n the latest article in our Wellbeing Around the World series, we chat to Liz Free, CEO and director at International School Rheintal (ISR) in Switzerland, an IB World School, about how she made improving staff wellbeing a key focus when she took on her role and the initiatives she introduced to deliver on this aim.
A conversation with Liz Free CEO and Director at International School Rheintal & Viki Stiebert Director at International School of Bergen
Having just sifted through 146 applications for two jobs, this headteacher offers advice to candidates to ensure they don't fall at the first hurdle in the job hunt (published TES 6th December 2021) We recently advertised for two newly created head of school positions at my school. We received 146 applications. What was so striking… Continue reading How to ensure your job application leaps off the page
First published 14/06/21 on the International Schools Network (ISN) https://edco-isn-staging.edcowebsites.co.uk/articles/open/being-braver-how-can-you-make-steps-into-leadership/ We need great leaders, full stop. This matters. This matters because every person working in our schools matters. And it is our leaders in our communities that act as the cohesion, the cohesive unifying force that supports us all on our paths, empowering our community. … Continue reading Being Braver: How Can You Make Steps Into Leadership?
Yesterday, we saw the graduation of our 2020-2021 Grade 12 students. We are all so proud of their achievements, resilience and grit in the face of a global pandemic and also the young adults they have become. They are a product of an ISR education, a truly international education, and we stand with them on… Continue reading To the ISR class of 2020-2021
The simple act of giving doughnuts to school staff is a powerful expression of gratitude and togetherness, says Liz Free. It’s been over a year. We are still teaching through a global pandemic. Our school staff are tired. A question hit me: Is this the moment for doughnuts? Read full article on TES Published 26/3/21 https://www.tes.com/news/covid-schools-teachers-why-we-must-still-find-moments-joy-pandemic
A powerful source of learning and culture in any organization can come from having a well structured and supported learning community. It may be difficult in busy workplaces to prioritize creating and supporting learning communities, but the benefits of doing so are numerous and can be the glue that holds everything together. To discuss the… Continue reading Podcast S3 E7 Learning Communities: How to foster continuous learning. www.theartandscienceoflearning.com
Podcast international education with Liz Free and Simon Noakes
In 2006 I made my first foray into international education, as I headed to the States. Optimistic, but slightly terrified, I boldly strode into the unknown. Maybe shuffled is a better description, as I was slightly weighed down by books. Books. I love books; heavy, weighty, weathered or worn. I love them all, and I keep… Continue reading New Year’s Resolution; Less Books?
Liz Free (@LizAmfree) with Dan Worth (@DanWorth), Senior Editor, TES - released 24th November 2020 In the latest edition of the Tes International podcast we chat with Liz Free, the director and CEO of International School Rheintal in Switzerland. She discusses the challenge that international schools have faced this year, given that their usual routes to connecting with… Continue reading TES Podcast: Why maintaining international networks matters
First published in International School Leader Magazine in September 2020 It’s September 2020. Many in our global community have been through a transition; whether directly affected by COVID-19, moving to new roles, being repatriated or being on lockdown and separated from family and friends. Whether old or young, the world has faced unprecedented levels of… Continue reading Moving Through a Global Pandemic (‘International School Leader’ Magazine)
These have been unusual times; a year unprecedented in so many ways. This period of stillness and reflection as we move through the summer offers an opportunity to take stock, reflect and plan for the future. I prepared this session in June for #UKEdChat, with filming and presentation support from my daughter, as we were… Continue reading Becoming an International School Teacher #GlobalProfession
A version of this was originally published in the 'Tes Magazine' on 27 March 2020 and the ILA 'Rethinking Education' blog on 23 April 2020 I originally wrote this piece in January 2020. Little did I know then about how the world would change so fast and the significance and volume of decision making that our school… Continue reading Decisions, Decisions… How can school leaders become better decision-makers?
This article first appeared in International School Magazine January 2020 Issue and was subsequently published on the 'Rethinking Education' International Leadership Academy Blog My eight-year-old daughter has discovered the potential of Alexa in all her glory! It appears that ‘True Colours’ (the Joshua Radin version, interestingly) and ‘Where have all the flowers Gone?’ are the hits… Continue reading Where Have all the Teachers Gone?
