This morning, I had the pleasure of contributing to a COBIS (Council of British International Schools) conference, at The British School in Tokyo’s (BST) Showa Campus.
Our panel discussion, “At the Hub of Global British Business Communities” focused on the importance of British international schools to the communities they serve.
Panelists were Chris Heffer (Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Tokyo), Colin Bell (CEO of COBIS UK) and me (representing the BCCJ, and new mums!).
At the request of our facilitator, Brian Christian, Principal of the BST and COBIS board member, the discussion was informal, spontaneous, and wide-ranging.
Some of the topics covered were:
- globalisation (and the need for fostering global citizenship);
- the appeal of a British-style education (Harry Potter aside; rigorous academic standards with space for creative expression);
- priorities for parents when choosing an international school (robust English language programmes, transferable skills training, diversity of student body, transferability of qualifications);
- ways in which schools can engage with other organisations / how they can benefit from such engagement.
I also touched upon the importance of working with business and community partners that share the same values – particularly with regard to Diversity and Inclusion – to promote and celebrate difference across minority groups (women, LGBT, people with disabilities, Gen Y), for the benefit of all.
Luckily, there were lots of willing pairs of hands to help take care of Baby Hope during this “gentle back-to-work” opportunity. I think she rather enjoyed it, despite the early start!
Thanks to the BST team for their support. We will be back!
British School in Tokyo