If your target audience is traditionally those roughly 30,000 UK schools then you could be missing opportunities around the world.
So what is an international school? Definitions differ, but only slightly. Essentially, an international school is one that teaches a curriculum which isn’t that of the host nation; i.e. the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in London or the British School of Paris. However, don’t get these confused with UK independent schools or US high schools that simply teach the International Baccalaureate Diploma at post-16. The International Association of School Librarianship also drew up a list of additional commonalities at their 2009 conference. These included the likes of the transient nature of teachers and pupils.
International schools evolved out of the need for standardised education worldwide. They provide a continuation of learning for the children of diplomats and employees of multinational corporations regularly posted overseas. As such, the pupil populations of international schools tend to not be native children, though local families will send their aspirational children to gain international qualifications.
At the start of 2014 there were around 7,000 international schools spread across the globe and that number is expected to grow steadily. Regardless of whether you offer curriculum-aligned resources or manufacture classroom furniture, international schools represent an excellent target audience due to the nature of them being fee-paying institutions and their progressiveness in teaching.
Schools around the world are structured fairly similarly – while some education systems include all-through schools (teaching from 4/5 to 18), many will have primary and secondary phases with the break between the two coming around age 11. Globally, many refer to that full period of education using the American term ‘K12′ meaning from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
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