A global gathering, with COBIS

This year's COBIS Annual Conference promises inspiring seminars, fantastic speakers and even some speed dating...

The COBIS Annual Conference is the essential global gathering for leaders of British international schools and has been the flagship event for headteachers, governors, proprietors and senior leadership teams in this sector for four decades. This year’s conference, the 37th annual edition, will explore the theme of ‘Leading Learning’. It takes place from 12–14 May 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel – The O2 on the banks of the River Thames in London. 

The conference offers delegates the chance to hear from high-profile keynote speakers as well as a choice of insightful seminars and workshops all designed to challenge and inspire. Considering COBIS schools operate in diverse geographical locations (80 countries in five continents to be exact), the conference is a vital opportunity for attendees to explore the common issues that face the sector and to learn from experienced leaders as they reflect on the latest trends, technologies and approaches to teaching, learning and leadership. The event offers ample opportunity to network with colleagues, old and new, while exhibitors are on hand to speak to you about how they can support your school.

With a focus on mental wellbeing in schools, keynote speakers include writer, pundit and positive body image campaigner, Natasha Devon MBE, and former headteacher Dick Moore, whose passionate interest in adolescent development and emotional wellbeing has led him to a career as a speaker, raising awareness of depression through talks aimed at teachers, young people and parents. Also joining them at the COBIS Annual Conference will be Will Gompertz, the BBC’s Arts Editor who says, “improving education is the great design challenge”, Lucy Crehan, author of the critically acclaimed book Cleverlands, Professor Christian Van Nieuwerburgh, an expert on coaching and psychology in education and Tim Oates, Cambridge Assessment’s Director of Assessment Research and Development. 

Keen to ensure British international schools receive the same opportunities for professional development and training as their domestic counterparts, COBIS will once again offer conference attendees the chance to access shoulder courses and seminars. Optional courses on the programme will cover child protection issues and safer recruitment in schools and are designed to help senior international school staff gain an advanced understanding of these important topics. Delegates can also learn about High Performance Learning, a philosophy that helps schools become world-class through systematically building intelligence in students regardless of background or starting point. 

Overall, there are 21 inspiring seminars to choose from, with titles ranging from‘What does a mentally healthy school look like?’ to ‘The changing face of SEN in the international sector’. New for this year is a speed dating session on edtech trends, coordinated by Innovate My School. According to Dr Fiona Rogers, Director of Professional Development and Research at COBIS, it’s “a fast, fun, effective way to be introduced to cutting-edge products and services that will help you to innovate your school”. It’s not only edtech companies that will be represented at the conference with over 130 exhibition stands showcasing creative solutions for international British schools overseas. 

Booking is still open for the conference, which is sponsored by HP, with tickets starting from £499 + VAT: cobis.org.uk/cpd/37th-cobis-annual-conference-2018