British Council hosts sixth edition of the global Schools Now! Conference

Schools Now!, a global conference that fosters pedagogical innovation for partner schools was hosted by the British Council on 10 March for two days.

Previously held in Cairo, Jordan, Sri Lanka and UAE, Schools Now! delivers best practice and the latest research in teaching and learning to partner schools from across the world helping them to foster academic excellence and prepare students for the wider world.

This year, over 2000 attendees came together online to explore the theme of Leading Collaboration: Partnerships that benefit your school and the wider community through keynote presentations, seminars and workshops.

The aim of the conference was to encourage British Council Partner Schools to foster a collaborative environment between those groups that make up the wider school community – from learners, teachers and parents to local agencies.

The attendees were welcomed by Sara Pierson, Global Director Exams, British Council. She said: “Let’s take this opportunity to recognise the strength and resilience of schools, as well as celebrate the amazing job of successfully keeping them running, ensuring that teaching and learning could continue in a safe manner. Collaboration has been key to delivering that continuity.” 

Amongst the highlights from Schools Now! was a keynote presentation on student mental health and wellbeing from Dr. Funke, Head of Counselling and Support at Al-Rayan International School in Ghana who discussed the need to use collaboration as a tool to promote a positive culture about mental health.

Additionally, Sir Mark Grundy, CEO of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, gave attendees a virtual school tour. He added: “The UK has a global reputation for education, with four universities in the world’s top 10 and 18 in the world’s top 100, according to the QS1 world rankings. We are glad to see a growing network of schools around the world strive for excellence and quality in their offering and taking advantage of this networking and learning opportunity at the Schools Now! 2021 Conference.”

Closing the conference, Simon Higgins, Global Head of School Examinations added: “Our Partner Schools have had to be stronger and more resilient than ever since the conference in Egypt last year. The global pandemic gave you no choice but to respond swiftly to support your staff, students and the wider community you are part of, and collaboration played a key role in that.”

Globally, British Council Partner Schools works with more than 2,000 schools, supports over 60,000 teachers and touches the lives of about one million students. With attendees from the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia and East Asia, the truly global event helped to support the British Council in building connections, understanding and trust through education.