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Letter from the Chair of the Heads Council

Luke-Thomson-sqDear Heads,

Welcome to this new edition of Heads Up. I am Luke Thomson, the Chair of the Heads Council. I bring you greetings from all members of the Heads Council and trust that this new year is a successful one for you.

We recently met and welcomed a number of new members to the Heads Council. You have the opportunity to read a little about them in their biographies.

I am pleased to report that we finished an excellent Heads Council meeting in The Hague and the group is working well. We raise issues, generate ideas, challenge and support all manner of IB initiatives from the unique and vital perspective of Heads.

Our meeting was also an excellent opportunity to meet many members of the staff operating out of the IB Global Centre in The Hague. We enjoy outstanding hospitality at all the offices we visit as Heads Council members and excellent relations with the staff who support our work.

During our meeting we discussed the Postcards to the DG. These postcards were an innovation at the November 2015 IB World Heads Conference. As promised, Siva Kumari has responded to each and you may find answers to questions you have long wondered about. They are an interesting, efficient and helpful way to scope the issues that matter to Heads and how the IB is able to respond to them.

The Heads Council has decided to host the next IB Heads World Conference in March/April 2018 in the Asia Pacific region. We are looking forward to working with the IB Asia Pacific regional office to shape the conference and build on the excellent experience of the previous Heads Conference. As soon as a destination and final dates are known, we will let you know.

We received excellent and constructive feedback from many who attended the 2015 IB Heads World Conference and we will consider that feedback, particularly ensuring even greater cohesion between the Regional and Heads Conferences, as we develop our ideas for the conference in 2018.

Our recent meeting explored many issues and we spent some considerable time discussing the Heads Standing Association Constitution (HSA), by-laws and the work of the Heads Council generally. This resulted in the establishment of a new working party to explore a number of possible refinements to the HSA constitution. I look forward to reporting about this more fully next year when the work of this group is accomplished. We believe it is crucial that the Heads Council remains fit for purpose and its guiding documents and practices meet their intended purpose.

Finally, we would like to thank you for your participation in the election process for the Heads Council. We encourage you to attend the world and regional conferences and all smaller networking opportunities within regions. Ours is a collegial and personable community of educators encouraged and motivated by the shared experience of an IB education. Acknowledging the role Heads play in maintaining that experience is a critical role of the Heads Council. Thank you for your continuing work for and in support of the IB.

Good luck for the year and I look forward to communicating with you again in the future.

All the best

Luke Thomson

Chair of the Heads Council