October 2014 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - October 2014
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In This Issue:

1.   Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2.   Dates For Your Diaries
3.   New COBIS Member Schools
4.   School Member News
5.   COBIS Student Competitions & Events
6.   Professional Development
7.   COBIS Webinars
8.   News from COBIS Schools Around the World   
9.   Supporting Member News
10. Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

As you know, quality assurance and the attainment of high standards are integral driving forces in any successful school or educational institution. COBIS, as the premium global association for British schools overseas, is no different. Following review by the COBIS Membership Committee and ratification by the COBIS Board, this week we were delighted to announced that COBIS school membership has surpassed the 200 mark. Whilst together we have every reason to be proud of this achievement, and whilst our association is growing, please rest assured that the high standards and strict criteria which is required for COBIS membership is not being diluted.

In addition to the COBIS 3 year quality assurance cycle for Member and Candidate Schools, thank you to senior leaders from all COBIS schools that have completed or are working towards completion of their Child Protection and Safer Recruitment training courses. This mandatory requirement for membership highlights the shared commitment of COBIS schools to Safeguarding which is of unequivocal importance and which binds our schools together.

In addition to welcoming new schools, supporting members and staff to COBIS membership, October sees the launch of our new online research project, in partnership with GL Education. This research will help COBIS develop more detailed information about our network and help COBIS to provide members with improved services. We therefore encourage all members to participate in this research project, the results of which will be shared with you later in the year.

Kind regards,
Colin Bell

Dates for Your Diaries

COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers, and HR Staff - Last chance to book
17-18 October 2014 - Geneva English School, Switzerland

COBIS/King's Group Student Leadership Weekend
17-19 October 2014 - King's College, Madrid, Spain 

COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support StaffLast Chance to Book

Leadership at all Levels – Unlocking Potential Throughout the School Community
20-21 October 2014 - The British School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


COBIS Governor's Training Day - Last Chance to Book
20 October 2014 - The British School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

COBIS Pupil-Centred Pastoral Care Conference -  Deadline Approaching
7-8 November 2014 - The British School of Bucharest, Romania

Teachable Moments - The Key to Success in the Early Years - Booking Now Open
EYFS Training Days, in association with COBIS
3 January 2015 (Teachers and Leaders) and 5 January 2015 (TAs and Support Staff)
Rainbow International School, Kampala, Uganda

COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme
2-3 March 2015 (Middle Leaders 28 February – 3 March 2015)
St Catherine’s British School, Greece

COBIS Conference for Teachers and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme 
Future Learners – The Challenge of a New Environment
20-21 March 2015 (Middle Leaders 19-22 March 2015)
The British School of Beijing, China

COBIS Conference for Teachers, Leaders and Support Staff
Students Taking Ownership of their Learning
16-17 April 2015

Grange School, Nigeria

COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff
Stakeholder Engagement: the Past, the Present and the Prospective
23-24 April 2015

Dubai College, United Arab Emirates

34th COBIS Annual Conference

9-11 May 2015
Park Plaza Hotel, London

New COBIS Member Schools

COBIS Announces Significant Growth in Membership

COBIS is delighted to announce significant growth in our membership network with 17 new COBIS member schools approved at last week's COBIS Membership Committee meeting. COBIS now represents 200 quality assured school members in 60 countries and more than 160 commercial supporting members.

COBIS would like to congratulate the following quality British international schools which have joined us in September 2014 and welcome all staff into COBIS membership:

New COBIS Accredited Member Schools
GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, Dubai, UAE
GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai, UAE
GEMS Wellington Primary School, Dubai, UAE

New COBIS Member Schools
Al Khor international School, Qatar
British School Muscat, Sultanate of Oman 
Braeburn Mombasa International School, Kenya

Britannica International School Budapest, Hungary
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa, Mallorca
Baleares International College, Palma, Mallorca
Cedec International Secondary School, Nigeria 
Divine Royal International School, Nkpor, Nigeria
GEMS Royal Dubai School, Dubai, UAE
Salwa Infant School, Kuwait

New COBIS Candidate Schools
British International School of the University of Lodz, Poland
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong
Seven Hills International School, Romania

COBIS Candidate School to COBIS Member
COBIS would also like to congratulate the British International School of Tunis which has moved from COBIS Candidate School to COBIS Member following a successful application made to the COBIS Membership Committee.

School Member News

COBIS Member Schools - Staff Changes 

COBIS is pleased to welcome the following new staff in COBIS schools. We look forward to working with you.

