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New online forum for boarding schools/agents

The British Boarding Schools Workshop (BBSW) used its recent workshop to introduce its new database and online “web community” to over 250 delegates this month. Representatives from British boarding schools and overseas agents were told that a new online forum would be available for all clients of BBSW within six months.

The recent workshop in Windsor attracted 70 boarding schools and 85 education agents

“It's catering to our quality agents who can use it as a fast springboard to work with British boarding schools"

‘British Boarding Schools Connected’ will launch in October and was presented to 70 boarding schools and 85 agents from 50 different countries that attended the targeted workshop event held in Windsor.

Last year BBSW carried out interviews with agents and received feedback about poor communication and a lack of detailed information about the schools. British boarding schools had also indicated concerns over reliability of agents.

“Schools can tap into this database of only our approved agents, who have all been through numerous screening processes,” Suzanne Rowse, Director of BBSW, told The PIE News. “It’s also catering to our quality agents who can use it as a fast springboard to working with British boarding schools. It speeds up the processing and hasn’t been done before,” she added.

BBS Connected is free initially for agents and  and schools will pay an annual subscription fee which is banded according to the number of the school’s boarders. Agents and schools are able to contact each other directly through a messaging “chat” system as well as having access to training videos, a blog and marketing strategy and intelligence.

The launch comes at a time when BBSW has doubled its number of staff to make its services more tailored

Rowse said this launch comes at a time when BBSW has doubled its number of staff to make its services more tailored to its clients.

The BBSW events are now well established on the scene for boarding schools keen to build international enrolments by working with specialist education agencies.

Tessa Howard-Vyes Director of Marketing for Strathallan School in Scotland told The PIE News: “The enquires from overseas are getting stronger and stronger each year.”

“We’ve had a big demand from countries such as China, Russia and then Spain, Germany, I think those are continuing to grow, and then also other enquiries from emerging markets like Japan, markets that haven’t really got going yet in the boarding world.”

This year’s workshop had a different twist as agents were invited to meet a “mystery guest” the day before the event. The guest – who was revealed as a look-a-like Queen – gave a speech on the value of international students and two agents were chosen to travel by Rolls Royce to Windsor Castle.

Rowse commented, “Its ‘the best event in the international calendar’ according to some of our agents. It’s very boutique with a family feel compared to other workshops.”

“Because there are no parents there it’s a less competitive environment between schools. It’s more relaxed, and it’s a good opportunity for them to catch up with each other.”

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