British boarding schools are regarded as safer than those in the US or Australia as the global pandemic continues, independent school leaders have told the TES.

Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), said that interest was growing among families of overseas pupils in China about boarding in the UK, because of the "serious" nature of the pandemic elsewhere.

“I’ve spoken to agents in China this week who said that there’s growing interest in students coming back to the United Kingdom," he said.

"And that’s partly because quite a lot of them actually went to schools in America and Australia, where Covid is still quite serious.

"It’s still quite serious in the UK as well – but if there was no Covid in America then the situation would no doubt be worse for us."

Chris King, chief executive of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools, told the website that overseas families felt the UK government had handled the pandemic positively in comparison with the USA.

"I’ve had a number of conversations with heads in Hong Kong and they tell me that the parental perspective of how the UK – how the English government – has handled the coronavirus period is actually quite a positive one.

"We get the impression within these four shores that it’s pretty negative, the job that Boris [Johnson] has done, and the rest of the government team. But I think the view from outside, elsewhere is rather different…actually there is quite a positive perspective about the UK, which is a good thing.

"And then we benefit because of the negative perception of what’s happened in other areas, notably North America.”