This is the blog site of Mark Parkinson – educator, learner, blogger, parent, thinker, reflector, challenger, reformer, child advocate, thrill-seeker, writer, communicator, sports lover, passionate about music, futurist, trainer, coach, leader, visionary, polymath, environmentalist, go-giver, values-centred human.
Update – May 2016
For the last three years I lived in the United Arab Emirates, involved in setting up a new school in Sharjah. Over the last 11 years or so I’ve loved being involved with setting up new schools, turning around a school that had lost its way or taking a group of schools with a great reputation and raising the bar to a whole new level. These different roles drew on different parts of me, challenged me and called me to question many of the things that I might have taken for granted about education.
I’m now excited to be moving on to new projects, challenges and opportunities. I’ve moved to Malaysia where I’ve taken up the very exciting role of CEO for Tenby Schools. This is a group of 5 schools (to be six from September 2016, with further future expansion plans in the pipeline). All the schools offer International primary Programme, IGCSE and A levels and some offer the Malaysian national curriculum through private school.
All the schools operate in beautiful, purpose-built campuses, with highly competent and skilled leadership teams and educators. With well over 4,000 students, their parents and guardians and 500+ teachers, plus administrators I’m really excited to be embarking on this new journey, wonderful new learning opportunities and a whole lot of new people to get to know.
And, of course, a whole new audience for this blog. Already, the readership is spread throughout the world. Obviously, the biggest groups are parents and staff from past schools I’ve been involved with. Even though I have a new role and new children, parents and staff to whom I’m answerable, all those who’ve been a part of my development and learning as an educator in the past are no less welcome – ESPECIALLY those willing and happy to join in with the debates and discussions related to the issues raised.
From 2007 to 2012 I was Director of The Shri Ram Schools (TSRS), Delhi and Gurgaon, India. In that time we were able to increase the number of students for whom we provided education by more than 50%, whilst being ranked number 1 Day School in the country in 2008, 2009 and 2011 by Education World magazine. The schools were also consistently ranked the best in Delhi and Gurgaon in surveys conducted by Hindustan Times newspaper.
After leaving TSRS I also had the opportunity to support the team bringing a very new kind of school to India; Kunskappskolan, Gurgaon opened in April 2013 as a collaboration with Sweden’s biggest education company. Their emphasis is strongly on developing independent learners and providing a personalised learning experience for every student.
In around six and a half years the blog has received well over 90,000 visits. I started it with the intention of communicating with a very narrowly defined group of people. However, over time I came to realise that it actually offered me the opportunity to do something that has been fundamental for educators over hundreds (maybe thousands) of years – namely, to share knowledge and information with others (but with the powerful multiplying effect of the internet).
These days, whilst a proportion of regular readers are people who know me ‘in the real world’, it’s very satisfying that i get to share material related to 21st Century education, children, parenting, leadership and anything else that really interests me with a far broader group of people who share those interests.