LSC Education’s dinner in London this week could not have come at a more pertinent time. Our guest speaker was, Neil Strowger, Headteacher of Bohunt School, which was the focus of the BBC2 documentary “Are Our Kids Tough Enough: Chinese School”. The programme ignited conversation, controversy and debate across the world, when it compared the British education system to that of the Chinese.
This week, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping has visited London and gave a public address where he commented on the BBC programme saying he had realised that “the British have learned the virtues of strict discipline”, while the Chinese were learning the advantages of recreation. “Chinese children do not play enough. They should play more”.
The TES newspaper also alerted us last week about “Chinese investors poised to buy British schools”, recognising education as a long-term investment. The article referred to China-based Achieve Education who last year bought Chase Grammar School in Staffordshire. LSC are currently recruiting a new Principal for Chase Grammar School.
At the LSC dinner, Neil Strowger gave an open and honest account of the experience of making the TV documentary to representatives from education organisations across the UK and internationally, including ISC, HMC, ISA, and COBIS, international school groups such as Nord Anglia Education, and several global Education advisors.
He concluded that learning in certain subjects, particularly Biology, had indeed proved more productive for some students through the Chinese teaching methods, but generally students preferred and were more successful with the British style of teaching. Perhaps most importantly, the experiment reaffirmed for his Bohunt students what they understood about their own learning styles and demonstrated their resilience to exploring new methodology and being part of a goldfish-bowl style experiment, with the world watching. All credit, in our view, to Neil and his students and staff for their willingness to be innovative and open-minded about exploring new methods and ideas. Indeed, we could describe them as game-changers… it’s not often one does something that attracts comment from a global leader or a top 5 world trending on twitter.
Edward Clark, Director from LSC Education commented, ‘We are hugely grateful to Mr Strowger for joining us, he is an innovator in education. Pushing the boundaries and fuelling debate on the topic of different education systems can only be a good thing for everyone involved in developing our young people. We are preparing children for a very different world to the one we encountered as children and this new global perspective is essential. My thanks to all our guests for their valued contributions to an evening of great reflection, probing and ultimately celebration of British education here and abroad.’
LSC Education host dinners for Senior Leaders on a regular basis. To express your interest in attending a future event please email firstname.lastname@example.org. LSC Education is dedicated to supporting schools and education organisations globally, to recruit outstanding leaders.