Last week I attended the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Heads' Business Meeting in Taipei. Thirty-four Heads of FOBISIA schools from around Asia were in attendance at the wonderful campus of TES, Taipei European School. The Heads' Business Meeting is held twice a year and is hosted by different schools each time.
Whilst many items of FOBISIA business were covered over the course of the 2-day meeting, of most interest to me were those relating to new schools joining the federation and the evolving nature of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for staff in our schools.
Schools wishing to join FOBISIA - and there are approximately 10 with active applications at present - must go through a rigorous vetting process which includes a school-site visit by two members of the FOBISIA Executive Committee. Not all schools are successful in their application for a variety of reasons but those who are successful are warmly welcomed by the existing member schools. I particularly enjoyed the presentation from the Head of the English School of Mongolia, which has to be one of the most exotic and interesting locations of a FOBISIA school at present. Another Nord Anglia Education school was also welcomed to FOBISIA, The British School of Beijing, Santilun.
As the federation expands it is important to find different ways to ensure the staff in our respective schools can enjoy the benefits of working in a FOBISIA school in terms of relevant, timely and effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Already many staff attend JAWS - Job Alike Workshops - in different regions in Asia, hosted be a range of schools on topics requested by teachers in the Federation. The CPD committee is also exploring a range of online options to enable ‘virtual’ sharing of best practice to take place as well as an ambitious FOBISIA Teacher Conference for 2015.
Nonie Adams - Head of Primary at Regents International School Pattaya