Not only parents and teachers but also investors are asking how the Corona Virus will effect K-12 International Schools. In this March 2020 briefing we have summarised the key points as we see them.
In the short to medium term the following is our opinion.
- Tier One Schools* that rely heavily on expat (mobile) students will be most affected in the short term. We predict that expatriate families are more vulnerable to job loss, relocation and downsizing under the extreme effects of the Corona Pandemic on the economy.
- Tier Two and Tier Three Schools* that have mostly local students will be less affected. These schools have a larger proportion of local students and although they will be effected by the economic down turn they are less likely to withdraw completely. In some cases there may be some shift towards more affordable schools.
- The macro factors that influence the economy in different countries will obviously impact most on enrolments. Retail, Transportation, travel and tourism industries seem most affected.
- Countries who have been most effective “flattening the curve” fast will weather the storm better (Singapore, Hong Kong mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam) In fact we believe Vietnam is one of the countries best positioned to recover quickly.
- Schools with strong leadership who quickly transitioned to highly effective online learning will weather the storm better. *based on per capita cases For advice on strategies to manage schools during this period please contact us at any time.
It is difficult for anyone to determine the complete impact this pandemic will have on the economy, how drastic and for how long, however the ability for families to afford schools is obviously a challenge for schools. Education is considered an essential service for families so children will continue their education, it is just how much they have the ability to pay and where the school is located. This is again why we see Tier Two schools as the most resilient.
In a recent article written by Greg Parry, CEO of Global Services in Education, he outlined some significant long term changes that will occur as a consequence of the pandemic. Schools that adjust to the circumstances quickly and very well will continue to succeed.
*We categorise international schools loosely into 3 tiers.
- Tier One: Premium International Schools at the upper end of the market. These schools are the most expensive with 100% native english speaking teachers of the highest quality. The school is likely to be fully accredited with an international agency such as CIS, the IBO or similar. They have superior facilities and strong reputations in the market. They primarily target an expatriate student profile.
- Tier Two: While less expensive than Tier One, these schools still offer a high quality education but at a lower price point. There may be factors that make the school more affordable including a compromise on facilities and location. The teacher profile may not match Tier One but all teachers are qualified and competent. The teacher profile might include some local teachers. They target both expatriate and local students. Fees: 20-30% less than Tier One
- Tier Three: These schools offer a good quality of education above local standard with features many might describe as “international.” The school might offer an overseas curriculum but teachers might primarily be local. Some of these schools might offer a bilingual curriculum including local national curriculum pathways. They primarily target more affluent local students. profile. Fees: 30-50% less than Tier One
Who is Global Services in Education (GSE)
Global Services in Education is a company led by education experts. They are proven education leaders who know how to set up and manage international schools. GSE can lead the project from the initial idea to set up and full management. Kindergarten, Primary, Middle and High School, Universities and Adult education.
“I love great food and I love beautiful restaurants but that doesn’t mean I should set up and operate a restaurant. Everyone has been to a school and many have sent their children to one but that does not mean they are fully qualified and have the skills to guarantee the school’s success. The key difference between a great school and a failing school is its educational leadership. GSE has developed a reputation for being an invaluable bridge between education and business, particularly in unique cultural contexts.” Greg Parry, CEO.