Mr Blaikie, you recently shared with us a little of your personal and professional background. Now can we ask what led you to take up the post of Principal at Regents International School Pattaya?
“Choosing the right school and even the right country was quite a challenge. Having worked on several joint projects in China I wondered if I might land in a school in somewhere like Shenzhen or Hong Kong but have always been slightly daunted by the dense crowded cities and by the large scale of some of the schools. I was nearly tempted by an international school in Vietnam and some interesting offers came from the Middle East but once I had visited Regents International School Pattaya in February, I felt that I had found a happy school with high standards in an attractive setting with excellent staff and an impressive management team in place. I also find an affinity with the Thai people and culture which I hope to develop. I look forward to exploring this colourful and vibrant country where I feel to have been made so welcome. It is worth saying too that the warm relationship I have established with Nord Anglia Education has also been a key factor for me. Nord Anglia Education is a well-established and leading genuine organisation and their passion for education along with their outstanding professionalism have been key factors in my choice of school. I look forward to working closely with them and all of the other successful Nord Anglia Education principals across the world.”
You mentioned your visit to Regents International School Pattaya in February. What were your first impressions of our school and campus?
“Regents appears to be a very busy place where every child matters and people are all pulling in the same direction. There is a genuine sense of teamwork and a communal desire to make it an uplifting place to work and study. Staff are good-humoured and child-centred as well as well qualified and keen supporters of the school’s ethos. It has always been my mission to ensure that any school I am associated with is a happy and stimulating environment where learning is fun and it is perfectly acceptable to succeed; mistakes made can be made without fear of mockery and they can even aid learning. My instincts are all telling me that I have found such a place in Regents. Of course I am looking forward to encountering the wider remit of the school and learning all about Round Square and the holistic dimension of the school’s offer. Good communications and relationships with the school’s parent body as well as with the numerous community partners will also be critical for me, too. I enjoyed meeting several parents on my recent visit and look forward to getting to know many more as I settle into my post. I also think I will enjoy living on site and seeing the boarding houses flourish. I hope that the current refurbishment programme will herald further growth in this aspect of the school and I hope to see even more young people attracted to this thriving dimension of the school. It really is a lovely setting in which to live as well as a place to work and study for adults and students alike.”
We are equally as excited about your start in August! Will you be accompanied by family?
“Although I have 3 children of my own they will not be coming to Pattaya as they are grown up and through school age. Tom is a medical writer in London. He went to Shakespeare’s old school in Stratford-upon-Avon then Oxford University and now lives in London. Hannah attended my school then went to Cambridge University and drama school before becoming a professional actress in London. Will is completing his final A Level year at my school before heading to university and is a keen zoologist. No doubt they will be visiting in due course. I will be moving to Regents with my partner Dr Awelani Moyo whom we hope will be very much a part of the school community. She is originally from Zimbabwe and has been a lecturer in Performance Studies and fellow at Warwick University for several years. She is also looking forward to meeting everybody and I am sure that she will be given a warm welcome. We are both busily packing away life in England and full of hopes for our new life in Thailand which has so many opportunities and possibilities. In addition to the sunnier warmer climate there is a wealth of new places to visit and discover. I aim to be a lifelong learner and to encourage others by example. I intend to work hard to make this post my most successful of all and I thank in anticipation all of the people who support me in my endeavours.”