Alexandra House School, Mauritius
Headmistress - Ingrid Koenig 
Bridget Langlois retired in July

Jerudong International School
Acting Head - Barnaby Sandow

King's College, Madrid
Headmaster - Andrew Rattue

Oporto British School
Headmaster - Tom McGrath

Rainbow International School
Head of Secondary - Jason Lewis

Rygaards International School
Head of Secondary - Nigel Fossey 

St George’s International School, Luxembourg
Head of Primary - Claire Nuttall
Click here for more information

St Saviour's School, Ikoyi
Head of School after half term - Craig Heaton

The British School, Warsaw
Principal - Dr John Kennard

COBIS reminds all member schools to notify us of changes to their administrative and senior leadership staff. This will help us stay up to date with all important contacts and make it easier to facilitate dialogue with the appropriate person in each school.

To inform us of any changes, please email Fiona Rogers - cpd@cobis.org.uk


The British School in the Netherlands - CEO and Principal 
At the end of the academic year Dr Martin Coles will retire from The British School in the Netherlands after seven years as CEO and Principal. Please click here to see a letter from Dr Coles to colleagues interested in applying for this position.

This vacancy is also advertised on the COBIS website here.

Society of Heads - General Secretary

The General Secretary is responsible to the Committee of the Society for the smooth running of all aspects of the Society. The Society of Heads is one of the five Heads' associations affiliated to the Independent Schools Council and has around 100 schools in membership.

The successful candidate will take up the post on 1st September, 2015. For more information click here.

Prospect of International A-Levels 

Jo Puddy Wells, Principal at The British School of Bucharest, would like to reach out to other British International schools with the following query:

"I am writing concerning the upcoming changes to A-Levels in the UK and hope to identify the response of schools in a similar position to ourselves to the prospect of the International A-Level qualification.

 A-Level reforms in the UK will present us with linear qualifications and a removal of the AS status as a 50% staging post into a stand-alone qualification to encourage breadth of study and to be declared upfront. CIE and Pearson (Edexcel) have broadened the availability of their International A-Level qualification, seemingly or at least partly in response to this. This latter qualification retaining the AS/A2 structure of current A-Levels and allowing for some modular re-takes and available to students outside of the UK.
My understanding is that UK universities, whilst initially slow to back the International A-Level have now confirmed recognition of the qualification. It will be seen as equivalent to the AS and A Levels taken by learners in the UK, and as such accepted for entrance to all UK universities.
We are considering switching all of our A-Level courses to International A-Levels from September 2015. Are you taking a similar route and adopting International A-Levels or continuing with A-Levels despite the changes that will be enforced?"

Please contact Jo Puddy-Wells with any comments on principal@britishschool.ro

The Times Educational Supplement - International Publicity Opportunity 

COBIS would like to bring to your attention an opportunity for your school to secure some international publicity through a leading UK publication. The Times Educational Supplement, which has both magazine and on-line editions, has asked David Boddy, who we know well, to develop a series of stories about British International schools. David, who initially trained as a journalist before entering education, was Chairman of the UK Society of Heads in 2012 and is an approved COBIS Consultant.

David would like to receive all of your press releases (dj.boddy@gmail.com) and news of your developments. He is particularly interested in innovative classroom initiatives and the personalities behind them. He is also willing to travel to regions to meet British International Schools in situ, but his expenses would need to be covered. This is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of your school and of the global COBIS network. Please get those stories flowing!

COBIS Schools Nominated at the Independent School of the Year Awards 2014

Two COBIS schools have been nominated for awards at the Independent School of the Year Awards 2014. Doha College in Qatar has been nominated in the category of British International School of the Year. For more information and their press release click here.  Radnor House School in Twickenham, UK, has been nominated in the Outstanding Governing Body of the Year category. 

For more information about Independent School Awards and the Awards Presentation click here

UK Department of Education Inspections for British Schools Overseas

To be recognised by the UK Department for Education (DfE), a British school overseas (BSO) must be in receipt of an inspection report carried out by one of 8 DfE approved inspectorates, monitored by Ofsted, which judges that their performance against all BSO standards is at least satisfactory. Following a successful BSO inspection, schools will be awarded COBIS Accredited Membership, and allocated a unique reference number by the DfE on the UK's national school reference system, Edubase. BSO inspected schools also qualify to deliver statutory NQT induction via a recognised provider. Please note that DfE approved BSO Inspections carry a 3-year validity period.

