The British Council’s Schools Now! 2024 was held in South Africa


2024 conference equips educators and decision-makers with the strategies necessary to enhance the educational experience for students worldwide.

4 delegates from Sri Lanka attended the conference.

  • Themed around ‘Enriching your curriculum’, the Schools Now! 2024 conference brought education experts from around the world to present innovations and case studies in leadership, well-being and safeguarding approaches and the integration of technology in digital learning

  • The conference focused on empowering subject experts within the school community to drive curriculum development and delivery

The British Council’s Schools Now! 2024 was held over three days in Cape Town, South Africa from 27-29 February 2024. The conference was attended by over 1000 school leaders both onsite and virtually, and served as a platform for fostering collaboration, sharing best practices and insights in international education. From Sri Lanka, 4 delegates attended the conference including representatives from the British Council and schools including Elizabeth Moir School, St. Thomas’ Catholic International College, and Ladies’ College.

The themes included digital learning, leadership, well-being, and safeguarding, adding to a rich internationalised and contextualised curriculum. Through a series of engaging keynote sessions, immersive workshops, and panel discussions, delegates explored innovative teaching approaches, curriculum enrichment strategies, and the integration of technology in education. 

Martin Lowder, Head of Global Exams Services, The British Council, shared, ‘The spirit of Schools Now! is to establish global connections within the educational community, exploring insights and innovations in international education. By addressing emerging themes, we aim to empower educators to navigate the complexities of the shifting education landscape and drive positive outcomes for students.’

Dominic Hudson, Exams Director at the British Council in Sri Lanka said: ‘The British Council Partner Schools programme supports over 116 Partner Schools in Sri Lanka to deliver UK International School Qualifications on behalf of UK awarding bodies. Our educational support enables schools to enhance the learning experience for students, improving educational outcomes.’

The opening keynote session by Victoria Pendry, CEO of the Curriculum Foundation, aimed at empowering schools to develop, monitor, and evaluate an enriched curriculum. Her presentation explored the interconnected nature of digital learning, leadership, well-being and safeguarding as a foundation for quality and equitable education.

Other distinguished speakers included, Dr Funke Baffour-Awuah, Head of Well-being Division and Child Protection Lead, Al Rayan International School, Ghana, Kathleen O’Hare, British Council Education Consultant, Pamela O`Brien, Deputy Head and Jo Parkes, Deputy Head Academic from British Council School in Madrid.

Tatiana Popa, Deputy Academic Director, Heritage International School, Moldova, an ISC International Education Influencer of 2023, delivered a session for virtual delegates, on ‘Digital learning’, focussing on the use of AI in schools and how this will impact all areas of work, educational tools, teaching practice and much more.

An expert panel on ‘AI in Education’ comprising of Kudzayi Tarisayi, Senior Lecturer, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, Reham Ali, Director of Middle and High School Education, Nermine Ismail International Schools, Egypt, and Jo Parkes discussed valuable tips into how schools can ensure students are prepared for future needs dictated through the use of AI. It was eye-opening to see nearly 90% of conference delegates voice AI as a friend, not foe, signalling widespread optimism towards AI’s potential benefits.

Key takeaways from the event will be available on the Schools Now! website page:
https://www.britishcouncil.org/exam/partner-schools/schools-now-conference


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