IB Schools and Colleges Association

A message from our CEO

The past five months have seen changes which were previously beyond the scope of imagination. Throughout this period, our children and students have shouldered an enormous weight in terms of the impact on their education and most recently young people in our IB community and beyond have been adversely affected by these circumstances.

As an independent organisation established by and for IB schools in the UK as a vehicle for mutual support and the sharing of good practice, IBSCA is committed to our remit to support the schools, teachers, and students that are part of our organisation. At no other point in our history have our responsibilities to our community been so important and needed.

During this period, we have focused our efforts on fulfilling our remit to our member schools and their communities, namely:

  1. To provide support and training for schools
  2. To act as a point of contact for the IB with UK schools
  3. To advocate on behalf of UK schools, teachers and students

From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic we have sought to ensure that focus remained on two key student groups: those graduating in 2020 and those graduating in 2021. To help the first group, we have helped schools navigate the requirements necessitated by the cancellation of the May examinations. This has involved proactive communication with schools via our regional hubs and with the IB. Since the results were released in July, we have represented the interests of schools and students to the IB and to UK universities. We have written twice to UK universities as well as maintaining a constant dialogue with the IB. We have hosted webinars to allow schools to speak directly with IB officials, and we have acted in an advisory capacity for schools seeking to address issues with their results. We have also increasingly had contact with parents and have tried to ensure that we provide accurate and timely advice on issues arising from the cancellation of examinations and university admissions. Throughout we have been guided by the principle of equity and fairness for IB graduates, and we played a significant part in encouraging the IB to move to a revision of the original awarding model.

Our efforts on behalf of the 2021 cohort have focused on liaison with the IB to ensure that the impact of remote, digital schooling was understood and taken into account. Through an extensive survey of over 1300 teachers representing 78 schools we were able to provide evidence of the impact on progress for May 2021 students and thus encourage the IB to look at measures to reflect this for the May 2021 exams.

Throughout the period we have maintained contact with our member schools, and we have hosted numerous webinars and training opportunities. We are delighted that as a consequence of these efforts, the IB have allowed us to offer online training for teachers from September 2020 to allow us to meet our objective of ensuring that schools and teachers are in the best position possible to meet the requirements of the IB programme.

These have been trying times, and there remains much to be done but I am proud of the efforts of the IBSCA Officers and the work that has been achieved. We will continue to support our members as we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances and we welcome those with suggestions, concerns, or questions about how best to support our IB community to contact us so that we may be of assistance.

Richard Markham
CEO, IB Schools and Colleges Association (IBSCA)