Contact Colin Bell, CEO with any further questions ceo@cobis.org

Child Protection & Safer Recruitment Training

COBIS Schools are reminded that Heads or nominated members of senior leadership teams in all COBIS member schools will now be required to have completed training courses related to the following two subjects, Child Protection and Safer Recruitment. You may have already completed relevant training, however if not, COBIS can advise accordingly.  

Please note that as a requirement of membership, this training requirement will need to be updated every three years. This frequency will be monitored by COBIS as a component of continual membership quality assurance. If you have already completed Child Protection and Safer Recruitment training courses, please forward relevant details to Natalie Friend – members@cobis.org.uk

Should you or a member of your senior leadership team require training, COBIS will cover the cost of online Child Protection and Safer Recruitment training courses for one member of staff at your school. This online training, provided by EduCare, will need to be completed by 31 December 2014.

To register for the Child Protection and Safer Recruitment training, please contact Fiona Rogers cpd@cobis.org.uk For more information about EduCare training courses, please visit our website.

COBIS Annual Research Survey 

On Monday 6 October 2014 COBIS will be launching a new COBIS Annual Research Survey. All COBIS Schools will be asked to take part in this new research project, delivered in partnership with GL Education. The Annual Research Survey will help us to develop a better understanding of the growing global COBIS family of schools, as well as the British International Education sector as a whole. This research will amalgamate previous COBIS research into examination results and university destinations, while also looking at assessment, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, school profile, fees, school improvement, and more. The survey will be completed via an online system (designed and maintained by GL Education) between 6 October and 24 October 2014. All responding schools will be able to access benchmarking data through tailored reports for their Senior Management Teams and Governors. All schools will receive an email from GL Education shortly with unique login details. 


Record numbers of NQTs at COBIS Schools 

COBIS is delighted to announce that 28 Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) from COBIS Schools successfully completed their induction year in COBIS Schools overseas in 2013/14, with two more due to complete at the end of this term. NQTs were based in schools in Romania, Nepal, China, Japan, Kuwait, UAE, Czech Republic, Greece, Switzerland, Qatar, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands.

More than 30 NQTs are registered to complete their induction in COBIS Schools in 2014/15, the highest number yet. Schools in Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Spain, UAE, Mongolia, Brazil, Romania, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic will welcome NQTs, with several schools offering induction for the first time.

Our photo shows Sophie Hindley, the new Drama teacher at the British School of Bucharest who is an NQT.  For more information on NQTs at COBIS Schools click here.

Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation of Private Schools 

Representatives from Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation of Private Schools visited St Mary’s University last month for a presentation from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO, and Dr Lorna Goodwin, Academic Director Enterprise and Development. The delegates were teachers and leaders from private schools in Tokyo who were visiting the UK to learn more about other systems of independent education.

International Education Council (IEC) - Schools Working Group (SWG)

Representing COBIS and in collaboration with BSME, FOBISIA, LAHC and NABSS, Colin Bell participated in the SWG which feeds into the IEC which is Chaired by The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities. With a unified voice, the associations invited to join the SWG provide evidence and guidance to support a range of lobbying activities to promote and represent the transnational export of British education and in an increasingly competitive International market place, the interests of British schools overseas. A further update relating to the next meeting of the IEC will follow in the November COBIS Connect. 

UKTI Briefing and Networking Event on the Opportunities in Qatar

COBIS CEO Colin Bell and COBIS Chairman Trevor Rowell attended a UKTI Briefing and Networking Event about opportunities in Qatar on 19 September. Colin and Trevor were joined by Mark Leppard, Principal of Doha College in Qatar, who spoke about setting-up and operating an international school in Qatar based on his experiences in the Gulf. Presentations were also made by Emily Ashwell, Managing Director of UKTI Education, and there was plenty of opportunity for networking and discussion about the growing opportunities in this region.

COBIS works closely with UKTI Education to foster global education links and promote British education overseas. COBIS supporting members are invited to access the services provided by UKTI Education as they look to grow their services internationally.

UKTI China

Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman and Colin Bell were invited to meet with the newly appointed Director of Education & Training for UKTI in China, Michael Charlton and his team whilst they were visiting London from Beijing. This was an excellent opportunity to provide Mr Charlton with an overview of the growing International schools market in China and worldwide and to highlight the successes, opportunitites and specific challenges which COBIS member schools operating in China face. A special thank you to COBIS colleagues Andy Puttock, Christian Barkei and Mark Thomas for providing invaluable examples of how the UKTI could further promote and support the delivery of high quality British style education in this region.

