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Leadership Training for Saudi Head Teachers in the UK

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A group of headteachers from Saudi Arabia spent three days leadership training at the University of Worcester, which included visiting their UK partner schools in Devon.

The visit was organised in partnership with the British Council within the framework of its global project, Connecting Classrooms.

Tom Whittingham, Head of External Development in the University’s Institute of Education, said: “The visit of the Saudi Arabia headteachers, is part of  wider international leadership network being grown and facilitated by the Institute of Education.

“The network globally connects like minded leaders around themes of mutual interest and provides high quality facilitation, built on best and innovative practice. Networks engaged in this partnership with the University Worcester currently include Indonesia, Canada, Australia and now Saudi Arabia.”

The leadership training covered: An overview of the British education System, Leading and Managing a School, Different Styles of Leadership, Building a Learning Community, Values and Beliefs, Wellbeing, Emotional Learning, Teaching and Learning and Observing Practice.

The UK schools, including Braunton School, Molton School and Pilton School, prepared an activity filled itinerary for the visitors, including lessons observation, planning and engaging in group discussions with their peers.

The headteachers also received opportunities to share experiences, celebrate achievements and receive guidance on undertaking joint curriculum project activities, besides receiving an introduction to the British Education system.

One of the headteachers said: “This is a great opportunity for the headteachers to get some professional development and, being at a place like the University of Worcester, this will provide us with a unique experience which can only help fulfil our professional careers.”

The teachers got the opportunity to meet students and staff involved in the project and attend classes and get a taste of British student life. The visit also paved the way for further joint curriculum project planning.

Christopher Palmer, Deputy Director of The British Council in Saudi Arabia, said: “Connecting Classrooms is one of the British Council’s flagship projects linking schools globally. This initiative is particularly important because it is the first time that Saudi state schools have been involved and the first time Saudi state school headteachers are visiting the UK under such a programme.” 

Connecting Classrooms is a global education programme for schools. It is designed to help young people learn about global issues and become responsible global citizens, as well as giving them the skills to work in a global economy. It offers school partnerships; professional development courses for teachers; accreditation; and the chance to share best practice with international counterparts.