World-class school welcomes Sri Lankan education secretary

The Arthur Terry School yesterday (18 April) welcomed three prestigious guests when a senior delegation, led by Sri Lanka’s education secretary, visited the outstanding academy. As part of a visit to the UK, the officials were invited to share their expertise and learn more about the high performing academy and the UK education system.

W M Bandusena, secretary to the Ministry of Education (MoE), L M D Dharmasena, chief commissioner (teacher education), MoE, and the British Council’s Shane Martenstyn, assistant manager of programme delivery, spent an educational day at Arthur Terry. The visit was part of a joint fact finding mission to share best practice, strengthen international links and develop a greater understanding of education and teacher training in both countries.

The distinguished trio met with headteacher Neil Warner and other staff, pupils and leaders from the acclaimed Arthur Terry National Teaching School. The officials were keen to learn more about a number of key areas, including the UK education system, the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), the school curriculum and teaching schools, with a view to developing even stronger links between all parties.

Neil Warner said:

We were delighted to welcome our esteemed visitors. The Arthur Terry School is incredibly proud of its international reputation and we were pleased to attract such influential international professionals to our school.

The purpose of the visit was to share the very best in teaching and learning from both countries, so that we can continue to raise standards and bring the world’s best teachers to our classrooms. It provided a great opportunity to learn from each other, to share best practice, to discuss future collaborations and to underpin our universal goal of providing the best life chances for students everywhere.”

The visit builds on the Arthur Terry School’s growing global reputation. Described as “world class” by former education minister, Michael Gove, the school’s impressive international profile was of particular interest to the high profile visitors, who were inspired to work more closely with Arthur Terry.

Mr Bandusena (pictured centre) said:

This visit has re-enforced the benefits of working together. We hope this will be motivational in strengthening our relationship with Arthur Terry – it will be fantastic for teachers and students from both countries to learn even more from each other.”

As part of an informative programme of activities, the visitors had chance to discuss the important role of teaching schools and international teaching education and were full of praise for the Arthur Terry National Teaching School’s (ATNTS) “innovative” practice.

One of the country’s first 100 teaching schools, the ATNTS is recognised as a leader in training and professional development. Designated the lead school of an accredited school-centred initial teacher training course (SCITT) which Ofsted rated as “good” with “outstanding” features, trainees in a wide range of secondary subjects – and also primary – are trained across a teaching alliance. The teaching school also leads on School Direct recruitment, cross-phase.

Mr Dharmasena (pictured second from right) said:

Following today’s visit we can understand more about how the UK education system is changing. Arthur Terry is a leading educational organisation and one of the best schools in the area. We have met with some talented students and we can see how the school is working hard to achieve success together.” 

Cathryn Mortimer, director of the Arthur Terry National Teaching School, said:

We hope this will be the start of a long and positive relationship and we are looking forward to working together. We believe that this partnership will provide even more opportunities for our different learning communities.  We would like to thank our visitors for taking time out from their busy UK schedule to spend a valuable and enjoyable day at our school.”