Five Questions You Should Ask Your Educational Consultant About Boarding Schools
Enrolling your child at a UK boarding school can be a daunting task, especially if your child is young. Not only will the boarding school you choose determine their quality of education, you are also choosing the school that will ultimately be responsible for your child’s wellbeing for the next few years to come. It can be overwhelming to sift through dozens of prospectuses and application guides and still fret over filling in a form correctly.
This is where educational consultants like us come in to help you and your child find the best boarding school that meets your needs. It is also part of our job to explain and guide clients through the whole process of enrolling in a UK boarding school – this includes the application process, taking entrance exams or aptitude tests, submitting visa applications, and so on. It’s extremely important that you approach the right consultant, so we recommend that you ask the following questions before you hire one:
1. How many boarding schools do you offer?
Some educational consultants have partnerships with certain boarding schools. This means that they might recommend some schools over others or they may only assist with applications to certain schools. While this is a fairly common practice and it may not affect the quality of services offered by the consultant, this might mean that you may not be shown every available option.
2. What are your school recommendations based on?
There are many important considerations that we make when we recommend boarding schools. Not only must the quality of education be top-notch, the programmes available in the school must also match the child’s talents. The ethos or traditions of the school must be compatible with the parents’ beliefs as well. Additionally, the student may feel more comfortable in a co-ed or a single-sex school, or they may prefer a school with more full boarders. Some parents may also want to enrol their child at a school with a more diverse student body, or in a school located nearer to a town rather than one by the countryside. A more minor consideration is the availability of nearby hotels or AirBnBs which will make it easier for parents to visit.
Be sure to ask your consultant to make recommendations based on your preferences and needs such as these. Address any concerns you might have about the schools being recommended to you at this stage – no concern is too minor! There are hundreds of boarding schools in the UK, so there is bound to be one that is suitable for your child and you. A good consultant would be happy to adjust their recommendations to ensure that your child enjoys their time in school.
3. What are your fees? What is the full range of services offered for the fee?
This is an essential question for any type of service provider! It’s always best to know what the full range of services are and if additional fees will be charged for other services. We recommend that you ask your consultant to provide you with a complete list of items that may incur a fee, such as sitting for the UKiset, the NHS surcharge, and so on. You may want to ask your consultant if they will assist with the visa application process or securing additional services such as guardianship and securing accommodation.
4. What is student life like?
As previously mentioned, it’s essential to consider your child’s talents and interests when choosing a school. A school that offers diverse sports and extracurricular activities might encourage your child to explore their interests and discover their passion.
This is also the time to ask about a student’s daily schedule and what a day in their lives look like. Boarding school students tend to be very tight-knit due to smaller classes and the extra time they spend together, so it’s also worth asking about the school’s culture. While this might be a subjective matter, if your consultant has any insights about this based on their experience, it’s extremely valuable information that is difficult to find online or in brochures.
5. What is the application procedure?
Quite often, parents find the application process to be the most difficult as it is tedious and involves many steps. This is exactly what educational consultants are here for! While it is our job to guide you through this often complicated process, feel free to ask your consultant about deadlines, where your child may sit for the entrance exam if necessary, visas, guardianship, and so on. Once you have a school in mind, it’s time to ask your consultant about what to do next. We’ve compiled the following list of questions that will cover the basic information you need to know:
- When is the next intake?
- What is the application procedure?
- What is the deadline for applications?
- What is the visa application process?
- Does this school require entrance exams? If so, where can my child sit for it?
- Where are the interviews held?
The deadline for applications for a number of boarding schools is the beginning of September. Some schools accept applications until as late as end-October. Be sure to apply soon! We hope you will find a great school and a consultant that best matches your needs and expectations.
Popular UK Boarding Schools Among Malaysians
Unsure about which boarding school to apply to? These boarding schools are popular among Malaysians which might give you a good place to start.
Check out also our A-levels league table which shows the top ranking A-level boarding schools.
Get Free UK Boarding School Application Assistance
Britannia StudyLink is Malaysia’s UK Study Experts – we have helped over 1000 students find the right school for them. First in Malaysia and Hong Kong to be BSA Certified Agents, we have earned this recognition for our quality of services and our high standards in recruitment, safeguarding, and student placement. We’re also the first UKiset test centre in Malaysia – simply make an appointment with us and let us guide you through the enrolment process!
If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!