History and Mission


' I am sure that my husband would have wished to be associated with a foundation which will be of such benefit to the British Community in Milan. I wish the School every success in carrying out the ideals of service on which it has been founded.'  Lady Hedwig Henderson

In 1969 the Sir James Henderson British School of Milan was established to offer a British-style education to the international expatriate community in the city. From humble beginnings with only a handful of students, the School today has grown to over 700 pupils drawn from around forty nationalities.


BSM Mission Statement

To inspire learning within a caring, creative and international community, to pursue excellence, and to challenge students to think critically as they prepare for the world beyond.


The British School of Milan was founded in 1969 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation to serve the ex-patriate English-speaking community in Milan from nursery to university. The BSM – formerly the Sir James Henderson School – has continued to serve the British expatriate community but also to educate the more internationally-minded Italian community in the city.

The BSM has the distinction of being one of Italy’s longest established British international schools.  A tradition of innovation and excellence has seen the school extend its constituency across the whole of Milan, with an international cohort of students comprising around 40 different nationalities and a strong, supportive network of parents and ‘Friends’.

The school now offers a rigorous British curriculum in English for pupils from the age of 3 to 18.

Class-sizes are small, and the campus affords a safe, well-located environment in which to learn and play. The school enjoys a world-wide reputation as a centre of excellence and as a flagship within Italy for the International Baccalaureate.

The school aims to continue its excellent record of academic achievement, pastoral care and co-curricular opportunity. Academic excellence is achieved by bright, motivated students, inspired by highly qualified and dedicated teachers in well-resourced classrooms. Academic staff are almost all UK-trained, and the teaching style is progressive.  A professional team of tutors and Key Stage Heads ensures that our pupils are happy and receive expert care and support, while the mutual respect shared by students and staff helps to generate an atmosphere of tremendous friendliness.  Pupils participate in a wide variety of sports and the performing arts. Music and Art are particularly strong, and the quality of the choirs across the school is extraordinary. 

Every pupil is encouraged to be creative, curious, critically aware, and to develop his or her passions and talents to the full.  While distinctively modern and forward-looking, the school continues to value its alumni, who return for regular concerts, and whose presence is strongly felt in related social media.   

The school’s international outlook promotes the principles of tolerance and open-mindedness. A tradition of service and local and international charity projects advances a core set of values across the student body. Ambitious but principled, confident and compassionate, our pupils are prepared for leadership in an ever more complex world.

All of our Sixth Formers pursue the International Baccalaureate, a programme the school has delivered for a decade. The diploma represents the best preparation for university and for work in a world of global competition.  Students leave the BSM to study a wide range of courses at top universities in the UK, the US and elsewhere. They do so equipped with the skills and personal qualities necessary for a happy and successful life.



The school affirms the pursuit of excellence in the following core aims:
To provide the highest quality of teaching and learning
To offer a broad, balanced and rigorous curriculum
To reliably measure progress and record achievement
To provide first-rate pastoral care
To offer a rich, varied and attractive co-curricular programme
To develop the school’s infrastructure so that it is fit for purpose
To foster a strong sense of community involving students, staff, parents and alumni
50th Anniversary Year
Awarded the Highest Rating of 'Excellent' by UK Government Inspectors
Outstanding IB & IGCSE Results
International Entry to Top Universities

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World-Class Teaching and Learning
Breakfast & After-School Care Club


UK Trained and Qualified Staff
107 After-School Activities


Students From Over 40 Countries
Creating Leaders
The Only Not-For-Profit British School in Milan
Inspiring Creativity
50 Years of Learning Together