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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

TDET develops international partnerships

TDA and QKA join SoTo heads and school leaders to forge educational partnerships with China


Last week, school leaders from Schools of Tomorrow (SoTo) visited China as part of the first SoTo international delegation. SoTo is a member-owned social enterprise that brings schools together through a shared commitment to the four quadrants of educational delivery; highest levels of achievement, highest levels of wellbeing, highly effective preparation for the future and highly effective family and community engagement.


The objective of the China Delegation was to form long-standing partnerships with primary and secondary schools in Qingdao, with a view to sharing best practice and providing meaningful two-way learning opportunities for students and staff.


During the visit, the delegation explored the city of Qingdao, which has a population of 10 million and a total of 1,897 educational settings. The city is made up of a several districts, with the most notable being the west coast and east coast areas, which were home to the schools identified as suitable partners for the SoTo schools. Each SoTo school was partnered with a comparable school and, following the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the respective school leaders spent an afternoon with their partner school leaders to discuss and share ideas about their vision, values and education system.


In addition to visiting the partner schools, the SoTo school leaders spent time exploring the newly established Yew Chung International School of Qingdao and the China-Britain Innovation Industry Park to explore opportunities for the mutual Continual Professional Development of staff and the subsequent benefits to the children. As a result of the visit, Schools of Tomorrow are committed to exploring a new joint venture, China - SoTo Teacher Development Programme and will now enter into communications to develop the venture over the coming years.   


Clive Corbett, SoTo Director said, ‘I came to Qingdao committed to developing links between children in England and China, something that I believe to be of particular importance during a time when the UK is seen by some as turning inwards. Establishing international connections between children and families is central to enhancing international understanding and mutually advantageous development, and essential to the future well-being of our countries’.


The visit proved to be extremely beneficial to all parties and TDA is delighted to be formally partnered with Bilingual Primary School and Huangdao Hongde Middle School, Qingdao, China.