Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
22 May, 2024

Professional learning at Nord Anglia offers "learning experiences like no other"

Learning experiences like no other - Learning experiences like no other
Let's explore how colleagues are helping to foster a culture of professional learning, with insights from Arielle Alley, a Programme Manager on the Education Team.

Who are you, what’s your role, and how long have you been at Nord Anglia?

My name is Arielle Alley and I’ve been with Nord Anglia for two and a half years. My role is Leadership Programme Manager, so I operate our Middle Leadership Programme, our Senior Leadership Programme, and our bespoke Executive Master’s in International Education with King's College London. I also co-lead our eco initiatives through the Eco Schools programme.

What does good professional learning look like to you?

Good professional learning needs to be autonomous and accessible. It should intrigue, engage, and really encourage a desire for you to learn even more. I believe it also helps when leaders empower our learning with us, and when we can develop collaboratively with others to achieve collective goals, much like how a school would do with their overall continuous professional development strategy.

For me, participating in the Middle Leadership Programme was a catalyst for my professional learning journey. I gained so much more from the course beyond just the content in the modules and the residential. I found the theme of reflection to be so powerful for not only facing my own fears, barriers, and challenges, but also how I can flip those to create actions that will help me reach my goals. I also loved connecting with other school-based and functional colleagues on the programme—this gave me a more global perspective of leadership, which encouraged me to start reading books on leadership and to think about how to navigate cultural differences, which is incredibly relevant for my role.

Why do you think it’s important to invest time in professional learning?

It's important because we all have the potential to improve, and I don't necessarily mean that in a hierarchical sense. We all use systems, technologies, and strategies in our work, and we all lead or share our own expertise in some way. To keep evolving, it’s important to keep developing our skills and to dive a bit deeper into our understanding of our function. Education is innovating so quickly, so why not take advantage of the latest research and training, or engage with other communities?

Our mission is to be the most forward-thinking, technology-enabled educators in the world, using our global reach and world-class teachers to create a learning experience like no other. I really believe professional learning is how we can create those learning experiences like no other, both for our students and for each other.

How do you collaborate with your colleagues to help foster a culture of professional learning?

I think collaboration comes about by sharing learning and growth opportunities with others on my team. For instance, we have Learning Experience Designers on the Education Team creating content on both NAU and GC. I’m leaning on their expertise and collaborating with them to redesign and innovate the learning on the platform to make our content even more engaging.

More broadly, I’m teaming up with other leadership programme managers and hope to collaborate with experts to share insights, tools, strategies, and analyses to make a greater impact and create a strong leadership community. In my view, collaboration is key to fostering a culture of professional learning.

What trends within the education space are you keeping an eye on?


One big thing for me, with my prior experience as an English language tutor online, is accessibility. Accessibility not only through multilingualism, but also through challenges that students face with seeing, hearing, or speaking. I’m looking into ways to apply accessibility systems to our platforms at Nord Anglia.

I’m also really excited about language acquisition. I want to make sure we're supporting students and colleagues globally, celebrating their mother languages, and giving them the resources they need to study or learn other languages.

And then there’s what we're doing around neurodiversity. The Education Team is working with subject matter experts from within our global family to highlight the unique ways we learn, develop, socialise, and interact. What does this mean for neurotypical and neurodivergent students and colleagues, and how we can best support and learn from each other to build our amazing community?