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Boarding schools visit Bermuda

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Boarding schools from abroad are visiting Bermuda for the 25th anniversary of an annual event.

The International Schools Fair started yesterday at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club and concludes today.

Tory Dodge, the founder of the fair, said the event was created to provide Bermudian families with information about schooling options.

She said: “It was clear that Bermuda families were interested in exploring boarding school options.”

Ms Dodge said that some families were attracted to the event because of family tradition, while others attended over concerns about their children’s poor performance in schools.

She added: “At that time it was also difficult for island families to find provisions for learning disabilities, attention deficit, delayed development or emotional problems related to a variety of causes.

“Many local children have benefited from the scholarship programmes offered by boarding schools and I know from experience that my clients with learning disabilities or special needs have experienced great success.”

Niall Browne, of British school placement service BvS, who has worked with Mr Dodge for six years, added: “The success of the fair has been its ability to give a choice to Bermuda families. A boarding school education can give children unparalleled opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, and this is clearly something that Bermuda families recognise.”

This year’s event will include 60 schools from the UK, US, Canada and Switzerland, including single-sex and coeducational facilities for students aged eight to 18.

Valerie Scullion, from Switzerland’s Aiglon College, said that school was delighted be in Bermuda for the first time.

She added: “Aiglon is a completely international community and offers something quite unique, something we hope will appeal to Bermudians, not the least those who are avid skiers.”

Kate Rippin, from Kings College in Somerset, England, said: “I have found that students from Bermuda are typically very well prepared for the rigours of the British education system and they quickly adapt to the boarding school environment.”

Bermuda students can sit the UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test by appointment until Saturday.

An agreement with British Airways will allow the fair to allow special rates and conditions for families flying to schools in the UK.

The event at the Hamilton Princess and Beach club takes place between 4pm and 8pm. More information can be found at eventbrite.co.uk.