom in demand for places at the leading British, American, Australian and Canadian independent schools which carry a cachet and connotations of success and class.
For many such schools, the surge in demand for places from overseas applicants has been an extremely welcome development, with pupils often boarding and paying higher fees than domestic applicants. With this, however, comes a number of unique challenges that had not previously encumbered British boarding schools. More than ever before, British boarding schools are welcoming pupils who may be living away, not just from home and family, but from country and culture. They may not have attended a traditional preparatory school that gears pupils up for entry into the Public (private) School system. They may not be familiar with the British curriculum and educational approach. Moreover, they may not speak English as a second or even third language.
These particular challenges lead to the formalising of a loose cooperative network of schools that would engage with one another on shared approaches and procedures. The British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (better known by the acronym BAISIS) was instituted in 1997 at a meeting of representatives from Bedford School, Rossall School, Sherborne School and Taunton School. Since then, the organisation has grown substantially and expanded its mission to support a variety of boarding schools and international schools in the United Kingdom and abroad. BAISIS is now a subsidiary division of the BSA Group, alongside the Boarding Schools’ Association. The body works with a number of select peer groups from around the world to develop world-leading approaches to education and international schooling and to promote the standing of its member schools overseas and to lobby for the United Kingdom as the preferred market for pupils from overseas. The association, and its parent body, actively engage with British and overseas political representatives to make the case for supporting and growing the independent schools’ sector, particularly boarding schools and those that attract international applicants (and, as such, represent a significant invisible export trade for the United Kingdom).
BASIS member schools are able to avail of a variety of policy development tools and research and to take advantage of a range of bespoke, targeted training and development programmes to support school staff and management. Member schools subscribe to a code of conduct and set of principles and are subject to review prior to becoming members. They may also consult with BAISIS on specific matters or to develop an ongoing mentoring arrangement to ensure that their educational offer is in line with the best-in-market approaches. With language barriers often being cited as the greatest difficulty for schools and international pupils alike, BAISIS is able to assist with the development of common or bespoke language courses and additional resources, including translation services, to ensure its’ member schools are viable contenders to attract overseas pupils in an extremely competitive global marketplace.
Membership of BAISIS varies but has recently included the schools listed below. For the latest information, please get in touch with BAISIS or speak to your preferred school.
MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES
SELECT THE FIRST LETTER OF THE SCHOOL NAME BELOW OR CHOOSE LIST VIEW FOR A SIMPLE LIST OF ALL LISTED SCHOOLS. ALTERNATIVELY, YOU CAN SELECT SCHOOLS USING THE MAP BELOW.
167-169 GREAT PORTLAND STREET, 5TH FLOOR
LONDON W1W 5PF