In the world of international schools, the turn of the year is a crucial time when a number of staffing appointments are made. BIS Abu Dhabi has a very low turnover of staff in comparison to most international schools, but it is the nature of working overseas that each year some of our colleagues choose to return to their home countries, or perhaps seek the opportunity to work in a new school and experience living in a different part of the world.
It is always possible each year to get a sense of how BIS Abu Dhabi and Nord Anglia Education are viewed within the education community by the quality and quantity of applications from people who want to work with us. It is quite apparent that Nord Anglia is an organisation that is viewed extremely positively and is an employer that teachers want to work for. What has also been very clear this year is that many prospective colleagues are aware of our high ADEC judgment and they want to contribute to the next stage of a thriving and exciting school.
We have had over 1,200 applicants to date and the senior staff have spent much of January interviewing in Abu Dhabi, in the UK and via Skype. As you might imagine, this is quite a demanding task, but it is also a very rewarding one when securing the services of teachers who you know will make a tremendous difference to students’ education for years to come. Over the next few months we will introduce you to some of the new teachers who will be adding their skills to our team for the next academic year.
On a separate matter, I am sure many parents will recall that BIS Abu Dhabi was recently recognised for the British International School Awards 2017 for Teaching Initiative of the Year. I had the privilege to attend the Awards Dinner in London last week and to spend time with colleagues from other schools around the world who were similarly recognised. The atmosphere amongst leading schools from all continents is infectious and really helps all of us benefit from connecting with each other.
Looking ahead to later in the week, on the Staff Training Day on Thursday we welcome Sir John Jones, a noted UK educational speaker who will be working with staff from all areas of the school. The ability to attract top people in our profession to inspire our staff will help us strive for even further achievement.
Finally, a brief health update for those who have been enquiring and sending kind messages. I am pleased to report that I am now registered on the transplant list in the UK and the doctors here are doing a number of tests on possible donors to find the best match. Things are always a little uncertain as we wait for each test result but there is encouraging progress.
In the meantime I am keeping very busy here in the UK, in constant contact and dialogue with colleagues at school. I am hearing of great student success, both in lessons and beyond, and of course of the continued tremendous commitment of the staff. It is really not a surprise that so many others want to join the team!