COBIS 2015 Annual Conference

LSC Education attended the COBIS Conference from 9th- 11th May, held at the Park Plaza Hotel, London, and were represented by Edward Clark, Dr Helen Wright and David McGahey.

The conference opened with welcome drinks and dinner at ZSL London Zoo- a delightful venue to get the event off to a great start. Guests were transported to the zoo in vintage London buses…. if I was to be poetic, I might create a simile about the COBIS Britishness of going to the zoo in our traditional red buses and then meeting together in a place filled with beautiful and interesting species from across the globe – very international!

Cobis May 2015

The conference hosted more than 230 education leadership delegates from schools and education organisations across the globe, which included 30 new schools joining the COBIS family.

As ever, it was an excellent event and a real pleasure to catch up with so many colleagues from across the world, as well getting to know many new people. Thank you to all those who visited our stand!

PHOTO: Edward Clark, LSC with Christine Williams, Head of St George's British International School, Rome, La Storta Junior School and Chris Mantz Principal, British International School, Riyadh.

I enjoyed attending a number of inspirational seminars and workshops, and I have returned to work buzzing with ideas, not only for my work as a leadership recruiter, but also as a school governor.

Ian Morris, Head of Wellbeing at Wellington College spoke brilliantly about his school’s approach to teaching character and wellbeing, giving a deep and thoughtful perspective on the core purpose of education. Craig Halsall, Headmaster of Haileybury Almaty gave us insight into how they make the very best use of Pupil Voice to effectively shape their school’s development.

Peter Simpson, Headteacher of Senior School Voorschoten, The British School of The Netherlands, together with Dr Coleen Jackson of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, talked about leadership development using a range of international programmes and looking at models of professional learning with real-life case studies.

David Porritt, Headteacher of Junior School Leidschenveen, The British School of The Netherlands, discussed benefits and approaches to leadership coaching, bringing in particularly interesting findings from his current PhD research on the topic. I also enjoyed hearing about Brian Cooklin’s experiences, as the Founding Principal of Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong. Brian spoke of the challenges and strategies involved in setting up a new school, particularly one in a highly competitive international market.

Ben Walden, Founder of Contender Charlie, captivated the conference with his keynote presentation on the inspirational leadership lessons we can learn from Shakespeare’s Henry V. Whoever knew that Shakespeare wrote such pertinent messages and approaches, so directly translatable into today’s everyday leadership challenges. Any school hiring Ben for a day of INSET training won’t be disappointed.

Cobis 2015

The conference closed with Professor Guy Claxton discussing the development of intellectual character and how to develop brilliant learners – perhaps the perfect end to the conference, inspiring COBIS leaders to take brilliant learning back to their schools.    

Our congratulations to the COBIS team, led by Colin Bell, on a truly memorable event. We look forward to COBIS 2016.