Bradford headteacher puts city's education on the world stage at major Chinese conference

Article dated Wednesday Jan 3, 2018 at 02:33 PM

A headteacher from a Bradford primary school has helped to put the city on the global education map as she appeared as a keynote speaker at a major education conference held in China.

Gill Edge, co-headteacher of Killinghall Primary School was invited by the Chinese National Institute of Education Sciences to speak at their fourth China Future Schools Conference.

She spoke about how technology is used to assess, support and improve teaching at her school in Bradford, which has recently been rated as Good by Ofsted inspectors.

She told the conference in China how software is used to provide feedback and assessment to her staff to help with their professional development and to raise standards at the school.

The conference was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from across China and other international speakers who were attending as members of the Future School Laboratory.

Membership is based on meeting entry criteria and then being regularly re-assessed and only the best performing schools in China qualify. The Future School Laboratory was established by the Chinese Government to identify how to improve curriculum, learning spaces, educational technology and assessment. Its role is to support the government in its decision making and provide practical solutions for schools in China.

Gill was demonstrating how the effective use of education technology in the UK has helped to identify strengths and weaknesses in the teaching in school and how working together with her staff they were able to make rapid improvements.

She said: "It was a massive event and I was talking to an audience of more than 1,000 people. I was very proud to represent Bradford as I feel we are often not recognised for the excellent work that goes on in our schools across the district.

"There are currently no established teaching standards in China. I was able to explain how teaching standards are used nationally in the UK and how supporting and challenging teachers through appraisal has improved the quality of teaching and learning in our schools.

She also took part in a roundtable discussion with leading educators from Finland, Hong Kong and China to discuss individualised learning and how it was implemented in each of their countries. She said that "individualised learning is well developed in Bradford where education is about the whole child - we aim to build resilience and empathy as well as ensuring children are competent in basic skills. Being ready for the world of work and prepared for future employment we may not yet be able to imagine is our aim."

She was accompanied at the conference by James de Bass, chief executive officer and founder of Educate, the UK company that produces the Standards Tracker software which Killinghall Primary School use.

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