"COBIS" Annual Conference in London

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Last week, your headmaster attended the Annual Conference of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) in London. As you may know, we are already a Compliance Member of COBIS. This means that our processes and practices are in line with the best of British schools, in the UK and overseas. We are now working towards Patron's Accreditation with COBIS. This will give us the official status of a British School Overseas (BSO).

For those who are interested in such things, by the way, the Patron of COBIS is His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York.

The conference was at the Intercontinental Hotel at the O2 centre, in London's redeveloped Docklands, opposite the financial district of Canary Wharf. COBIS has been in existence, in various forms for around 40 years. It is now the largest and most important of British International Schools organisations. It has influence with the British Government and works to promote British education in association with the UK Department of Trade.

Around 280 headmasters and headmistresses from all over the world attended the conference. It was good to bump into old friends from other locations (Mr. Morgan from Amsterdam - we first met in Brazil - and Mr. Stevens from Malaysia, for example) and to make new friends too. The theme of the conference was (appropriately for schools) not so much "What kind of world are we leaving our children?" but "What kind of preparation are we giving our children to run the world?" and there were many distinguished speakers to stimulate the networking conversations that took place. You can follow the programme yourself at www.cobis.org.uk/cpd/annualconference.

Naturally, I came away with lots of ideas for the development of this school as we continue our progress towards Patron's Accreditation.

After the conference, I visited our partner schools in the UK, Badminton School in Bristol and Lambrook School in Surrey. I also visited Highfield School in Surrey, which is where one of next year's members of staff is currently working. Both schools received me well and were generous with their time. It was excellent to have some time to get to know the heads of those schools better - Rebecca Tear at Badminton and Jonathan Perry at Lambrook. We are working on some interesting collaborations with both places.

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