The British Boarding Schools Workshop – March 2019

The British Boarding Schools Workshop, March 2019

We have just returned from an amazing weekend at The British Boarding Schools Workshop, organised by The British Boarding Schools Network.

We launched our new Etherton Education Family Summer Course at this event.  It is a two-week summer course for students aged 7-10 years, accompanied by one or more family members.  It will be held at the famous Dean Close School in Cheltenham.  Contact us for details!  This complements our existing academic summer courses at Wellington School, Lord Wandsworth College and Badminton School.

Back to BBSW and what a great event it is!  Insightful, educational and run by an amazing team – Suzanne, Anthony, Kathy and Alicia.  Everything runs like clockwork.  But the lasting memory is always the warm happy glow of friendship that flows over the whole event.

The event was held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Hotel.  As the Platinum Sponsor, Etherton Education had a stand in the main atrium for the full weekend of agent appointments.

The Thursday presentations started with a meeting opportunity for anyone who had not been to the BBSW before.  A great chance to meet other delegates and the BBSN team, as well as familiarise yourself with the venue!

Fragomen then gave a presentation on ‘How to Survive a Home Office Audit’, detailed and very well presented by Naomi and Jonathan from Fragomen.

Kathy of BBSN then took to the stage with a great section on ‘Navigating the Challenges of Recruiting and Placing International Students’.  She was joined on stage by our very own Peter Etherton and some of the other sponsors of the event, to give an entertaining and educational view on navigating the challenges faced with recruiting international students

The final presentation was given by Struan Hellier, Director of Boarding at Woodbridge School, about the value of successful induction and integration programmes.  Their importance should never be overlooked for our international students and we at Etherton Education pride ourselves on our own integration strategies in all our summer courses.  Peter has written a book on this subject – ‘The Integration Handbook’ – contact us if you would like a free PDF copy.

Friday and Saturday were then full to the brim of pre-booked appointments.  Peter and Alan had appointments scheduled throughout both days with Educational Agents from around the world.  Anne, Jane and Becki were also available to talk to agents who had not managed to arrange an appointment.  It was wonderful to meet so many educational professionals from all over the globe, many of whom are now old friends!

Belinda had a full schedule of school appointments on both days as well.  There were many of our partner schools at the event, as well as two of our host schools – Badminton School and Lord Wandsworth College.  It was a wonderful opportunity to further cement our partner school relationships and build new relationships with potential schools.  Belinda works hard all year with our existing 160 partners and on welcoming new partners in an ever-evolving market.

Etherton’s sponsorship of the endangered Red Pandas at Bristol Zoo has led to our adopting this beautiful, wise little animal as our company mascot, and we were delighted to present many of our very popular toy Red Pandas to our partner agents and schools.  Each was equipped with an individualised business card, introducing them as Marketing Associates.  Do send us photos of the guys in your offices!

On both nights the dinners were very enjoyable.  We invited a table of agents on Thursday night – almost all of whom were, like us, family companies.  On Friday evening we shared a table with some of our school partners.  This meal was followed by some entertainment which had been kept secret for the event!  It was provided by the ‘Rat Pack’ of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior lookalikes, and was enjoyed by the full room of both agents and schools!

When the final bell rang at 3.30pm on Saturday, I think everyone was extremely tired but able to look back on a wonderful event!  We packed up our stand and said our goodbyes, ready to relax and reflect on a great three days!  The BBSN Team of Suzanne, Anthony, Kathy and Alicia, as well as Ollie and Luke worked tirelessly throughout the event to ensure every detail ran smoothly and to the professional standard everyone has become accustomed too!  We are very proud to be a part of such a wonderful event, bringing together hundreds of schools and agents!

We are already looking forward to the next event in November 2019!