Adrian Kearney, Regional Director
As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the entire IB community for its support.
Over the last year I have met a large number of you in schools and at events across the region and your passion and dedication to the IB have truly made me proud to be working with you. As you read the articles in this newsletter, I hope that you can start to see how we at the IB, and specifically in the regional office, are rapidly moving forward with many initiatives that will not only strengthen and broaden the offering from the IB but will also improve the service we give to schools, simplify and reduce administrative tasks and lower costs as well.
I look forward to meeting and working with many more of you in 2011 and wish you all much success in the coming year.
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The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) is now a mainstream offering
As many of you will be aware, over the past 3 years we have piloted a new qualification for 16–19 years old called the IB career-related certificate (IBCC). The IBCC embodies a framework of international education that will incorporate the vision and educational principles of the IB into local programmes that address the needs of students engaged in career-related education.
While we recognize that the Diploma Programme has been and continues to be the primary offering for university-bound students, we also realize that students in the 16–19 age range want more choice. We believe the IBCC bridges the gap between academic and career-related programmes with a genuine offering that represents the mission and values of the IB, thus allowing highly motivated career-oriented students to also have the opportunity to take advantage of an IB education.
We are delighted to announce that the IBCC will become a mainstream offering of the IB, making this qualification available for first teaching in 2012 to those schools that are authorized to offer the Diploma Programme.
Schools will now be able to offer more choice to those students who may not wish to take the full IB Diploma Programme but instead want to relate their academic studies to their career-related aspirations.
The experience from the pilot schools demonstrates that IBCC students build strong capabilities inquiry-based thinking, communication and self-confidence. This allows IBCC students to move on to higher education, progress to community colleges, further education and/or directly into employment.
The launch of the IBCC represents an innovative development for the IB and reflects our determination to remain the leader in international education. We also believe that it demonstrates our continued commitment to IB World Schools and their students.
Early in 2011 IB World Schools will be invited to apply for the supplementary authorization to start teaching the IBCC from September 2012. If you would like to know more please contact: email@example.com
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Strengthening the IB Educators Network (IBEN)
From the very beginning the IB has collaborated with educators in all aspects of curriculum, workshops, school visits and examinations. In 2009 alone, educators contributed in excess of 60,000 person days to IB activity.
In order to match the growing need for professional contributions to programmes, workshops, school visits and examinations across the region, we are actively seeking applications from educators wanting to join the IBEN network.
John Nicholls joined the regional office on 1st November 2010 taking on the new role of IBEN Manager for the Africa, Europe and Middle East region. He will ensure that there are fair and transparent processes related to IBEN recruitment, contracts, training, travel, compensation, performance management, data protection, conflict of interest, and acknowledgement.
John comes to us from the UK, having managed a Wellbeing programme for the Norfolk County Council since 2005, before which he was both teacher and head teacher. In John’s team we have Julie Jean (IBEN coordinator), Lucia Brandulas (IBEN Coordinator) and Natalia Dumont (IBEN coordinator, temporary position).
We trust you will soon see a positive difference in the services we provide and welcome your feedback as these changes occur. For more information on IBEN and the different roles available visit our regional IBEN pages http://www.ibo.org/ibaem/educatornetwork/ .
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With over 800 attendees from more than 63 countries and a total of 91 presenters and 37 exhibitors, the IB Africa, Europe and Middle East (IBAEM) regional conference was deemed by all who attended to be a resounding success.
Adrian Kearney, Regional Director, said “The conference more than fulfilled our objectives of providing a forum where all participants could share their creative ideas and experiences on how education can contribute to making our schools – and ultimately the world – a better place.”
The regional office will shortly be announcing the location and dates for the next regional conference but it is expected to be held in late October 2011.
In January, we will be sending out a request for suggestions on what topics you would like to be covered, suggestions on how we can make the conference even more relevant to you and of course proposals for presentations.
