The Fair brings together 55 exhibiting schools - from London and across the UK. Sampling this cross-section of British independent schooling provides an efficient overview of the sector. And many of our visitors since the first ground breaking Independent Schools Show in 2007 have discovered, through our unique approach to exhibiting, the actual schools their children have gone on to attend.
This approach goes deeper than informing about entrance procedures, school values, facilities and results. The fairs allow parents to have those vital, in depth, face to face discussions with senior admissions staff or headteachers, that are hard to fit around whistle-stop group school tours at Open Days.
That’s why we go to great lengths to secure the right locations for our fairs. A beautifully discreet, ‘third space’ environment really does promote relaxed yet full and frank disclosure - on both sides. However prestigious, will a school accommodate the way each pupil, as a highly distinctive individual, is inspired, learns, plays and builds confidence? More often than not, it will. But independent education affords parents the luxury of choice for their children.
The way we give them access to schools makes sure they exploit that choice - through private, personal discovery.
City or Country?
Post-lockdown, many London families are reconsidering whether a city or country school would best suit their child. This fair for independent schools is organised into two distinct sections: one for families looking for London day schools; the other for boarding and relocation to day schools / flexi-boarding outside the capital.
The most beguiling choices are often between options where a commonality of excellence and culture expresses itself in a different geographical context.
- London enjoys several ancient schools that are leaders among the broadest based academic schools in the English speaking world; and the city hosts countless other superb, more recent and groundbreaking establishments besides, of wildly different sizes, where pupils access rich cultural diversity and sporting excellence - on and off campus.
- Meanwhile, within easy reach of the metropolis (and even within it) are a multitude of other historically important, outstandingly academic and mixed ability schools, with acres of green space, superb facilities and extended days, offering all the holistic benefits of residential based or day schooling - from art, drama and music to outward bound and sporting activities.
Even a move to a full boarding school is increasingly accompanied by a move to a new home. Knight Frank, one of the Fair’s sponsors, will be on hand to help parents place their school selection in the vital context of where and in what kind of property they wish to live.
Parents Forum Talks
The Summer Fair is the culmination of a nine week programme of Parents Forums. These events feature leading independent schools, together with education, property and financial experts. We take parents on virtual school visits to meet leading heads; we interview top educationalists; we talk to the shrewdest school fee planners; we explore scholarships and bursaries; and we provide market intelligence about the London and re-location property markets.
Three Parents Forum talks will be recorded live from the Brewin Dolphin sponsored theatre at the Fair. Chaired by Ed Vaizey, these talks will also be available online. See the programme below.
Click here for the 2021 show guide