When you advertise for a teacher of English or Maths, you have a pretty good idea of the sorts of characters you are going to get; when you advertise for a Head of Global Awareness, you have little idea who is going to apply. The job, which carries with it the responsibility for local, national and international outreach, is in UK terms as unusual as it is enticing. The successful candidate, Annabel Smith, who visited yesterday and with whom I spent a good amount of time going over the work currently in train and discussing further the scope of the job, is very well qualified to take on this challenge in September when she starts. After her university education and teacher training at LSE and Oxford, she moved from teaching primarily history to work overseas (Kenya initially and then the USA) – in schools and on a whole range of educational projects. Then, with the benefit of an MSc in Human Rights she has done transformational work through global awareness and service schemes in schools – one in the USA (Taft’s) and at the American School in London – and is gearing up for the Bedales job. If there was ever a big job that was fully anchored to a single school aim, this is it, with Aim 5 at its centre*. The tougher the selection procedure and the more fully the community has been involved in the process, in Annabel’s case via a student interview panel as well as numerous teachers, the stronger the base the successful candidate has to start from. The whole Global Awareness project is gripping stuff – with Annabel engaged in it, the potential is yet greater.
Visit Annabel’s website: http://www.annabelsmith.org/
By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales School
*Aim 5 – To foster interest beyond the school: engaging with the local community and developing a national and international awareness.
Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.