Dr Helen Wright is an internationally recognised leading educator and educational advisor. She has taught at and headed some of the UK's leading schools for over 20 years and until 2014 was the Head of Ascham School, Sydney, one of Australia's leading schools. Previously, she led St Mary's Calne in Wiltshire, UK, for nearly a decade. During this time, and subsequently, she has created a significant portfolio of international education strategy roles, including a number of non-executive directorships. Since 2014 she has been deeply involved in developing new international schools in regions across the globe, as a Founding Partner in Global Thought Leadership. She is also an Associate at LSC Education, helping to recruit exceptional school leaders.
Dr Wright is one of the few educators worldwide with deeply rooted school experience and international networks who is actively contributing to the international arena of education development. Her recent activity has included a collaborative Australian-Chinese-UK university project in Melbourne, and international schools work in Asia and the UK. She also chairs the Research Group into Exchanges and Training at the World Leading Schools’ Association.
She has also spoken at education conferences and events around the world; in the last few years, she has spoken in the USA, China and Australia as well as in the UK at events like the Independent Schools' Show, the Wellington College Top Girls' Conference and the IDPE and ISBI conferences. In 2015 she is speaking at conferences in the USA, the Netherlands and the UK, on topics ranging from international opportunities for schools to how to engage young people in technology.
In 2011, she represented the leading UK independent girls’ schools as President of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA). During her high-profile year, she represented the interests of over 200 of the UK’s top schools and, as well as speaking out in favour of girls’ education and the importance of a holistic approach to education, she also campaigned against social issues such as the premature sexualisation of young children.
For the first time, she linked the GSA with charities and worked on behalf of the Prince’s Trust project for young women in business and on behalf of the international charity Plan UK, campaigning for a better education for girls worldwide. She visited a Plan UK project in Bangladesh during her presidential year and continues to campaign for Plan, a charity which has become close to her heart.
She was also awarded the prestigious Tatler School Awards’ ‘Best Head of a Public School’ for 2010-2011. She is a Board Member of the Oxford University Society Board and is a Trustee-Director on a number of Boards, including the Dalton Foundation in Hong Kong, the English-Speaking Union in Scotland and two education-related technology start-up companies. She is a previous Vice-Chair of the UK Independent Schools’ Council and a former Council Member of the Association of School and College Leaders.
Dr Wright was born in Scotland, educated in the state sector and went on to Oxford University to study Modern and Medieval Languages. After training as a teacher, she experienced a rapid rise in the education world, teaching at co-educational and boys’ schools and was appointed to the headship of her first girls’ school, Heathfield in Ascot, at the age of just 30, making her one of the youngest ever appointed public school heads.
At St Mary's Calne, she was instrumental in developing the school's enviable reputation not only for its exemplary academic standards, but for the all-round quality of its education and its excellent pastoral care.
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