When you are looking into schools for your kids it is very important to decide how you will rate each choice. Often, a question is a useful starting point, but don’t forget to keep reminding yourself to return to it to stay on task.
Many people ask, what is the best international school in Beijing?
But to answer this we first have to decide what would make something “the best”. Is the length of a school’s waiting list a good indicator? It seems obvious that if the list is long, there is probably a very good reason for this, such as exceptionally high faculty standards and top-notch facilities. However, like in many countries – back home notwithstanding — location plays a key part school selection, so schools in, or near, expat areas will be oversubscribed. So perhaps instead of asking what is the best international school in Beijing, maybe a more pertinent question would how have other parents made their own decisions?
Value for money is a big factor for people whose companies do not cover education fees or families with more than one child. Some schools expect students to own their own laptops, in addition to text books and other supporting equipment, while others actually provide each child with their own laptop. Also, have you thought about class size, would your child benefit from a closer relationship with the teaching faculty, would they feel out of their comfort zone if they were just a little fish in a huge pond? What about the past graduates, where are they now? What have they gone on to do? How does the school prepare its students for life after education? Is it purely focused on entranced into higher education institutes, or does it also offer pathways for students who may want to follow an alternative path?
As you can see, by asking “what is the best international school in Beijing?” you trigger other questions that are equally important!