They looked blankly back at her, until one of them pointed out of the window at the rain falling on the English countryside. ”’ The school in question has changed beyond recognition in about 15 years.
But foreign parents equally don’t want to send their children to go to Britain to be surrounded by other foreigners.
She says a genuinely international mix tends to work very well, but there can be problems when one nationality dominates.
Some British parents actively seek an international school, thinking their children will thus be plugged into a global network of wealthy and high-achieving young people.
Janette Wallis of the Good Schools Guide says some parents, but certainly not all, get jittery when the foreign contingent exceeds 10 per cent.
Just over 5 per cent of children in ISC schools are foreign-born, with parents living overseas, but they are heavily concentrated in boarding schools and at sixth-form level, so for senior boarders the figure is much, much higher.
With fees of £30,000 a year, many boarding schools have already become decoupled from their traditional British middle-class roots and are now plugged into the global, ultra-wealthy elite.The school is not unusual these days in that more than half its boarders come from overseas.When schools began to struggle to fill their boarding places, they first turned to China, where local agents actively seek the new wealthy desiring the English public school experience.For this pampering of their progeny in Yorkshire, British parents pay up to £32,000 a year, with fees for foreign pupils ranging up to £39,885.Many will no doubt think it a small price to pay for accommodation based on a Four Seasons mini suite, plus the outdoor equestrian centre (pupils can stable their own horses on site) and ten acres of floodlit sports fields, though keen classicists should not apply as Latin and Greek are not offered.Then came the Russians who, with Nigerians, are now the fastest-growing population in British private schools.