Thai Ministry of Education

Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman, Peter Simpson, Head of Secondary at the British School in The Netherlands and Colin Bell were invited to meet Mr. Bundit Sriputtangul, Secretary General of the Office of Private Education Commission, from  the Thailand Ministry of Education and senior representatives from the British Council in Thailand. The purpose of the meeting was for COBIS to illustrate the strict criteria and quality assurance measures by which COBIS schools worldwide qualify for membership. In addition, the Ministry were keen to learn more about the published DfE standards for British schools overseas.

World University Rankings: UK Universities Slip Down League Table 

The UK has lost three universities from the top 200 in the leading world university rankings survey.

The universities of Reading, Dundee and Newcastle all dropped off top table in the new 2014-15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, raising concerns that the country could be losing out to emerging institutions in Asia.

Overall, Britain has 29 universities in the world top 200 – making it the second most represented nation after the US.

Further information is available through TES Connect and BBC News articles.

COBIS Student Competitions & Events

COBIS/King's Group Student Leadership Weekend, Madrid – 17-19 October 2014
The COBIS/King’s Group Student Leadership Weekend will take place in Madrid later this month. The conference will be attended by students from schools in Spain, Romania, Russia, Egypt, France, and Qatar. The Student Leadership Weekend will provide leadership training and life skills for senior pupils (aged 16 and over). Through interactive activities with trainers and prominent motivational speakers, the students will be presented with opportunities to develop self-awareness, interpersonal skills and life competencies. For more details, please visit the COBIS website.



Professional Development

**LAST CHANCE TO BOOK**COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff, Amsterdam – 20-21 October 2014
Leadership at All Levels – Unlocking Potential Throughout the School Community
Click Here to see the programme
Click Here for more details 

COBIS Governors' Training Day – Amsterdam – 20 October 2014
Click Here for more details 

COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff – Geneva, Switzerland – 17-18 October 2014 - sponsored by Optimus Education
Click Here to see the programme
Click Here for more details 

COBIS Pupil-Centred Pastoral Care Conference, Bucharest – 7-8 November 2014
The British School of Bucharest will be hosting a two-day pastoral care conference led by two experienced practitioners: Jackie Cox and Paul James. Topics will include:

  • Building a Strong Pastoral Team
  • Safe Practice for All: Appropriate Behaviour and Avoiding Allegations
  • Promoting Well-Being Within Your School
  • Handling Disclosures
  • Dealing with Challenging Parents
  • Self Harming Behaviours
  • And more

Click Here to see a draft programme
For more information and a booking form, please visit the COBIS website

International Programme For Middle Leaders – National College And COBIS – November 2014

Bookings are new being accepted for the ten-month International Programme for Middle Leaders, run in partnership between COBIS, the National College for Teaching & Leadership, and The British School in the Netherlands. The first face-to-face sessions will take place in The Hague in November 2014. Further details and booking forms can be found on the COBIS website. Places on this course are limited.

Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme, Athens and Beijing, Spring 2015

Middle Leaders are also invited to register for a four-day Middle Leaders’ Programme, facilitated by Karen Ardley Associates on behalf of COBIS. These courses will run in Athens and Beijing in February and March 2015:

  • St Catherine’s British School, Athens, Greece, 28 February-3 March 2015
  • The British School of Beijing, China, 19-22 March 2015

For more information and booking forms, please click here

COBIS Webinars

COBIS hosted 3 successful webinars in September with over 150 members attending. Recordings of both webinars are now available in the COBIS Member Area along with recordings of all past webinars. All webinars are free of charge for COBIS members.

Forthcoming webinars include: 

Bringing Tablet Technology into the classroom - In Association with COBIS Accredited Member, Doha College
28 October 2014: 10:30 (UK time) 

Differentiation for Challenge: Tools to Support Classroom Teaching, Professional Learning and Evaluation - In Association with Optimus Education
4 November 2014: 1pm (UK time)
Book Now

Parent Engagement and Education Technologies - In Association with Firefly
11 November 2014: 1pm (UK time)
Book Now

The COBIS Accreditation Process - How to Progress from COBIS Member to COBIS Accredited Member 
26 November 2014: 1pm (UK time) 
Book Now



News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Doha College News

Doha College was alive with excitement during the last two weeks of August as students have been receiving their A Level and (I)GCSE examination grades. For more information see full article here.

Doha College have also launched their latest social media campaign with mascot Dash the Dolphin in order to raise awareness and increase financial support for their New Campus, which is scheduled to open in 2016.
For more information see full article here.


