A snapshot overview of schools in the Lausanne/Vevey and La Cote (between Lausanne and Nyon in Vaud) areas that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.
Schools selected for full GSGI review are noted with next to their names.
If there is no ribbon, "pending" or otherwise, it means we know of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.
Most of the schools in this list are privately owned rather than not-for-profit. If you are looking at a privately owned school you should make sure that there is a good working relationship between the owner or education group and the head/principal. After all, the owner/education group is more likely to be profit orientated, particularly if they have invested heavily.
You should also establish if the school has a proper PTA, ie: one that is active and influential, not just a group of well-meaning parents organising coffee mornings and cocktail parties.
In addition, is there a proper board of governors (or equivalent) and established accreditation? Just being an IB World School isn't full accreditation by an independent organisation.
If the school you have chosen, or possibly has been chosen for you by the organisation you are working for (or an agency working for them) doesn't have the above, you need to ask yourself: how and to whom do parents address serious concerns?
For example, what's your recourse if you child is threatened with expulsion if you continue to air your dissatisfaction of a teacher? Or, what if you are not being informed about serious incidents that might effect your child's safety? Perhaps another child's behaviour is seriously disrupting your child's education. If you aren't happy with the answers perhaps you should look at a different school.
Parents should also note that if the school is primarily French-speaking the Swiss/French style of teaching will be very different to the Anglo-Saxon style.
When considering which schools’ curriculum would be right for your child, it’s useful to know that some students/parents choose schools that do A-levels over, say, the IB or other international schools in Switzerland - not just because they want to stay in the British system, but because some Swiss universities have lower bars for A levels than for IB results. For example, some Swiss universities will accept CCC at A level but a state university wants 32 IB points (no bonus included) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and ETH Zurich (ETHZ) want 38 with no bonus points, but will accept BBB-CCC.
Some parents also feel that studying 3-4 subjects at the level of A levels is easier than 6 subjects at IB (plus the 150 hour commitment of the CAS projects, the 4000 word Extended Essay and the 1000 work Theory of Knowledge Essay). The number of hours students are forced to study their IB subjects is controlled by the IB. No one forces so many hours of A levels or, say, Scottish Highers. A-levels are also felt to be less demanding than the 14 subjects required in the Swiss curriculum or for the French Bac.
* By full blown GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors.
Note: Some of the schools on this list are between cities, and might seem to be of interest but would actually be too far for a commute. For example, St Georges is in Montreux (40k away from Lausanne) and Haut-Lac is above Vevey, and a good 20k away from Lausanne, on the other side from, say, Morges and Nyon
16 Av. Secrétan
The only fully accredited school in the Lac Leman region to offer the British A Levels. It has two different English curricula, one leading to the British IGCSE and A level examinations, the other an American curriculum leading to the American High School Diploma as well as offering PSAT and SATs. It is an English speaking, co-educational day & boarding school for 150 students aged 11-18, two-thirds of whom are boarders. It puts a strong emphasis on languages, particularly French. It is private and has been in the same family for five generations and is located in 13,000m2 of parkland in a residential area in the heart of Lausanne.
College Champittet Campus Pully-Lausanne
Ch. de Champittet
CH-1009 Pully Lausanne
A primarily French speaking co-educational day and boarding school for 900 pupils, around 60 of which are boarders. Students traditionally have been prepared for the Swiss Maturite or French Baccalaureat, but now they can study for the IB Diploma instead in the newly formed bilingual English/French programme. Established in 1903, it has a large campus and is situated in Pully, a suburb in the centre of Lausanne. There is also a nursery/primary school campus in Nyon. It is now part of the Hong Kong based Nord Anglia Education group, but there is no indication that it will change to a more British style curriculum. However, it may be about to merge with La Cote in Aubonne, another Nord Anglia Education group school which currently only has an English speaking programme.
Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande
Chemin de Rovéréaz 20
CH-1001 Lausanne 12
This is a primarily French, co-educational day & boarding school for around 600 children aged 3-18 including 50 boarders. They provide a Swiss style education leading to the IB Diploma in French or Swiss Maturite. Boarding is available from aged 12. A Montessori section is offered as an option from ages 3-6. English is taught four times a week during Kindergarten and Primary, in Middle school a core subject is also taken in English. It is located in a suburb of Lausanne.
