Once you have made the decision and chosen a UK boarding school – what next?


The option of a UK boarding education is increasingly popular for families living overseas: it provides stability of education for families that move often; a stepping stone to university in a safe and nurturing environment; access to excellent facilities and opportunities for students who are talented in sport, music, art or drama.  Anderson Education, the UK boarding school specialists are here to help you through the process of choosing the right school for your son or daughter.  A visit to the UK Boarding School Exhibition Dubai on 26 & 27 February 2022 is an excellent place to start and gives you the opportunity to meet our Education Consultants and Heads of leading UK boarding schools.

Once you have made the decision and chosen a UK boarding school – what next?

There will be paperwork and plenty of it; the school will require forms to be signed and copies of documents to enrol your child. As soon as you have accepted a place they will want you to have enormous amounts of information about them and to ensure that you feel the school is ready to welcome your child and is invested in you as a family. It can be advantageous to create a check list of all the forms for yourself to ensure nothing is missed.  You will also need to think about securing flights and taking time off work to settle your children into their new school and the start of this next adventure on their educational pathway.

The majority of parents will bring their child to school for the first time, but subsequently it may be easier (and more fun) for your child to travel to school without you.  By offering airport transfer schools can put a parent’s mind at rest, safe in the knowledge there will be a procedure in place to ensure your child gets to school safely and quickly when they arrive in the UK.

Before joining a school, it can be helpful to have a meeting (either in person or online) with your child’s houseparent, especially if you are new to boarding.  The houseparents’ will be your child’s first point of contact for everything for the next few years and the sooner you can start to build that relationship the better.  The biggest worry that parents have is that their chid will be unhappy/lonely/homesick or will they make friends.  What happens if the child becomes ill – access to doctors, dentists etc; do share your concerns with the house parents – they have a wealth of experience and can handle pretty much anything.

In the term before joining a new school it is useful if your child is able to speak/whats app/insta/tik tok with other students who are starting at the same time or even students already at the school; schools are happy to facilitate this whenever they can.  It is not the big things that bother new students, it is the minutia of their new life that worries them; where to put their laundry, where to put their dinner plate when with are finished, where to go for homework (now called prep)? By having information on these seemingly small things can help your child to settle quickly.

Becoming a boarding parent can be just as daunting for the parent as the child, but please do not be afraid to ask – you may not be familiar with the boarding environment but there are plenty of people who are and they will be more than happy to offer advice – oh yes, and a good list always helps!