May 2015 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - May 2015

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In This Issue:

1. Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2. Dates For Your Diaries
3. Professional Development

4. COBIS Lobbying Activities
5. News from COBIS Member Schools
6. Student Competitions and Events
7. New COBIS Member Schools
8. School Member News
9. COBIS Webinars
10. Supporting Member News
11. Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

With the COBIS Annual Conference now just days away, the COBIS team look forward to welcoming more than 500 participants including colleagues from over 120 schools in more than 55 countries to London. This event promises to be an excelent opportunity for COBIS schools to share ideas and learn from one another, which is one of the key benefits of being part of our growing global network.

This was certainly in evidence at the 2nd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Admissions and Development Staff, held at Dubai College two weeks ago. The well attended event attracted outstanding speakers and included plenty of opportunities for delegates to network with COBIS colleagues from schools in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive; COBIS would like to thank Dubai College for their meticulous organisation and expert delivery of this high quality professional development event.

Whilst in the Middle East, I was pleased to meet with representatives from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).  These meetings followed on from an official week long visit, hosted by COBIS, to the UK by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) of Qatar. These activities, all go to support the positive relationships which COBIS is developing with Ministries of Education in the Middle East region.

As you fully appreciate, one component which unites COBIS schools is to ensure that children and young people in our care are safe and supported in order to become the best global citizens they can be. This ethos was very much in evidence last week when many staff and students at COBIS schools leapt into action to raise money for The British School Kathmandu’s (TBSK), Nepal earthquake fund. We were humbled to see the amazing fundraising events taking place in COBIS schools as a direct response to TBSK’s request for help. Speaking on behalf of the COBIS community, our collective thoughts go out to Dr John Moore and all connected to BSAK as they work to help and support those affected by this powerful, distructive and enormously distressing natural disaster.

Finally, together with Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman and Sir Roger Fry, COBIS Honorary President and colleagues from the UK Youth Sport Trust, I am delighted to be heading to Athens straight after the COBIS Annual Conference for the COBIS Primary and Secondary Games. The Olympic Stadium in Athens, will host 30 teams from COBIS schools around the world, who will come together to compete in the spirit of healthy competition. In addition, King's College The British School of Alicante is hosting a Primary Invitation Cup and Park Lane International School in Prague a Seconary Invitation Cup. Both of these competitions will also take place in May with schools attending from Europe and Asia for a weekend of sporting fun and friendly competition. 

Thank you in advance to each of our generous host schools; St Catherine's British School, Athens, King's College The British School of Alicante and Park Lane International School, Prague and good luck to all teams involved in each of these three Cities. Each event will no doubt be an enjoyable experience for all participants and a truly memorable way to celebrate COBIS student sporting achievement!

Kind Regards,
Colin Bell


Dates for Your Diaries

Safer Recruitment for International Schools Course
9 May 2015, London

34th COBIS Annual Conference

Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education and Leadership in British Schools Overseas
9-11 May 2015
Park Plaza Hotel, London

Advanced Child Protection Course
12 May 2015, London 

IPML Facilitator Training
12-14 May 2015, London

Professional Development

2015/16 COBIS CPD Calendar

The full calendar of COBIS CPD events for 2015/16 will be announced at the COBIS Annual Conference. Details will be published on the COBIS website following the conference. 

Recent CPD Events

COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff

The 2nd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff took place at Dubai College, UAE, on 23-24 April 2015. The conference was a great success with more than 50 people taking part, from schools in nearly 20 countries including Switzerland, Nigeria, Nepal, Jordan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and more. The conference included a range of speakers, including a number of sessions delivered by people currently working in schools around the world. A dinner cruise aboard Bateaux Dubai (pictured) was also a highlight, giving delegates the chance to experience a different side of Dubai life.

We are very grateful to colleagues from Dubai College, particularly Debra Harding and Peter Hill, for organising such a high-quality event. To view a copy of the final programme, please click here.

Forthcoming Conferences

34th COBIS Annual Conference, (9-11 May 2015), London

Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education and Leadership in British Schools Overseas

Sponsored by TES Global

We look forward to welcoming more than 500 delegates, exhibitors, speakers and guests to the 34th COBIS Annual Conference (Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria, London).

Click here to view a copy of the programme

To view a copy of our Conference Preview Newsletter, click here

For full details, click here

To submit your seminar choices (registered delegates only) please click here

Annual Conference Shoulder Courses

Annual Conference delegates may be interested in these other training opportunities, running alongside the Annual Conference.

Pre-Conference Seminar and Afternoon Tea, 9 May 2015, 2:45-3:45, London 

Levels...Baseline...National Tests...What's happening with assessment policy back in the UK?