Haut-Lac Ecole Internationale Bilingue
Chemin de Pangines 26
1806 St Legier
Established in 1993 as a primary school, by the current directors, it has grown to include 650 students from 1-18. Children in Pre-School and Primary follow a curriculum based on the British National Curriculum followed by the IBO's MYP and Diploma programmes. In all age groups students can opt for bilingual English/French or an English programme. The Pre-school and Primary schools have moved to their new site in St Legier near to the Secondary school which opened in September 2014. This has also added much needed sports facilities for both campuses. St Legier is a village a good 10 minutes drive north of Vevey. The creche remains in Vevey.
St. George’s School
Chemin de St. Georges19
Established in 1927 by two Oxford graduates, this is a traditional, British style school set in grounds of 45,000m2 between Vevey and Montreux. There are about 480 students aged 3-18, most are day students, but there are around 70 boarders from the age of 8. The school offers the English National Curriculum in the Primary section, IGCSEs at the end of Year 10 and a few years ago introduced the IB Diploma to replace A levels. It also offers the US High School Diploma.
International School of Lausanne (pending)
Chemin de la Grangette 2
This accredited English speaking co-educational day school was established in 1962 and is a not-for-profit association. It is located in a suburb to the north of Lausanne in a new purpose-built campus of 34,000m2. The school has over 600 students and offers the full IBO programme for ages 3-18, the PYP, MYP and IB Diploma. It is currently expanding its student base by adding a class per year in the Primary school starting September 2014 and will do the same in the Senior school from September 2015. This will increase the student body to around 990 students and accommodate their waiting list. The expansion programme also includes improving the sports facilities and building an all purpose art, technology, science and maths hub. In September 2014 the Early Childhood Centre moved into its new building.
International School of Monts-de-Corsier
This school has closed
La Cote International School (Primary section has write-up pending)
Chemin de la Clamogne 8
Founded in 2008, it is an English language day school - now part of the Nord Anglia Education group and which moved to a new purpose-built campus in Aubonne a few years ago. Currently with about 170 students aged 3-18 the new campus has a capacity of 800. The new campus offers state-of-the art modern teaching facilities with views over the lake. The primary section follows the English National curriculum, whilst the secondary follows the IB Organisation's MYP and Diploma programmes.
Lac Leman International School
Avenue de la Gottaz 34-36
Tel: +41 21 811 0022
Fax: +41 21 811 0024
Opened in September 2011, the school aims to offer a different approach to learning by adopting the International Primary and Middle Years curriculum. It is in a converted office building with only a small recreational area of its own, but it does benefit from a large sports field next door.
Chateau du Rosey
Tel: +41 21 822 55 00
Fax: +41 21 822 55 55
E-mail: go to school website
Opened in 1880 by Paul Carnal in the Chateau in Rolle, this is considered to be the most prestigious boarding school (it is certainly the most expensive) in the world. There are approximately 400 students aged 8 to 18. It offers the IB Diploma or the French Baccalaureate and has outstanding sports and arts facilities - the best of any school in the region. In the winter term, the whole campus moves to its campus in Gstaad which has been a tradition since 1911. Girls have their own separate campus a short walk from the Chateau. If you have to ask what the fees are, you can't afford them!
GEMS World Academy
La Tuiliere 18
Tel: +41 21 964 1818
Fax: +41 21 964 1279
The latest addition to International Schools in the La Cote region is part of the GEMS education group. The building was originally designed to be an office block in an industrial area, but has been cleverly designed internally for the needs of a school for international students aged 3-18 and has truly state-of-the art teaching facilities - if you are wowed by technology - including an indoor swimming pool. It follows all three of the IB Organisation's programmes, PYP, MYP and Diploma (although does not have a Diploma cohort, so beware their website giving an average Diploma score - it is an average for all GEMS schools). With a current student body of around 160, the school can accommodate 900.
Institut Monte Rosa
57 avenue Chillon
Tel: +41 21 965 4545
Fax: +41 21 965 4546
Originally founded in 1874, this very small specialised school has been run by the Gademann family since the 1960's. Think Swiss finishing school, although it is now co-ed. It offers small classes to help international students gain entry to US colleges and therefore awards a US High School diploma only.