Talking heads: how have you maintained a strong brand for your international school?

With the number of independent schools opening international schools increasing, we asked school leaders how they maintain a brand overseas

Steve Allen, headmaster, LEH International School Foshan

“Have a clear sense of what your school is bringing to your new city and community, and ensure the home and international heads share the same vision. We’re opening in southern China and our parent school, Lady Eleanor Holles, brings a strong identity centred around joyful learning and the freedom to take risks.

“Next, recruit people that share this ethos, embrace challenges, are happy to dive into anything and have a healthy sense of humour. Finally, become a part of your local community. The success of the school depends on engagement with parents, cultural and business leaders, and other educators in your area.”

Gwen Byrom, director of education strategy, NLCS International

“We maintain a strong brand by being very hands-on in our relationships with our schools and partners. NLCS International is involved in the appointment of all teaching staff, and all new appointees spend at least three training days at the UK school before they take up post, so they have the opportunity to understand by direct experience how our ethos is translated into practice.

“We also commit to carrying out at least one inspection or monitoring visit to the school. Speaking to parents and prospective parents, these very close links are tremendously reassuring and give them confidence that our international schools deliver on their promise to offer a world-class education with the ethos and values of NLCS UK.”

George Budd, principal, Moreton Hall

“It is exciting to travel 5,750 miles and see the Moreton Hall crest dominating the entrance to our school in Pujiang. Here, in this aspirational new neighbourhood, we were delighted to open the first of our Moreton Hall prep schools. It was essential to us that we worked with a Chinese partner who shared our vision.

“Moreton Hall Pujiang has been successful in developing an international brand which reflects the standards of our school in Shropshire allowing the youngest learners to learn following their natural curiosity. We worked collaboratively with the new headteacher, recruiting and training the staff overseas. The school has grown, mindful of its Moreton roots, and shares the collective vision.”


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