AoBSO – what is it?

Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO)
“By schools – for schools”.

Department for Education (DfE) recognition

AoBSO is one of five overseas schools organisations recognised by the DfE in terms of BSO benefits. This means that AoBSO has a voice that is listened to on BSO matters and also that membership of AoBSO, in conjunction with a successful BSO inspection, permits a school to offer the full UK induction period to NQTs. This is a benefit that many BSO have now used.

What is the distinction between “BSO” and “AoBSO”?

BSOs are schools that have successfully undergone the BSO inspection process and whose last BSO inspection occurred within the stipulated time period. Members of AoBSO are also BSOs who have, in addition, joined the Association to pursue common interests.

AoBSO members may also display the AoBSO logo:

In summary: All members of AoBSO are BSOs, but not all BSOs are members of AoBSO

How and why did AOBSO start?

BSOs attending the 2nd Annual Conference (Barcelona, November 2013) agreed that an organisation serving the growing BSO network would be welcomed and useful, for many reasons in addition to the natural desire for any group of people and organisations to form an interest group.

At the 3rd conference, in Hong Kong (November 2014), and in the presence of a DfE representative, delegates agreed that the organisation was now in existence and appointed a Development Committee to oversee the preparation of its principles, constitution and aims.  The Committee developed the following, which were distributed for comment and then adopted:

Mission Statement

“To provide BSO schools with a strong, effective global network, recognised by the Department for Education, within which best pedagogical and leadership practice is shared in order to achieve and maintain the highest educational outcomes for every pupil”

Aims and Operation

AoBSO will …..

1)  be a voice focused on BSO matters to the UK government and beyond

2) develop a network amongst members, to share excellent leadership and pedagogical practice

3)  share and debate new research into learning, teaching and leadership

4)  raise and enhance the profile of member schools

5) promote the growth of the BSO family of schools and encourage BSOs to join AoBSO

6)  offer an annual conference

7)  support and advise schools on acquiring and retaining BSO status

8)  improve communication about BSOs via an online BSO directory, together with  links to BSO websites and inspection reports

9) provide a one-stop source of information about the inspection programme and all BSO matters, including the rights and benefits associated with BSO status

10) work with and promote membership of FOBISIA, BSME, COBIS, LAHC & NABSS

An important principle regarding AOBSO is that it does not intend to duplicate or replace the excellent work of DfE-recognised overseas bodies (British Schools in the Middle East – BSME; National Association of British Schools in Spain – NABSS; Council of British International Schools – COBIS, Federation of British Schools in Asia – FOBISIA or the Latin American Heads Conference – LAHC).  The aim is to be complementary to these bodies and to promote membership of them to schools and to act as a source of BSO information.