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Increasing the scope of our development work
It has become clear that we need to increase the scope and resourcing of our development work in AEM in order to fulfill our strategic goals. Åke Sorman has achieved significant successes in the key areas of recognition and supporting the development of IB associations. Enhancing recognition for the IB programmes is a major priority in the region for which Åke continues to have a special responsibility. We are launching campaigns in key countries to enhance the profile of recognition, talking to key universities and other stakeholders and placing more emphasis on ensuring schools are made aware of key recognition messages. We are also stepping up our support for IB Associations across the region substantially and working more closely with them to ensure agreed priorities are followed through.
In terms of taking forward the wider development strategy for the region and linking this in with recognition and IB association support, we have recruited a new head of development for AEM. Theresa Forbes joined the regional office on 1st December 2010. Theresa will have overall responsibility for development in the region and managing key relationships with large entities like universities, governments and groupings of schools.
Theresa has an extensive background in education and said of her new role: “I am delighted to be joining the International Baccalaureate. I have spent 20 years working in Education as a teacher, head teacher, a government curriculum advisor in the UK and as director of the International Primary Curriculum. During this time I have lived and worked in SE Asia, the Middle East, and two European countries in addition to the UK. In The Netherlands, I was the founding head of the new primary section of the International School of The Hague and I'm pleased that IB is locating one of its global centres in this exciting city, synonymous with peace and justice, and hosting a lot of illustrious international organisations. As IB undergoes an ambitious period of global relocation and growth, I'm very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I'm passionate about the power of
international education and am an advocate of greater access and opportunity for all.”
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Continued growth of the Middle Years Programme in the region
The number of schools offering the MYP is steadily growing in the region.
In 2010 we have authorized 18 Middle Year programmes from a diversity of countries - Greece, Italy, Mozambique, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom. In addition, we have granted MYP candidate status to 17 more schools. As a result, the MYP is significantly broadening its scope and influence in the region. We have gained MYP schools in four new countries - Syria, South Africa, Czech Republic, Greece.
The ratio of schools which combine MYP with a national curriculum is increasing significantly, thus challenging the regional office to further develop its understanding of many different national systems in order to effectively support the new schools in implementing the MYP. Further work is also being done to promote the recognition of the MYP in different countries in the region.
Within this development we are seeing a sharp growth in the number of state schools interested in implementing the MYP in the UK. Currently there are 2 authorized and 7 candidate schools in the UK which are state schools and the number is growing. The enthusiasm of both the established MYP schools and the new schools entering the MYP in the UK is acting to spread the support for the programme. Currently, the regional office, with support from the IB’s UK Accreditation Specialist, is seeking to determine the recognition and accreditation needs of IB MYP schools in the UK. The views of schools, their recognition needs and support are central to improved recognition.
On a similar note, a MYP Think Tank meeting was held in Istanbul on September 1, 2010 in order for the regional office and MYP schools in Turkey to develop a collaboration and come to a shared understanding of MYP implementation within the Turkish educational system. Developments from this meeting include the beginning of an informal association of IB schools in Turkey including coordinators from all three programmes; and planning for the offering of Humanities and Language A workshops in Turkish or in translation. The regional office will continue to work closely with these schools to further encourage this development.
Finally, a meeting of Scandinavian schools was held during the Liverpool regional conference. Again, the purpose of this meeting was to develop a common understanding of the challenges of implementing the MYP alongside a national system in each of the four Scandinavian countries.
During the month of June the MYP manager, Heather Lapper was invited to attend the Swiss MYP Coordinators’ Meeting hosted by Zurich Intercommunity School. It was wonderful to meet so many MYP coordinators face to face and to share a day discussing various aspects of implementing the programme with them. Items on the day’s agenda included, the newly published MYP guide to interdisciplinary teaching and learning; clarifications of the Coordinator’s Notes regarding future moderation practices; backward mapping documents for various subjects DP/MYP, areas of interaction including a sharing of community and service experiences.
In mid-June, 15 IB educators actively participated and completed training to become MYP school consultants. With the adoption of new processes for authorization and evaluation starting in 2011, this role will become increasingly important in our support of schools as they begin to implement the MYP.
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New process for authorization and evaluation of IB programmes
The IB recently completed a review of its authorization and evaluation processes and following this review published a new set of forms on authorization and evaluation.
