As the dust settles on the Brexit debate, and the UK prepares to shift its relationship with Europe, it is worth taking time to reflect on the very positive stories of British engagement in the wider world, and this is especially true of British education in international schools across the globe. English-medium international schools educated almost 4 million children worldwide in 2015 – a figure that is set to rise to over 8 million by 2025 – and of these schools, over 40% taught a UK-based curriculum. Around 125 of these schools have already undergone the voluntary British Schools Overseas inspection, instituted by the UK Department for Education recently, in 2014, as a quality brandmark, and more are following swiftly in their footsteps. A British education is highly sought after.
And this, of course, is why British international schools are worth celebrating. I am delighted to be part of the prestigious judging panel for the British International Schools Awards 2017, as these awards were set up specifically in order to recognise excellence in British schools overseas, to celebrate the success of the sector and – a natural by-product of celebrating success – to help set benchmarks in best practice. The categories for these awards are:
- Strategic Initiative of the Year
- Financial Initiative of the Year
- Senior Leadership Team of the Year
- Governing Body of the Year
- Community Initiative of the Year
- Pastoral Care Initiative of the Year
- Teaching Initiative of the Year
- Marketing Initiative of the Year
- IT Initiative of the Year
- International Impact award
- Lifetime award
- New British International School of the Year (under three years)
and in addition, there is an overall award for the British International School of the Year 2017, which will be chosen by judges from one of the winners of the first ten categories. The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2016, and the presentations will be made at a gala event on 23 January in London at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden.
At the close of one school year, and in preparation for the next, and in amongst the many political turbulences of the moment, the time is absolutely right for British international schools to reflect on their many, many achievements. They are leading the way in global education, and we should celebrate them.
If you are a British International School and would like to enter for one of these awards, the application form can be found here. Good luck!