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21 January 2019
by Ferdinand Steinbeis

English Boarding Schools & Brexit: Keep Calm & Carry On!

Hello from Oxfordshire,
They say “a week is a long time in politics”. It sure felt like it this week, where the world witnessed significant upheaval in British politics. On Tuesday, Theresa May's proposal for a withdrawal deal from the EU was voted down in parliament by a historic margin. On Wednesday Theresa May and her government survived a vote of no-confidence with a slim majority. The Government now has to present a new proposal to Parliament next week on how the U.K. wishes to exit from the EU. All this leads to great uncertainty about the future nature of Britain’s relationship with the EU.
We have been asked by concerned clients how these developments will affect any plans to stay at an English boarding school.
Overall we are very confident that there will be minimal change to anyone’s ability to attend an English boarding for the foreseeable future.
Here's why we believe this:
1) Pupils will still be able to study in England.
For the time being, UK immigration rules will remain unchanged. Pupils with European passports can enter England and stay here indefinitely as usual. No visas will be required.
We think this is unlikely to change in the immediate future. Negotiations on changes to immigration rules between England and the EU are likely to take at least two years.
If anything changes, we will of course let you know immediately.
2) The schools are still welcoming international students and will help wherever they can
The schools are still welcoming international students with open arms. They value and appreciate the diversity that international students bring and students will be entering a warm, enthusiastic and welcoming environment - not a hostile one.
We have had the privilege to witness the calm, proactive and intelligent response with which boarding schools in England have reacted to the Brexit developments in the preceding months.
They have sent regular update emails on Brexit to families of existing pupils. They have put in place special procedures for pupils' travel for Easter in the limited cases where this has been required. Many have even promised to pay for any application expenses should a visa procedure be introduced whilst the pupil is at the school.
In short, you can rely on the schools here to support families wherever they can to make travel to and stays at boarding schools as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
3) The schools will still offer unrivalled educational and extra-curricular opportunities
Pupils still get access to unparalleled opportunities by studying at an English boarding school. The nature, ethos, academic prowess and breadth of exciting activities at the schools will not change in the foreseeable future.
Whilst we remain confident about potential pupils’ prospects, we appreciate that you may still have questions and concerns.
Please do reach out to any of the team here at VBE and would be delighted to address these with you.
With warmest regards,
Ferdinand Steinbeis & Team
Interested in more? Here are some interviews on Brexit we conducted with some of our favorite schools:

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