Headlines – w/c 15 October 2012

Chinese Headteachers visit Bushey Meads School

Last week we hosted a three day visit of six Headteachers from China.  This visit was arranged by Ms Morawska, Deputy Head, with the Institute of Education in London. 

Their remit was to look at our Education System and to see how schools at Academies were operating.  One stark difference I was not expecting was the enormous size of their schools – one of the Heads oversees a school of 10,000 students!  Can you imagine?  One of the questions I asked was whether our system appeared very inefficient to them being split into units of 300 for a primary school and around 1,300 for a secondary.  They said they did not think so. 

They were particularly interested in our academic success and how this had been achieved and they were especially interested in Mr Young’s post as Head of Sixth Form.

 On reflection it appears their schools are much more hierarchical – the Headteacher running most aspects of the school without the support of other senior staff.  In addition the schools have far less independence and they are operated largely by the state.  I imagine they wanted to see how they could run their schools as self-sustaining businesses as China moves closer to a western economy.

 You will be delighted to hear how they enjoyed their time at Bushey Meads and meeting Heather Maddox, Headteacher of our partner primary school, Little Reddings.  They commented positively on the students and the school as a whole – indeed they were astounded when they saw Bushey Meads results compared to other comprehensive schools.  They ate in our new dining room with the students and they said that behaviour at Bushey Meads was very similar to that which they experience in their schools – this was a compliment!

 It was delightful to meet these Heads and I learnt as much from them as I hope they did from us.  Thank you to Ms Morawska for organising this important visit.

Mr K Douglas, Headteacher