Article written by Claudia Civinini, TES, 09 December 2019 - Interview with Liz free A quarter of teachers in the UK, Ireland, US and Australia would have to move abroad to teach in international schools each year up to 2029 to meet the sector’s growing demand, an expert has warned. Liz Free, founding director of the… Continue reading One in four teachers “needed overseas by 2029” International schools’ growth plans face setbacks unless a million English-speaking teachers can be found, expert warns
https://issuu.com/ecischools/docs/global_insights_november2019 It is THE question that cuts to the core of what we believe as teachers and school leaders. Just as Hamlet faced core moments of ethical quandary, so do we as educationalists. And it is in these moments of adversity, of challenging financial times, that the decisions we make about appropriate funding (in all… Continue reading To PD or not to PD? That’s the Question…
What is great leadership in 2019? Leadership looks exactly the same today as it always has; or does it? I was recently asked by Independent Education Today ‘What does great school leadership look like in 2019?’ Well, I would argue that in many ways it looks the same as it always has been, but with a few very visible… Continue reading Great Leaders Inspire Greatness in Others: Leadership in 2019
Published by COBIS on #IWD19 (https://www.cobis.org.uk/blog/international-perspectives-social-moral-and-economic-imperatives-for-leadership-iwd19) ‘Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. If women—who account for half the world’s population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.’ (McKinsey 2015) Last year I was invited to write a chapter exploring international… Continue reading International Perspectives: Social, Moral and Economic Imperatives for Leadership #IWD19 #BalanceforBetter
Am feeling excited on this #SuperSaturday as the new @WomenEd book has now been published by Sage. Written by the community for the community, I feel really privileged to have been able to contribute to this global movement and bring an international perspective to the book. ‘Be 10% Braver NOW! We are delighted to announce… Continue reading 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education
The Biggest Threat to Global Education… Us? Brain Drain or Brain Boost?
One of my most favourite things about summer holidays is that I get time to read. I plan my book purchases well in advance (with true antiquated sentiment I cling on to my hardbacks) and buy actual newspapers! I read fervently everyday before falling into a siesta slumber every afternoon. An article that begin ruminating… Continue reading The 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Team…
Inspirational Leadership? I was recently asked ‘which women leaders do you most admire?’ This stumped me. There are so many inspirational leaders to choose from; great performers, educationalists, entrepreneurs, scientists and humanitarians alongside everyday acts of leadership I see in schools from staff and pupils who have significantly influenced their fields, their environments and the… Continue reading Inspirational Leadership? Which women leaders do you most admire? I’m Stumped. #IWD2018
‘Student-Centered Leadership’, Viviane Robinson, Book Review by Liz Free. First Published by the Chartered College (7/11/17) Details Book title: Student-Centered Leadership Author: Viviane Robinson Publication date: 2011 The review 1. What is your overall impression of the book? In the age of education fad and fashion, Student-Centered Leadership is a haven of sensibility that… Continue reading In the age of education fad and fashion, Student-Centered Leadership is a haven of sensibility that calls to every education leader to put ‘education back into education leadership’.
0.7%, 1%, 2% of school budget/revenue, more? This is a question that I get asked on a weekly basis. How much should we be spending on CPD? How much is enough? I often reference Viviane Robinson’s work from a Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) where she identifies the leadership dimension of ‘leading teacher learning and development’… Continue reading CPD Spend; How Much is Enough?
It’s Super Saturday! Three international Six Nations matches in one day as we reach the climax of finale competition weekend and the prospect of an epic England back-to-back grand slam victory (a feat only achieved five times in 107 years). England seek their 19th successive test win as they prepare to meet age-old rivals Ireland,… Continue reading Super Saturday: Good to Great?
Recently I delivered some workshops at conferences for senior education leaders looking at CPD as a core lever for school improvement and the international research evidence in this field (impressively dynamic & exciting despite the rather apparently dry content). I enthusiastically talked about research and impact, raising a rallying call to school leaders across… Continue reading We spend more on toilet paper and hand wash than CPD