Oz trip for Essex headteacher

EDUCATION on the other side of the world will come under the spotlight when a Great Dunmow headteacher goes Down Under.

Simon Knight, head of The Helena Romanes School, set off for Australia on Wednesday (July 11) in a mission to see how schools are run in Australia.

He hopes to share the recipe of his success, as well as pick up some best practise tips from his Australian counterparts.

Speaking before his dpearture Mr Knight, who has been to Australia four times before but never to look at education, said: “I’m going to be working with a school 200 miles inland from Sydney in a rural area with a similar population to Dunmow. I’m interested to look at leadership and management in their curriculum.”

Mr Knight is the only secondary headteacher from Essex signed up to the LEAP (leading educators around the planet) programme which brings together education leaders from the UK, Australia and Canada to share common and diverse issues facing them.

After his trip this summer, the headteacher of Mr Knight’s partner school will return the visit in September to look at the set-up of the schools and education system in the UK from Helena Romanes’ perspective.

“I will be attending a couple of national conferences while in Australia and taking the opportunity to give a presentation to my host school on Helena Romanes, education in the UK and recent changes,” explained Mr Knight.

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“I do not expect the education system out there to be radically different to our own, but I look forward to coming home with new ideas. As an academy, we have the devolution of budgets to me as headteacher and this is a system Australia is beginning to move towards so they will be very interested to learn from us.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to sit with headteachers from around the world and discuss our education systems to find out what works best.”