Further News


British General Election and VAT on School Fees

A new parliament will be elected in Britain on July 4. The possible changes in the balance of power in favor of the Labour Party could have an impact on the financial situation of British boarding schools. Independent schools in Britain, whether boarding or day schools, currently enjoy a VAT exemption as they are recognised as charities. This exemption has a long tradition dating back to the 19th century.

In the current election campaign, this tax exemption for independent schools is once again playing a significant role in the Labour Party's campaign programme. Although it is unclear whether and when changes will actually be implemented if the Labour Party wins the election, many independent schools - including our boarding schools - are preparing for the possible introduction of 20% VAT (Value Added Tax) on school fees as a precautionary measure. They will be able to reclaim part of this through deduction of VAT paid to third parties, and offset significant amounts through new revenue streams (summer courses, vacation lettings). Many schools have also been able to reduce their operating costs through energy-efficient renovations in recent years.

It is currently assumed that the schools will have to pass on about 8-12% of the additional costs from the introduction of VAT to the families. All schools are of course very keen to find a fair and balanced solution and minimise the financial impact on families. Many experts assume that the introduction of VAT on school fees will drag on legally, as Labour currently has no intention of introducing VAT on university tuition fees.

The current situation therefore is still very unclear. As soon as any concrete decisions are published, we will of course inform our families immediately.


Rugby School: low-tech solution for a modern problem

Gareth Parker-Jones, Head of Rugby School, supports the thesis of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book ‘The Anxious Generation’ that excessive safety concerns by parents and the frequent use of smartphones give children a restricted and unhappier childhood. Haidt, who is known for his research on moral psychology and social issues, argues that children are growing up in an over-regulated environment and are being deprived of formative experiences.

At Rugby School, as at most British boarding schools, access to smartphones is deliberately restricted to allow pupils to have a healthier development and happier childhood. According to Parker-Jones, these measures are showing positive results: Pupils and parents often welcome the relief from social media exposure. The headteacher sees the school as a pioneer in this area and emphasises the importance of providing opportunities and activities away from screens. You can read the full article here.


Abingdon School announces move to co-education

The prestigious Abingdon School, one of the oldest public schools in England and previously an all-boys school, has announced that it will become co-educational, allowing girls to benefit from the same academic and extra-curricular opportunities as boys from 2026. Abingdon School wants its education to reflect today's society - one that promotes gender equality and where both girls and boys should be able to be as ambitious as each other and in control of their own future success. The school believes that important life skills such as teamwork, emotional intelligence, mutual understanding and the ability to relate to others are better developed in a co-educational environment.

Read more here


Congratulations to Friedrich and his Ardingly Hockey Team

Our student Friedrich and his Boys' 1st XI Hockey Team of Ardingly College won the National School Championships (Tier 2) this week. Congratulations to this amazing achievement! The final was played in the Lee Valley stadium in London - a large number of Ardingly supporters were there to cheer on their team, some had travelled over especially from Germany. Well done to the team and to Friedrich!    

Ardingly Hockey bearbeitet


IB-Schools Fair 2024: Six of the best IB schools are coming to Hamburg, Cologne and Munich

We are delighted to host the IB Schools Fair in three German cities again this year. Our guests will be Headmasters, Deputy Heads or Directors of Admissions of six of the best IB boarding schools in Britain: Ardingly College, Bromsgrove School, Haileybury, Malvern College, Sevenoaks School and Worth School.

The IB Schools Fair will take place in Hamburg, Cologne and Munich on 24, 25 and 26 April 2024. The six attending schools may be of interest to your son or daughter if he or she is planning to attend a British boarding school for at least one year in the school year 2025/2026  and has good or very good grades. If you would like to gather some preliminary information or schedule a personal meeting with one or more of the attending schools, please get in touch with us.

Further details and the online registration form can be found here. We look forward to three exciting days with your family and the schools.




Woodbridge School supports Young Enterprises

Each year, Woodbridge School's "Young Enterprise competition" encourages Year 12 students to create their own business ideas and selling the final product to the public. This year a cookbook focused on local recipes was created: "The Suffolk Sensations Cookbook". The Cookbook contains recipes that are both family friendly and easy to make and tells personal stories behind the recipes. Further information about the competition and how to purchase the cookbook can be found here:: Young Enterprise Cookbook from Year 12's Suffolk Sensations - Woodbridge School


Intensive golf courses in Scotland for 10 to 18-year-olds - spring and summer 2024

Rick Valentine, former head of the Loretto Golf Academy, has recently started offering sports coaching for pupils in golf and hockey during the English holidays as a Guardian Organisation. There are still places available at his intensive golf camps in Scotland for the half-term holidays in May and the summer holidays in July 2024. The courses played are in St Andrews and Fettes.

If you are interested, you can contact us.


Mourning Brendan Wignall, Headmaster of Ellesmere College

We are very sad about the loss of a dear friend and partner. Brendan Wignall, who was Headmaster of Ellesmere College for 27 years, passed away last week. Ellesmere College published the following: 

Brendan dedicated himself to Ellesmere and its students.  He adapted to changing times with a fortitude that is so much at the heart of being an Ellesmerian. During his tenure a new Lower School building was erected, boarding houses expanded, and the International Baccalaureate introduced, the development of a range of sports academies and sports facilities grew: a new sports hall, tennis barn, Astro turf, and a roof over the swimming pool.  On the Arts front the College secured the Arts Council Platinum Arts Award. Brendan was committed to sport and an enthusiastic follower of Liverpool Football Club. 

 As a champion of the creative arts, Brendan changed the landscape around the school by adding sculptures and artwork for all to see. He developed a great enthusiasm for the beauty of stained glass, taking pleasure each day from an installation fitted along the cloisters.  This installation was solely funded by leavers’ gifts and energetically directed by Brendan. His interest in stained glass work grew and he went on to develop his own skills to tremendous effect.

 Brendan reached out to spread the Ellesmere message further, fulfilling a long-held ambition to see an Ellesmere School overseas, when Ellesmere Muscat in Oman was opened in January 2024 and he set plans in motion for others in the pipeline. He was closely involved with local charities in addition to being the Chairman of the Council of Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CreSTeD), and of the North West Academies Trust, and the Treasurer of the Headmasters’ Conference (HMC).

We miss him dearly.


PSHE webinar on 1 February 2024: 'Effective study skills and revision techniques'.

In our upcoming PSHE webinar on Thursday 1 February, our speakers Danielle Cowan, Deputy Head Curriculum and Georgina Black, Head of Media and Sociology, both from Gordonstoun, will share with students and parents methods that not only help to consolidate knowledge, but also make learning more efficient and minimise stress before exams. We cordially invite you to the webinar, which as always is free of charge and in English.

Further to our webinar, you will find Gordonstouns's helpful guide "GCSE-Revision skills"  with practical tips for efficient and relaxed revision before exams. 

Addition as of 02. February 2024: if you would like to watch a recording of the webinar, please click here.


Apply now for the "Youth Ambassador Programme" of IB and HundrEd!

In partnership with the International Baccalaureate (IB), the non-profit organisation HundrEd is looking for young people between the ages of 12 and 19 to join its "Youth Ambassador Programme". Over a four-month programme—through online workshops, discussions, opportunities for mentorship and a closed Discord channel—Youth Ambassadors will learn, ideate, and collaborate to tackle some of today’s global challenges. In addition to providing support to these future innovators, this programme aims to build a supportive, kind, inspiring and safe online community of young people. More information on the programme

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