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  • The British International School of Cairo (BISC)
    The British International School - Cairo
    P.O. Box 137
    Gezira
    Cairo
    EG
  • T 20 2 3827 0444
  • F 20 2 3857 1720
  • E info@bisc.edu.eg
  • W www.bisc.edu.eg
  • Memberships: British Schools in Middle East (BSME) Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS), Council of British International Schools (COBIS), Association of Governing Bodies in Independent Schools (AGBIS) European Council of International Schools (ECIS).
  • State/Independent: Independent: private non-profit
  • Lower School Ages: 3-11
  • Lower School Sexes: Co-ed
  • Lower School Numbers: 540 pupils in lower and middle schools (ages 3-11)
  • Senior School Ages: 11-18
  • Senior School Sexes: Co-ed
  • Senior School Numbers: 360 pupils in the senior school (sixth form: 45)
  • Teaching Language: English
  • SEN: SEN considered case by case
  • Boarding: Not available
  • Uniform: Yes
  • Fee Currency: Pounds sterling
  • Fee Details: One-time Registration Fee: £100 Admission Fee: Ranges from £2,438 for F1 to £3,367 for Year 10 & 11 (no fee for Year 12 & 13) One-time Supply Fee (non-refundable): £900 Refundable deposit: £2,000 for first child, £1,000 for second or subsequent child (possible to pay in £500 installments) TUITION (For each of 3 Terms): F1: £2,438; F2-Y6: £2,862; Middle: Y7-9: 3,316; Y 10-11: £3,367; IB: £3,570
  • Fee Extras: BUS Yearbook: £15 Meals, School Trips
  • Religion: Non-denominational

GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)

International Baccalaureate (Diploma) - Schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB Dip) prepare students for university entrance by following the IB programme over the final two years of high school. This involves taking six subjects (three at higher level and three at standard level). Assessment is based on a combination of final examinations and course work that are evaluated by external examiners worldwide, and (in some cases for coursework) by internal assessment. IB examinations for each subject are held on the same days for all students worldwide - in May in the Northern Hemisphere and in October in the case of most Southern Hemisphere schools. Each subject is scored from 1-7, and up to 3 additional points may be awarded for TOK (Theory of Knowledge) essays and for the Extended Essay. A minimum of 24 points is required to obtain the IB diploma, while 45 points is the maximum. A school that has 35 diploma candidates in a given year, out of which 32 passed, has a pass rate of 91%. You can judge the results for yourself by knowing that the world average pass rate is approximately 82%. (Pupils may also opt to take certificates in the individual subject areas, though these on their own may be insufficient for university entry.)

National Curriculum for England

Authorised by International Baccalaureate Organization (not to be confused as an inspection or accreditation agency) - International Baccaulareate Organization (by contrast to the US Education turtle of a website, this one goes like a jet and has everything you're looking for right at your fingertips. We know this is a schools guide, but we couldn't help noticing...) The IBO has a very strong system for setting up IB schools and making sure they get off to a good start, but thereafter do not particularly inspect or certify those schools (although they do continue to keep a close eye on schools using their Primary and Middle Years curricula). Instead, they feel the results speak for themselves. Therefore, parents should look at an IB school's exam results and numbers of students qualifying for the IB Diploma: if those numbers are poor or dropping, take a much closer look. If a school is an IB candidate, that's a good sign....but not if it's been a candidate for a decade. Good IB exam and Diploma results do not in themselves tell you about the feel of the school or whether it's right for your child, and no one is looking into every cranny in the same way an American accreditation or Ofsted inspection officer does (not only the academics but also the governance and financial stabilty of a school). But if scores look good, and you like the buzz of the school, there's a good chance you'll find a rigorous programme that will allow a fairly seamless transition from one IB school to another. That is, before the final two year IB Diploma programme. It is very important to note that, in spite of similarities within the curriculum, the two year course is usually regarded by schools as being fairly monolithic. In other words, not made up of identical sequential parts that students can pop in and out of, from school to school, at will. Be aware that the IBO exists to set up curriculum and protocols and they are very good at what they do, but counseling or guiding parents trying to make this transition is not part of their brief.

Council of British International Schools (COBIS) - COBIS is a member of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and offers British accreditation internationally. As a condition of membership, COBIS schools must undergo a statutory inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). ISI is the body approved by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for the purpose of inspecting independent schools in ISC under Section 162 of the Education Act 2002. Following a successful ISI inspection, COBIS is able to confer formal accreditation on its member schools worldwide. To confirm whether a school is actually accredited by COBIS, or has been inspected by ISI, you may check their member school directories (COBIS international schools) (ISI School Report Search), and may click on the school's link to read the report.

Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) - Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) is a highly reputable membership organization that, in the UK, requires schools to have been inspected by an independent agency (usually ISI, aside from Ofsted reports) as a condition of membership. In the case of schools outside of the UK, member schools are required to have been inspected by a legitimate inspectorate or accreditation organisation (ie ISI, CIS etc) or to have been inspected by a trained inspector (ISI-trained or Ofsted-trained). Although attentive readers will know we are often skeptical of so-called "Ofsted-trained inspectors" (since outside of the UK there is no guarantee the person under contract has any such qualifications) or their reports (which- no matter how expert and well-trained the inspector, other countries are not required by law to keep in the original form, and schools may feel perfectly free to delete unattractive sections or add in glowing bits about themselves), we do believe one can rely on both inspectors and reports in this case (and in the school's less likely inclination to corrupt said reports), because IAPS eyeballs the reports themselves as part of that condition for membership. If the report does not pass muster or no inspection report exists, IAPS conduct their own thorough Diagnostic Review Visit (largely with ISI-trained inspectors), and that report then goes before the IAPS Membership committee for approval. Therefore schools coming out the other side can be said to have been well and properly inspected. IAPS "is also seeking to agree arrangements for regular re-inspections, so that it can ensure accreditation standards are maintained on an on-going basis". This should ensure schools keep their socks up to stay in IAPS' good books.

Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) (DfE BSO approved) - Independent Schools Inspectorate - One of six inspection providers that have been approved to inspect under the British Schools Overseas programme. According to the UK Dept of Education website, to be recognised by the Department for Education, "a British school overseas must have an inspection report which shows that their performance against all the standards is at least satisfactory. This reflects the standards required for continuing registration as a school in England. Schools meeting the standards will have their inspection reports published on the Department's website and will be allocated a unique reference number on the national school reference system, Edubase". A map on this link shows the locality of each British school overseas which has been inspected under the Department's inspection scheme. Individual inspection reports are available to download via the school location pins on the map.

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