King’s College Madrid - Peace Day Celebrations 
The International Day of Peace is observed annually on 21st September and is dedicated to world peace, more specifically the absence of war and violence. King’s College Primary children marked the day with a wide range of activities centered on the theme of ‘peace’.
For more details and photos click here.

Supporting Member News

Welcome To New COBIS Supporting Members

COBIS would like to welcome the following new supporting members who have recently joined us:

First Aid for Schools - Consultancy and Professional Development
hdc – Curriculum Resources and Publishers
Lightspeed Systems – ICT
Ski Adaptable – School Trips
Texthelp - Student Development
CHQ Group Ltd - Management Information Systems

World Teach In Event, 1-2 November 2014 **25% Discount for COBIS Schools**
COBIS primary school teachers are invited to an explosive weekend of science CPD at Imperial College London. Brought to you by, Twig World, one of our supporting members. 
For more information on the event and on how claim your discount click here.

The Source 2015 - Revised Entries Invited

Supporting Members are invited to review entries in The Source. Please click here to see your entry, or if you are a new member and your entry was not included in The Source 2014, your website member profile will be used. Please check your website profile page for details.

All entries must be 100 words or under and emailed to Tamsin Gordon by Friday 10 October 2014. Entries received after this date will not be changed.

First Aid For Schools Review 

COBIS Supporting Members work with many COBIS schools to provide excellent educational products and services. One of our new supporting members, First Aid for Schools, recently worked with staff at the British School of Bucharest to deliver first aid training. Principal Jo Puddy-Wells gave this glowing review of the training: 

"I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Kitty Sullivan, a great First Aid trainer. She makes the course fun, practical and she is full of handy hints and tips. I have been delighted to have Kitty visit BSB twice to provide teachers and teaching assistants with vital First Aid training. She was very helpful and flexible with staff needs and she is an extremely enthusiastic teacher and takes great joy in passing on her knowledge.
Her theory sessions are interspersed with scenarios that allow you to practice the skills you have learnt.
She has been extremely knowledgeable, professional and has had a friendly manner. This really helped to keep our staff interested and excited about First Aid training. We look forward to having her back again soon"     -   Jo Puddy Wells

Teachers International Consultancy

Supporting member TIC, a teaching recruitment and training firm, expands with office in New Zealand to enhance access to quality teachers in the region Congratulations to Andrew Wigford and his team! Further information click here.  

Educate Teacher Appraisal Conference
COBIS was pleased to have the opportunity to attend Teacher Appraisal: A Key Driver of Student Outcomes – A Global Perspective, a one-day conference organised by COBIS Supporting Member Educate Services. A number of COBIS Schools were represented at this successful event which included speakers from schools, Government, and educational bodies in the UK, USA, and Hong Kong.

ISC SEN Conference
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is holding a one day Conference in London on Thursday 20 November 2014. The Conference is aimed at SENCOs, Directors of Learning, Learning Support Teachers and Heads and SMT members who wish to understand or improve the SEN provision in their schools. In addition to knowledgeable and experienced speakers looking at both legal issues and practical approaches in the classroom, interaction and discussion with colleagues and exhibitors plays a vital part in this conference.

COBIS is a constituent member of the ISC and members are invited to attend this event.
Please click here for more information and here to book your place. A programme is available to download here.

Protocol Education Works with The English International School, Moscow
Protocol Education has joined COBIS as a supporting member providing teacher recruitment and staffing services. The new international team is a dedicated unit within Protocol providing tailored recruitment services for English-medium and British curriculum schools outside the UK. Protocol Education is currently working with COBIS member the English International School Moscow  to host a dedicated interview weekend at their London head office to support the school’s recruitment for September 2015. Click here to read more about this initiative and how Protocol Education can host dedicated UK interview sessions for your school free of charge.

TTS Time for 2s Conference

COBIS was pleased to be invited to attend the Time for 2s Conference in London, organised by Supporting Member TTS. This was an excellent event about delivering quality learning opportunities for two year olds, and was well-attended by Early Years practitioners. 

Contact Us

If you have any comments or requests, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.

Colin Bell, CEO - ceo@cobis.org.uk
Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer - members@cobis.org.uk
Tamsin Gordon, COBIS International Marketing Intern - intern@cobis.org.uk
Catriona Lawless, PA to Colin Bell - pa@cobis.org.uk
Fiona Rogers, Senior Professional Development Officer - cpd@cobis.org.uk
Sarah Wooldridge, Finance Officer -

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Telephone: +44 208 240 4142
Address: COBIS, St Mary's University, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, TW1 4SX, UK           


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