A unique opportunity for COBIS schools to hear the latest from the UK regarding the recent changes in education policy. This session will provide an overview of what’s been happening back in the UK to include the new Baseline assessment, removal of National Curriculum Levels and an update on schools performance measures. Following the session there will be an opportunity for networking and afternoon tea will be provided courtesy of GL Education. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Safer Recruitment for International Schools, 9 May 2015, London

Before the official start of the Annual Conference, COBIS will be offering delegates the opportunity to attend a course on Safer Recruitment for International Schools, delivered by Barabarani Education Services. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Advanced Child Protection Course, 12 May 2015, London

On the Tuesday following the Annual Conference, COBIS will be running an Advanced Child Protection Course, delivered by Kidscape. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Annual Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors

COBIS would like to thank our Annual Conference sponsors: TES Global (headline sponsor), Cambridge International ExaminationsTTS Group LtdiSAMSRising StarsFollett InternationalWCBSFireflyDouble FirstInteractive SchoolsBuckinghamshire Learning Trust, Clements Worldwide, Eye for Business, John Catt Educational Ltd and SIMS Independent 

There will be a large exhibition of Supporting Members at the Annual Conference. To view a list of exhibitors, please click here.

COBIS Lobbying Activities

Supreme Education Council (SEC), Qatar

Representing and supporting British schools based in Qatar, from 13-17 April,
Colin Bell, COBIS CEO, and Dr Steffen Sommer, COBIS Vice Chairman, were pleased to host the Director of Schools Evaluation Office and colleagues from the SEC, Qatar. The focus of this official visit to the UK was to gain a deeper understanding of the BSO inspection system and the high standards of school inspection which are implemented in England and Scotland. The visit, which was supported by UKTI Education, introduced SEC representatives to BSO Inspectorates, the DfE, independent and state schools, a range of COBIS supporting members and to UKTI Education officials. Following the visit the SEC reported that they found the COBIS programme of meetings in London and Edinburgh highly informative with many useful insights into inspection standards and school improvement systems relating to BSOs, independent and state schools. COBIS would like to thank all colleagues who supported with the delivery of this well received programme.

Abu Dhabi Education Council & Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai

Also in April, whilst in Dubai participating in the COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff, COBIS CEO Colin Bell held a series of meetings with UKTI Education colleagues based in the UAE and with officials from ADEC and KHDA. Again these positive meetings, representing British schools in the region, were centred around school accreditation, evaluation and inspection processes plus the support which COBIS can offer to potential new schools interested in establishing or developing an existing operational footprint in the region.

News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Dubai College Welcomes New Head From September

On the retirement of Peter Hill at the end of this academic year Dubai College is delighted to announce that Mike Lambert will be the next Headmaster of the school from September 2015. Mike already knows the school well as he has done a superb job in expanding and developing the upper part of the school in his role as Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head. A graduate of Jesus College, Oxford he has a strong professional track record having previously taught at Bedales and the Royal Grammar School Guildford. We wish Mike, his wife Sarah and his two young boys all the very best as he takes on his new role.

COBIS Student Competitions and Events 

Student Competition and Events Dates For Your Diary 

COBIS Student Games

Taking place on: 14-16 May 2015

The Primary Invitation Cup

Taking place on: 14-16 May 2015 

The Secondary Invitation Cup

Taking place on: 21-23 May 2015 

COBIS Senior School Music Festival 2015

Taking place on: 6-7 June 2015

COBIS Student Games

The first ever joint Primary and Secondary COBIS Student Games is taking place this month in Athens, hosted by St Catherine’s British School. Best of luck to all the 32 teams competing from 26 COBIS schools from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Colin Bell, COBIS CEO will be travelling to Athens, along with Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman and Sir Roger Fry, COBIS Honorary President next week to support the Games.

In addition to enjoying a high level of sporting excellence, many new international friendships will be formed by students, staff, officials and parents alike!

The Primary Invitation Cup

Taking place 14 - 16 May, The Primary Invitation Cup, hosted by King's College The British School of Alicante will include a full schedule of football and track and field events for 8 schools from across Europe and Asia. Many thanks to the staff who have put this event together and best of luck to all students participating.

The Secondary Invitation Cup 

Secondary schools from Europe and Asia will be travelling to Prague from 21 - 23 May to take place in the Secondary Invitation Cup. With events in football and athletics as well as a tour of Prague and other social and cultural events, it's set to be an action-packed few days. Thanks again to the staff who have planned the event and good luck to all competing. 

COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards

The Young Scientist Film Awards competition closed last month with 57 films entered by 25 COBIS schools from around the world. The winners of each category will be announced during the COBIS Annual Conference on 10 May. To see the nominations and view the films, please click here

COBIS Art Competition

The COBIS Art Competition received 223 entries from 40 schools – all at COBIS Head Office were truly impressed by the fantastic artwork produced by COBIS students. Thank you to all the teachers who sent in their students’ work. The competition is currently being judged and the winners will be announced next week. Each category will have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award with fantastic prizes provided by Serif Europe and Eric Parry Architects for both students and schools. 



