About Us

The School

The British School, founded in 1924, is a non-profit, independent and co-educational day school located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Our school aims to give students a broad, balanced, relevant, and differentiated educational experience. The educational philosophy and practice is primarily British in nature with international and Brazilian elements incorporated where appropriate. Our students acquire both Brazilian (Ensino Fundamental and Ensino Médio) and international qualifications. It has an international enrolment of over 2100 students from more than 60 different nationalities ranging from the ages of 2 to 18 years. Our programme of study is delivered in English and is based on the UK National Curriculum and the IPC programmes (for 2 to 14 year olds), Cambridge IGCSE examinations (for 14 to 16 year olds) and the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (for 16 to 18 year olds). This table shows a comparison of The British School year groups with the British, American and Brazilian systems.

In recognition of our location and host country we integrate aspects of Brazilian culture, language and education into our programme which ultimately fulfils the requirements of the Brazilian Diploma. Our graduating students enter universities and colleges around the world, principally in the UK, North America, and Europe and, of course, Brazil.

The school provides a caring and friendly, although demanding, learning environment and makes every effort to ensure that each individual has the opportunity to develop their particular talents to the full. The emphasis on academic achievement is balanced by our concern to meet our students’ physical, emotional and social needs and to ensure that they are prepared for active and well balanced citizenship. Personal development and social responsibility are an integral part of our educational programme. The highest value is placed on good social behaviour and moral standards in which respect for the individual and the environment are paramount.

We want our students to be happy in school and we hope that their school experience will be fondly and warmly remembered for life. We believe that this can be achieved through providing high expectations, clear guidelines and limits, offering constant encouragement, attending to individual needs and providing opportunities for our students to participate in a wide variety of enjoyable activities – social, sporting and cultural.

Ownership and Governance

The school is owned by the Associação Britânica de Educação (ABE) which is the current body of parents of British and Commonwealth nationality. The Board of Governors is composed of: parents elected from and by the ABE; co-opted members; and ex-officio representatives of the British community. Executive authority is delegated to the Director and to the Brazilian Director.

School Roll

The school has approximately 2160 pupils. Of these, some 60% are Brazilian, 20% are Brazilian-dual nationals, and the other 20% are from a wide range of other countries. Over sixty nationalities are represented, including most European and/or British Common Wealth. Several Latin American countries and some North American, Asian and African counties are also represented in the student body.

Health, Safety and Security

In all school services and routines and on all school premises, the highest priority is placed on health, safety and security. The school’s main focus in the area of health, safety and security is prevention. The broader issues of student discipline and behaviour as well as Personal, Social and Health Education are a fundamental factor in prevention. Likewise, the support of parents, staff and of the wider community are of paramount importance to ensure that all policies and procedures are understood and respected.

A Health and Safety Committee formed by members of staff and parents is responsible for reviewing policies and procedures and checking that daily practices are conforming to the established guidelines. A regular report on health, safety and security issues is made to The Board of Governors.


The British School is an Associate Member of the Council of International Schools (CIS, former ECIS) and earned the prestigious CIS Award of Accreditation in 1999. This status was reconfirmed in 2002 following the required five-year inspection, and then in 2008 after the Ten Years Re-Accreditation process; and in 2017 the second Ten Years Re-Accreditation process. The Urca Site and the Barra Unit are also affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). The school’s Director is a member of the Latin American Heads Conference (LAHC), an association of schools reflecting British practice in Latin America. The school is accredited by the State Council for Education of Rio de Janeiro as a regular school under the local Education Authority.

School Development

The British School has a very strong commitment to ongoing improvement and development. We believe that present and future students are the direct beneficiaries of all past contributions from members of our community.

On enrolment, the parents of all new students contribute towards the school’s Development Fund via the Entrance Fee payment. The fund also receives private and corporate donations throughout the year and during fund-raising campaigns. All major development projects are financed by this fund.

Future development of the school is outlined in the “Ten-Year Strategic Plan” which is reviewed annually. Detailed Five-Year Plans for the development of the curriculum and other important areas of school organisation are also reviewed annually. A set of Main Goals are established each year by the Board of Governors to guide specific and focused development.