Key features include:
• a long-term relationship with a consultant, to support schools all the way from the application for candidacy (formerly Part A) to the application for authorization (formerly Part B)
• a thorough reading followed by a written report (that your school will receive) of both applications and the evaluation self-study questionnaire by experienced IB practitioners
• application documents organized according to the Programme standards and practices
• guides to school authorization that identify practices and programme requirements that must be in place at authorization, helping schools prioritize their work
• clear professional development requirements linked to the authorization and evaluation processes
• in the case of the Diploma Programme, introduction of visits for programme evaluation to a number of schools every year
• a thorough and professional quality assurance process so that schools may feed back to the IB about both the authorization and the evaluation experience, allowing us to study and to improve our processes
• a simplified billing system
There will be a period of transition towards the new processes and further information is available on the regional web pages .
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An expanding selection of professional development workshops
Although the Cat 3 ‘Subject Specific Seminars’ introducing changes in groups 1&2 are filling up fast, there are plenty of Cat 1&2 workshops which follow them and they will all cover changes to groups 1&2. Also we are pleased to announce that an expanded offering of workshops in Africa, starting in September 2011, will be advertised shortly. Lastly there will also be on-line group 1&2 courses which will address the changes.
The PYP offering has recently been augmented with Category 2 & 3 workshops added in Berlin in March and Category 1, 2 & 3 workshops added in Paris in June.
Full details on our website
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The IB Africa, Europe, Middle East Regional Council serves as a strategic advisory board for the regional director and provides information and assistance related to IB issues in various parts of the region. The Regional Council met in late September and during this meeting new members were nominated.
Ian Andain, re-elected as Chair, explains the role of the council, "The Regional Council meets twice a year and provides both a challenging and supporting role in respect of the work of the Regional Office and the Regional Director. Challenging in the sense that the Regional Director needs to ensure that his vision is robust and achievable through discussion and debate and supporting in that he needs to have quality information about what is happening in the various parts of the region and that he has a number of individuals to whom he can turn for advice throughout the year. This in turn requires a significant level of commitment from Regional Council members who are often asked to involve themselves in teleconferences and other activities over and above the two statutory meetings. The Regional Council therefore provides an essential role in developing the overall IB vision in
this part of the world ".
There are 13 members, elected by the regional council: Six heads of IB World Schools (Two from nominations from the Heads Council, four from nominations from heads in the region); seven other members bring a wide range of skills and experience based on the strategic needs of the region.
The full list of members is available on the regional council page on our website .
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Adrian Kearney, IBAEM Regional Director, participated in celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the IB in Finland at Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu in Helsinki.
Participants included the Finnish State Secretary of Education, the Ambassador of the United States to Finland and Teuvo Laurinolli representing the Finnish Association of IB Schools. Presentations were also given by several IB alumni.
There are 17 IB World Schools in Finland offering one or more of the three IB programmes. 3 schools offer the Primary Years Programme, 4 schools offer the Middle Years Programme and 15 schools offer the Diploma Programme. The first school was authorized in 1990.
Reinforcing the commitment of the regional office to be increasingly present across the region, Adrian also attended the annual meeting of the Middle East IB Schools Association (MEIBA) in Dubai.
A full listing of associations can be found on the Association of IB World School web page.
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Out and about
The regional office was present at the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) annual conference in Nice, at the Specialist School and Academies Trust (SSAT) annual conference in Birmingham and at the IBSCA Autumn event at Wellington College.
In order to strengthen our participation in the francophone world and to build a stronger network for the IB, Åke Sörman attended a conference organized by the Association Francophone International des Directeurs d’établissement Scolaires (AFIDES). The conference took place in Luxembourg on November 11-13 and more than 60 Heads of schools from Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Canada and Switzerland attended to discuss the theme “Le Comportement inadapté des élèves, un défi pour nos écoles”.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you at these events and answer any questions you might have. Staff from the IBAEM office will be attending a number of events in 2011 and details of these will be posted on the regional web pages.
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