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Our Principal Writes: Nord Anglia University & Professional Learning for Staff

21 November 2014

The week before last I wrote about the great benefit we derive from being part of the Nord Anglia Education (NAE) group of schools in terms of recruiting high quality teachers and school leaders.

Another important strength that comes from being part of the world’s leading premium schools organisation, is the support and security that it provides. When teachers decide to move overseas one of the main concerns they have is job security. Nord Anglia Education is a large well-founded and very well-established organisation with a reputation for providing high quality education around the world. This gives potential staff peace of mind and security when moving overseas and looking at prospective employers.

Another important part of the appeal of NAE as an employer is our commitment to the training and developing of staff. Our growing family of schools (presently 31 schools) provides potential career development for Nord Anglia staff with opportunities advertised internally across the schools and it has been tremendous to see the successful development of BISS Puxi staff in other NAE schools. Mrs Lesley Ann Wallace, former Head of Primary at BISS Puxi is currently Principal of BISAD and will soon be returning to Shanghai to lead the team at BISS Pudong. Ms Lisa Milanec, Principal of the British School of Beijing, Sanlitun Campus was previously Deputy Head and Acting Head of BISS Puxi Primary. These are just two examples of the career opportunities that the organisation provides for staff.

The group is also unique in having its own Education Department based in Oxford and led by our Director of Education Professor Deborah Eyre. She is a world renowned expert in education for gifted and talented students, and our High Performance Learning (HPL) approach to education is derived from her research. The NAE Education Department is at the heart of the ongoing development of our educational provision and it monitors the performance of the schools. Only this week, we have had a visit from Deputy Director of Education Mark Orrow Whiting with whom we have been looking at our academic performance and the reviews we have been undertaking of our curriculum provision.

One of the department’s other key functions is the provision of continuous professional development for staff which it supports mainly through the Nord Anglia University (NAU) which has a rich and growing selection of courses both online and residential. They provide staff with induction as well as introductions to important elements of our work such as Child Protection and English as an Additional Language (EAL). There are in fact HPL study courses in all major academic subject areas. The NAU also provides leadership development programmes at middle, senior and executive level supported by external partners like the Windsor Leadership Trust.

As with all good learning environments, the NAU is also focussed on research. The NAU has a number of teaching fellows including our own Head of Maths Mr Martin Brown. These fellows are selected as a result of their outstanding work in their subject area. They undertake professional enquiries and, drawing on this and their expertise in teaching and subject leadership, they lead and develop the teaching of the subject across the group of schools. The online Global Staffroom, regular subject teachers’ forums and the annual regional conferences (the China Regional Conference was held in Beijing this Friday 14 November) are all further opportunities that are available to staff to help them develop their teaching and their ability to help the students in our care to thrive and fulfil their potential.

It is not difficult to see why so many great teachers are so keen to join Nord Anglia Education. We really do have a lot to offer in terms of peace of mind, career opportunities and professional development and learning.  

Kevin Foyle, Principal