Annual Research Survey
COBIS Annual Research Survey 2021
The 2021 COBIS Annual Research survey, delivered in partnership with GL Education, collected information from COBIS schools relating to the 2020/21 academic year. The survey included information about school profiles, assessment and curriculum choices, pupil and teacher numbers, and university destinations, as well as questions about the impact of Covid-19. The full report is now available to COBIS members and Supporting Associates via the Members Area (under Resources).
Selected Headlines (data collected in October/November 2021):
- Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the overall picture regarding pupil numbers in COBIS schools is positive. 51% of responding schools reported that pupil numbers had increased for 2021/22, compared with 22% in the 2020 survey.
- 47% of schools also reported an increase in student numbers compared to the start of 2019/20 (pre pandemic).
- At the time of data collection (Oct/Nov 2021), 72% of schools were fully open (compared to 38% of schools at the same time last year), with all students attending face-to-face; 20% were delivering a blended model, with a mixture of remote and face-to-face delivery (compared with 40% this time last year); and only 5% of schools were delivering all teaching and learning remotely (compared with 22% last year).
- Schools have indicated that they are likely to retain some of the elements of their provision that have been developed as a result of Covid-19, including virtual parent/teacher interviews (80%), increased use of technology for personalised learning or support (75%), and increased pastoral or wellbeing support (68%)
- Covid-19 continues to impact teacher recruitment, with 42% reporting delays or difficulties with visas and pre-employment checks, and 34% reporting delayed start of international staff due to travel restrictions
- A third of responding schools also reported that the majority of applications for posts for 2021/22 came from teachers who were already working internationally, and more than a quarter of responding schools indicated a decrease in the volume of applications from teachers currently living in the UK.
- 96% of leavers from COBIS Schools (from 2020/21) went on to University; 42% of those leavers went on to University in the UK (down from 50% in 2020 and 53% in 2019).
- 20% of responding schools indicated that some 2020/21 leavers/graduates were pursuing a UK Higher Education programme outside the UK, including studying at an international campus of a UK University or studying with a UK University via distance learning
- 46% of responding schools indicated that the percentage of leavers from their school choosing a University in the UK stayed the same for 2020/21 compared to the previous academic year. 41% indicated that the percentage of leavers choosing a University in the UK had decreased (up from 32% in the 2020 report).
- For students who chose University destinations in countries other than the UK, schools reported a number of factors that are thought to have influenced this decision. The top responses were cost of University in the UK (51%), potential challenges with UK visas (36%), Brexit (30%), and preference for University closer to home/family (30%)
Read the media coverage of the 2021 Annual Research Survey results:
- 'COBIS schools have shown resilience but the pandemic isn't over yet' - School Management Plus (January 2022)
- K12: pupil numbers rise at COBIS schools - The Pie News (January 2022)
- More school leavers choosing university abroad, survey finds - Independent Education Today (January 2022)
- 'Positive' picture on pupil numbers in British international schools - School Management Plus (January 2022)
- How the pandemic is reshaping international education - Tes (January 2022)
COBIS Annual Research Survey 2020
The COBIS Annual Research survey, conducted in partnership with GL Education, collected information from COBIS schools relating to the 2019/20 academic year. The survey includes information about school profiles, assessment and curriculum choices, pupil and teacher numbers, and university destinations. The 2020 survey also included questions on the impact of Covid-19. The full report is now available to COBIS members and Supporting Associates via the Members Area (under Resources).
Selected Headlines (data collected in October/November 2020):
- COBIS schools range in size from 27 to 3,000 students.
- 74% of responding schools teach both primary and secondary phase; 16% teacher primary only; 10% teach secondary only.
- Covid-19 has had an impact on pupil numbers. 46% of schools reported a decrease in pupil numbers. 54% of schools indicated pupil numbers had increased (32%) or stayed the same (22%). 66% of schools attribute the change in pupil numbers wholly or partly to Covid-19.
- At the time of data collection (Oct/Nov 2020), 38% of schools were fully open, with students attending face-to-face; 40% of schools were delivering a blended model, with a mixture of remote and face-to-face delivery, and 22% of schools were delivering all teaching and learning remotely.
- Covid-19 has impacted teacher recruitment in various ways, with 41% of schools reporting delays/difficulties with visas/pre-employment checks, and 36% of schools experiencing delayed start of international staff due to travel restrictions.
- 89% of leavers (from 2019/20) went on to University; 50% of leavers from responding COBIS schools went on to University in the UK.
- Other than the UK, the most popular destinations for Higher Education were the United States, the Netherlands, and Canada
- 32% of schools indicated that the percentage of leavers choosing a University in the UK had decreased for 2020/21.
- 28% of schools felt that Covid-19 had had an impact on leavers' decisions regarding University destinations, and 30% of schools felt that Brexit had had an impact.
- From an operational standpoint, schools have implemented a number of changes as a result of Covid-19. 90% of schools have offered families the opportunity to pay in instalments and 65% of schools have reduced spend on budget areas such as school trips and events.
COBIS Annual Research Survey 2019
The COBIS Annual Research survey, in partnership with GL Education, collected COBIS school information relating to the 2018/19 academic year. With questions about curriculum, assessments, school leaver destinations, student and staff nationalities, class sizes, and staff turnover, the results of the survey support the lobbying work of COBIS and help inform the strategic development of the association.
- 79% of responding schools indicated that student numbers had increased over the past three years.
- COBIS schools perform strongly at A-Level compared with the UK average, with an 18.9% higher A*/A pass rate, a 16.4% higher A*/B pass rate and a 6.8% higher A*/C pass rate.
- COBIS schools perform strongly at GCSE/IGCSE compared with the UK average with a 26.2% higher A*/A (9-7) pass rate and a 19.1% higher A*/C (9-4) pass rate.
- 92% of school leavers from COBIS schools in 2019 went on to university, with 53% choosing a UK university.
- The number of student nationalities in COBIS schools ranges from 3 to 110.
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