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Growing an international business

The boom in overseas students at British schools is beneficial but comes with a workload, says Gabbitas Education

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 21, 2015 | International

Britain is experiencing a huge increase in the number of international students who are choosing to be educated within the British independent sector. Schools are reaping the benefits, but for some, attracting students, assessing their suitability and placing them with exeat guardians can create an unprofitable workload. 

Gabbitas Education has been fulfilling the need to place young international students with selected and appropriate schools and guardians for over 100 years. On 7 December, Gabbitas will be hosting an interactive seminar offering schools a chance to share best practice and learnings. The event will welcome more than 20 delegates from a range of independent day schools across the UK. 

Speaking about the upcoming event, Director of Student Support Services and Guardianship, Debbie Cowley said: “Competition to recruit from international markets is growing and parents’ expectations are higher as they have a much wider range of schools to choose from. Our interactive seminar offers schools the opportunity dig deeper into this market place and learn from others who have found ways to improve their service offering”.

Cowley, who heads up a specialist team of five, places international students into families all over the UK and offers schools and students support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

She continued: “Unless schools have a robust system in place for recruitment and hosting it can very quickly become resource intensive with very few results. To help answer the questions before situations arise we have brought together an expert panel including Peter Goddard, Assistant Head (Compliance & Outreach) at Norwich School. Peter will be sharing his experiences following his international student recruitment campaign began in September 2014. Now in its second year the number of students in year 12 and 13 continues to grow.”

Alastair Montgomery, Director of UKiset and Assessments, will also be on hand to answer questions about how to find the right student for each school. Alastair manages the UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset), an entry programme that is designed specifically for schools recruiting overseas students, and is changing the way schools identify and assess the best applicants from all over the globe. 

To complete the seminar Debbie Cowley will be offering advice on finding the right families for the students, safeguarding and meeting ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) regulations. With many years experience in leading and managing teams that support overseas students, the families that look after them and the schools that they attend, Debbie’s input is invaluable for schools hoping to enter or increase their international footprint. 


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