COBIS Senior School Music Festival 

The first COBIS Senior School Music Festival is taking place this June at Prague British School with students competing in a range of categories across Key Stage 3, 4 and 5. As well as the competitions, there will be workshops, a concert and an awards ceremony. The programme also includes a boat cruise and a trip to the Czech Museum of Music. 

New COBIS Member Schools

The British School of Navarra

COBIS is delighted to welcome The British School of Navarra as a COBIS Member school. The school, located in Pamplona, is part of the British Schools Foundation and educates children aged 3-11 years.

James Batten, Headmaster at The British School of Navarra said upon accepting COBIS membership, “I look forward to making BSN a valued member of COBIS and reacquainting myself with old friends and colleagues”.

COBIS would like to welcome to all the staff and students at The British School of Navarra into membership.

Royal School in Transylvania

COBIS would like to welcome our tenth COBIS member school in Romania. The Royal School in Transylvania has been awarded Candidate School membership after a successful application to the COBIS Membership Committee.

Julian Hingley, who coordinated the application on behalf of the school said upon accepting COBIS Candidate School membership, “I am delighted to receive confirmation that the COBIS Membership Committee has approved candidate membership status for the Royal School in Transylvania. Thanks for the professional support you have given us and look forward to meeting at conference in London”.

The COBIS team look forward to welcoming Julian at the COBIS Annual Conference next week.

ONE International School, Philippines

COBIS is delighted to welcome our first school in the Philippines into membership. The ONE International School is located in Negros Oriental. The school opened in 2010 and has 22 pupils.

Jennifer Hoggard, Headteacher at the school said upon accepting membership, “ONE International School is delighted that our application to be a COBIS Member school has been approved and we look forward to working with your highly respected team”.

COBIS would like to congratulate the staff and students at the ONE International School. We look forward to working with you.

The British International School Ukraine

COBIS would like to welcome our first member school in the Ukraine. The British International School Ukraine has 4 campuses in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. The school has over 500 pupils and offers the IB programme across the school.

COBIS is delighted to welcome staff and students from The British International School Ukraine into membership.

Brookstone School, Nigeria

COBIS is delighted to welcome Brookstone School in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, into membership. The school has recently been approved as a COBIS Member following a successful application to the COBIS Membership Committee.

Philip Fryer, Coordinator of Schools said upon accepting COBIS Member status, “At Brookstone School, Port Harcourt, Nigeria we are excited and honoured to be offered membership of COBIS. Our motivation for making our application was that we wanted to join an educational community that reflected our own school values of integrity, honesty and equal opportunities.”

COBIS would like to congratulate the staff and students at Brookstone School on joining the COBIS network. We look forward to working with you.

Green Shoots International School, Vietnam

COBIS would like to welcome our second school in Vietnam into membership. The Green Shoots International School in Hoi An was founded in October 2011 and now has 73 pupils aged 18 months to 16 years. The school has been awarded COBIS Member status following a successful membership application approved by the COBIS Membership Committee.

COBIS would like to welcome the staff and students at Green Shoots International School into membership.  

Oxford International School, Kyrgyzstan

COBIS is delighted to welcome our first school in Kyrgyzstan into membership. The Oxford International School has been approved as a Candidate School member. The school was founded in May 2014 and currently has 140 pupils enrolled from Reception to Year 9.

COBIS would like to congratulate the staff and students at the Oxford International School on this achievement. We look forward to working with you.

School Member News

COBIS Update on The British School Kathmandu (TBSK)

Over the weekend and subsequent days, COBIS HQ, along with our Board Members, school leaders and many other colleagues in the COBIS network, have been in touch with Dr John Moore, the Principal of TBSK, to offer words and pledges of support during this extremely distressing and difficult time. Dr Moore and all connected to TBSK are grateful to those that have been in touch and those who are affected by the earthquake are in their thoughts. For more details about this and how to assist the school in giving targeted support, please click here.

We would like to say an enormous thank you to COBIS schools who have already started fundraising for the cause. Students in Years 2 and 3 from Salwa Infant School in Kuwait made cakes and crafts and raised a grand total of £868 for The British School Kathmandu’s earthquake fund.

Students in Year 3 of the British International School of Stavanger acted quickly and have raised funds for The British School Kathmandu as part of their 'Making a Difference Project'.  Alongside this, the school organised a non-school uniform day to raise funds and an incredible total of £1500 was raised in one day.

COBIS Visits to School Members in Dubai

Colin Bell had the pleasure of visiting several member and non-member schools during a recent visit to the UAE for the 2nd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff at Dubai College.

