Transformations: an international perspective

The 36th COBIS Annual Conference will bring together many key figures from international British schools overseas

Transformations is the theme for the 36th Annual Conference of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) – the largest global association for international British schools overseas. Taking place from 6–8 May 2017, for the second year in a row the COBIS Annual Conference will be held at the Intercontinental O2 Hotel in London. Delegates interested in learning more about the diverse and growing international schools sector are invited to attend. This event provides plenty of opportunities for networking and sharing best practice and the conference experience is enhanced by the participation of exhibitors, inspectorates and representatives from UK and overseas Ministries of Education.

COBIS is a membership association representing more than 275 high-quality British schools in more than 76 countries worldwide. 

An impressive line-up of keynote speakers was recently announced by COBIS for the conference and includes:

  • Professor Dame Alison, CEO, Chartered College of Teaching
  • Professor Ian Robertson, Chair in Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, and author of The Stress Test and The Winner Effect
  • Robert Senior, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Bill Sweeney, CEO, British Olympic Association

The conference sessions – including plenary presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions – are all focused on the central theme of transformations. This will include sessions on ‘Transforming Education’ (the future of schooling; transformative initiatives in the classroom and beyond) and ‘Transforming the Profession’ (sustainable leadership and teacher supply; developing staff and transforming leadership potential in schools.) The programme will also include sessions on ‘Transforming Wellbeing’ (lessons from neuroscience; wellbeing in schools) and ‘Transforming Performance’ (high performance learning; growth mindset; transforming learning and leadership). Finally, there will be sessions linked to ‘Transforming School Improvement’ which will include information about the new Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance – an external validation scheme for international British schools overseas launched by COBIS this year. The Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance scheme will focus on school improvement, rather than inspection, and is an alternative to the Department for Education’s British School Overseas (BSO) system for international schools that want to pursue an alternative British mark of quality.  

Additionally, the programme will explore how schools, leaders and teachers can transform the lives of children and young people and how schools can nurture talent and evolve ideas to create better learning opportunities and outcomes for students. 

An important element of the COBIS Annual Conference is the large exhibition of more than 100 suppliers. For companies and educational specialists looking to export their products or services abroad, the COBIS Annual Conference is a fantastic opportunity to connect in person with senior leaders and key decision-makers from international British schools overseas.

Alongside the main conference seminars and sessions, there will be a wide range of social activities which provide excellent opportunities for networking including the welcome reception and dinner at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. 

Regular features of the COBIS Annual Conference will return again this year, such as COBIS CREATE – an opportunity for delegates to share innovation and best practice. Delegates are invited to enrol on optional shoulder courses on ‘Safer Recruitment in International Schools’, ‘Advanced Child Protection’, and ‘Developing Your Independent School Brand Internationally’.

Last year, the COBIS Annual Conference attracted nearly 600 delegates, exhibitors, speakers and guests from around the world and the 2017 edition of the COBIS Annual Conference in London is set to build on those numbers. Bookings are now being accepted. 



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