Education Matters

All aboard for new schools

Januaray 9 - 15, 2019

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly All aboard for new schools

Boarding school specialists from Anderson Education will be returning to the kingdom for its 14th consecutive year to meet with families considering education, summer school and language programmes in the UK.

The UK Boarding School Information Day, which will be held at the Bahrain Rugby Football Club on January 18 from 2pm to 6pm, will highlight how studying abroad will help students gain great qualifications, confidence, independence and a breadth of interests. The meet and greet will also shed light on educational stability, financial benefits and finding the perfect fit for every student.

“Families appreciate the free impartial help and advice we are able to give and the schools that we recommend to them to meet the specific needs of their child; taking in to consideration their academic ability, strengths and interests,” said education consultant Sara Sparling, who meets with around 40 families during their visit. “Families are considering the option of a UK boarding school, particularly when the children reach age 16, so that they can study the final two years in a UK boarding school as preparation for university. 

“It is also a popular option for children with special educational needs as the breadth and depth of support available in the UK is excellent and provides the opportunity for these children to receive the support that they require. It also offers stability for families that move every few years.

“Meeting with an education consultant in-country is a good first step, some families will then visit the UK Boarding School Exhibition in Dubai on February 8 and 9 to talk to representatives of specific boarding schools.  After this we would arrange for the family to visit schools in the UK.”

The company has visited more than 350 UK boarding schools and has been working with families living in the Middle East for more than 20 years. 

Sara added: “We are placing about 120 students each year and each year we have families that we have met in Bahrain starting at a UK boarding school. In 2018, the students that we placed from Bahrain were expats from the UK, Philippines, Thailand and Denmark.”

According to Nikki Harlow, also an education consultant with Anderson Education, choosing a UK boarding school is a huge emotional and financial decision and the process can be daunting, particularly when you are living thousands of miles away.

“With increasing costs of living in the Middle East and a current favourable exchange rate, the option of a UK boarding school is a serious consideration for many expatriate and international families,” said Nikki. “With the current exchange rate, a full term boarding school fee is approximately BD4,700 per term. This is fully inclusive of tuition, boarding, food, laundry, extra-curricular activities and some education related trips and visits. Schools arrange airport transfer and collect students from the airport and take them to the school.

“Some schools do not have fixed exeat weekends when the school closes so the students can stay in school apart from end of term holidays and half term. State boarding schools are a very cost effective option for EU passport holders, families pay for boarding accommodation only approximately BD2,100 per term.

“We are keen to meet families and be able to help them through the process.

Nikki and Sara believe that a British boarding education provides quality education as classes are small in size which produces better grades and the necessary support given to those in need. 

Apparently, 92 per cent of pupils in independent schools in the UK progress to higher education, including 56 per cent to Russell Group universities. Also. Many boarding schools boast an excellent reputation worldwide thanks to having professional and dedicated teaching staff, excellent facilities for music, drama, sport and art, homely facilities with excellent care, a safe secure environment, a seven-hour flight to the UK from the Gulf and progression to universities worldwide. There is also a supportive environment for those students who need learning support or English language support.

One British father of a new boarder from Bahrain is thrilled with his decision to send his son Dan, 15, to UK.

Tony, a managing director in a construction company, said: “After a number of years observing Anderson Education’ visits to Bahrain and the Middle East, I was confident that they were exceptionally experienced supporting parents with their children’s UK education options. 

“Looking for a boarding school for Dan, they quickly provided introductions to schools in the area we had selected. After video calling the head of admissions at each of the schools, we short-listed two and visited both in April 2018.  Both were exceptional! 

“So I asked my son to choose his preferred school for himself, selecting Warminster School.  Dan holds a Thai passport. We needed support with the student visa application and Anderson Education were able to guide me towards an extremely professional consultant who made the process effortless for us.  Dan joined the school in September 2018 and we have just received his end of term one report. 

“He is getting on very well academically, athletically and socially with improved grades, diverse sports and facilities and a busy extracurricular calendar. 

“I would thoroughly recommend any parent considering placing their child or children at a UK school, to put their trust in Anderson Education.”

Families will also be given a free copy of the UK Boarding School Directory during the UK Boarding School Information Day.

For further details, email or visit or follow @An_Education on Twitter, @Anderson_Education on Instagram and Anderson Education on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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