BOARDING SCHOOLS’ ASSOCIATION
The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) is one of the world’s leading trade associations for the boarding and residential schools sector. With more than 500 member schools, it is a major voice advocating for boarding schools and educating parents and pupils as to the merits of choosing to board and what to look for.
Initially, the Boarding Schools’ Association limited membership to schools in the United Kingdom with occasional international members whose schools were modelled on the British public school system or which offered an accredited British international education. However, since the BSA’s foundation in 1966, the organisation has grown significantly to welcome member schools from around the world, with some 37 countries represented. Today, the BSA is one of the largest global schools associations and the biggest specifically catering to boarding schools. Nonetheless, the majority of its members are from within the United Kingdom and the BSA continues to focus much of its work on the UK market.
The schools which comprise the Boarding Schools’ Association’s membership include a wide array of options from single-sex schools, junior boarding schools (typically from the age of 8 years old and upwards), senior (secondary-level) boarding schools, flexi/5-day/7-day options, faith schools, special educational needs schools, therapeutic schools with residential or respite provision and international schools. With the absorption of the State Boarding Schools’ Association (SBSA – now rebranded as State Boarding Schools), the BSA also includes a number of schools which do not charge tuition-fees (boarding fees and international fees still may apply).
In addition to the State Boarding Schools Association, the Boarding Schools’ Association also administers the British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (BAISIS), the Health in Education Association (HIEDA) and the Safeguarding and Child Protection Association (SACPA). Across all of these managed organisations, the BSA provides a range of professional training options to improve standards in the education sector and, specifically, to ensure that teaching, pastoral and residential staff are best equipped to meet the needs of boarding pupils. As such, BSA membership is designed to give peace of mind to prospective boarding families that the member school has been assessed and recognised as meeting the standards required of the BSA and that faculty are well-trained to look-after their children. In light of various scandals over the years and a long-standing negative cultural view of boarding schools, the BSA has achieved great success in ensuring market-leading child safeguarding standards are instituted by its members and that boarding facilities and experiences are vastly different to the historic reputation held by boarding schools in general. Indeed, the BSA acts as a lobby and promotion body for the sector and has worked to greatly improve the standing of, particularly British, boarding schools around the world to ensure that the UK remains a globally competitive and attractive market.
Notwithstanding the above, boarding has generally declined over the past century as parents reflect on their own negative experiences of boarding school coinciding with a far greater array of non-boarding day school options. However, in recent years, those schools that have continued to maintain their boarding provision have reported greater levels of interest and higher registration numbers than this trend would suggest. Much of this coming from overseas emergent middle and professional classes. This is why the BSA continues to make the case for boarding schools and continues to expand through the admission of new members as British schools open boarding facilities and international schools seek to align with the values and standards of their British counterparts.
The Boarding Schools’ Association is one of the various recognised associations that make-up the Independent Schools Council. As such, most of its member schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Many of the United Kingdom’s most-famous public schools are members of the BSA, together with their prestigious preparatory school feeders (with some groups like the Oxford Group and Rugby Group requiring that its members must maintain BSA membership too).
Membership of the BSA may vary and you should check with the association or with your preferred school for the latest membership information. The schools listed below (using the search buttons) are known to be current or recently accredited members.
MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES
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ATLANTIC COLLEGE / UWCA / UWCAC
ST DONAT’S CASTLE, LLANTWIT MAJOR, VALE OF GLAMORGAN CF61 1WF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
UNITED WORLD COLLEGE OF SOUTH EAST ASIA
1207 DOVER ROAD, SINGAPORE 139654
PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
UNIT 11/12 MANOR FARM
HAMPSHIRE RG25 2JB