Statistics Around Positive Transitions-care in International Schools

The number of international schools around the world has increased by 52% in the last 10 years, growing from 12,853 to 13,190 in the last year alone and enrolling 6.5 million students (8). Mahoney & Barron’s (2020) findings indicate that just over half of international schools have a transitions-care programme but very few of them are flourishing. Overall, 54% of participants had a transitions-care programme but only 6% said that it was flourishing. This also means that 46% of international schools do not have a transitions-care programme.

Student, parent and staff Arrivers are prioritised by many international schools but fewer than half support those leaving during the academic year or at graduation. A very small percentage of international schools provide any transitions-care support for students returning ‘home’, Stayers or Citizens. Given that repatriation is regarded as the hardest of all international moves, it is alarming that very few schools prepare their members for returning home. What about the Stayers and Citizens? These are the linchpins, the stabilisers in an international school community. Although not technically moving, the world around them most certainly is as the Arrivers and Leavers come and go. It is disconcerting that Robert Risch’s (2008) research also showed that arrivals were prioritised over other transitions in international schools. It seems not much has changed in the last 10+ years.

The majority of international schools have no formal way of assessing the success of their transition-care programme. Of those with an alumni programme, very few use their alumni as a resource to gain a greater understanding of their transitions-care programme success. Without assessment, it is very difficult to know whether a transitions-care programme is truly supporting students, parents and staff in effective ways.

(8) ISC Research: Why More International Schools Keep Opening

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