On Wednesday 22 April, Colin Bell and Natalie Friend, COBIS Communications and Membership Officer, visited Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) in Arabian Ranches, Dubai. Many thanks to Lizzie Robinson, Shane O’Brian, Rob Stokoe and all the staff at the school for hosting this visit. Later that day, Colin and Natalie visited new COBIS Accredited Member school, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis. Many thanks to Claire Sealey for an informative tour of the school, and to Principal Mick Gernon for welcoming Colin and Natalie.

On Thursday 23 April, Colin Bell visited new COBIS Accredited Member school, GEMS Wellington Primary School, where he was delighted to be given a tour of the school by the pupils. Colin was introduced to the school’s new augmented reality app which was very impressive. Many thanks to the school Principal, Stephen Chynoweth for hosting this visit. On Friday 24 April, Colin was delighted to visit GEMS Jumeirah Primary School where he was welcomed by the Principal Catherine McKeever. The Accredited Member school joined COBIS last year following a successful application to the COBIS Membership Committee.

COBIS would like to thank all these schools for hosting Colin and Natalie during their visit to the UAE and we look forward to working with them in the near future.

COBIS Hosts Successful Reception In Dubai

COBIS hosted a successful Reception for COBIS member and non-member schools on Wednesday 22 April. The event was attended by staff from 29 schools in Dubai and Sharjah and was also attended by representatives from the UKTI and COBIS supporting members.

This event was an opportunity for senior leaders from COBIS schools to network with colleagues from member schools in the region. It was also an opportunity for representatives from non-member schools who are considering joining COBIS to meet members of the COBIS team and learn about the benefits of membership.

Our thanks to Eteach International, the generous sponsors of our event. Many thanks to all those who attended for making this event a success. 

Copyright Infringement Scam Letters to Schools

It has been brought to our attention that some COBIS schools have received letters from an uncertified source suggesting the use of the term “British School” is copyrighted.  Please be aware that this is a scam.  Click here to see an example of this letter and if you receive any correspondence like this, please report it to us.  

International Schools Heads Masters Golf Event in Wales

Following the continued success of the International Schools Heads Masters Golf events worldwide, the next event will be held at the Vale Resort, Glamorgan in Wales, UK on 21 and 22 July 2015. The event is open to Heads, Principals, Directors and Senior Managers in International schools and is sponsored by ISC Research, TIC Recruitment, Warwick Mann International and WCBS International. The organisers are grateful to COBIS for sponsoring the wine at the awards dinner.

Full details for the event and a booking form are available from Tony Child on Please contact Tony if you would like to play in this event on either or both days. The idea is to provide an informal sporting and social occasion during the summer holiday season for those visiting the UK.

Reduced Room Booking Rates for COBIS Members

COBIS Supporting Members Gabbitas Education are offering reduced rates to COBIS Schools who wish to book meeting or board rooms in Central London.  They offer a wide range of spaces ideal for holding meetings or interviews in a professional setting.  For more details and rates, please click here.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) On-line Applications

COBIS and its members worldwide are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. To support your school’s safer recruitment practice, COBIS offer an online Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), in association with uCheck . This service is available to all COBIS schools, supporting members and non-COBIS member schools. To register for this service or to find more information please contact Sarah Wooldridge at

DBS checks can be applied for by all UK citizens and any non-UK citizens who have lived or worked within the UK in the last 5 years. The DBS cannot access police records from overseas therefore local equivalent checks should also be requested for periods spent outside of the UK. Processes for getting criminal records checks abroad vary between countries. Guidance can be found on the DBS website or please contact Sarah Wooldridge. 


COBIS Webinars 

COBIS Webinars

COBIS members can access a wide range of free webinars over the next few months. Please visit our website to see a complete list of our webinars and to sign up. Forthcoming webinars include:

Past webinar recordings are available in the COBIS Member Area. Should you require your login details for the COBIS website Member Area, please contact Amy Carter.

Supporting Member News

The Key’s Report on The State of Education

The Key are delighted to share the results of their second annual survey into the State of Education which looks into the big issues that face school leaders today, from government policies, Ofsted and accountability to teachers’ morale and the daily challenges of running a school. To view the full State of Education report click here

COBIS Intern Visits Supporting Members

COBIS International Marketing Intern Amy Carter had an opportunity to visit three valued COBIS Supporting Members in April.  Interactive Schools, GL Education and Rising Stars welcomed Amy as part of their teams for the day and gave her an insight in to their work and how they collaborate with COBIS. Amy is very grateful to Simon Noakes, Andy Sleath and Olivia Tanner and their respective teams for everything she learned with them and for giving up their time to accommodate her for the day. A full report on Amy's visits can be found here

Contact Us

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

Colin Bell, CEO -
Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer -
Amy Carter, COBIS International Marketing Intern -
Catriona Lawless, PA to Colin Bell -
Fiona Rogers, Senior Professional Development Officer -
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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