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Posted on: 02/12/2016

Sharing good practice with Bogota

Headteachers from Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, were given a close up view of education in the UK when they visited Morpeth School in the East End of London, on Thursday 1st December 2016.

The group of seven school leaders spent the morning touring the school, observing lessons, and meeting with teachers and students.

Organised by the British Council, the purpose of the visit was to:

  • Share and learn from the UK’s expertise in education and schools
  • Find out about school leadership and governance
  • Exchange information about Colombia’s and the UK's education system and to pick up ideas to implement back home.

During their tour of Morpeth the Headteachers popped into a language lesson and spoke Spanish with the pupils. 

They were particularly keen to see the difference between primary and secondary schools, as the two-tier system does not exist in Colombia. Instead, children start school aged six and continue in the same school until they are 16. Visits to two primary schools were also on their itinerary.

Another point of interest was conflict resolution. Schools in Colombia are currently working on ways to integrate the children of FARC guerrilla families into mainstream education, now that the civil war is over. The Headteachers wanted to observe how children from conflict backgrounds are integrated into schools in the UK.

Head Master of the Villemar El Carmen School, Mr Pablo Alejandro Salazar Restrepo, said: “I think this is a marvellous and amazing school, the pupils obviously feel they belong.

“The excellent facilities help the teachers do their job well. It’s clear the students are very happy here, and that is the main thing.”

Headteacher of Morpeth School, Jemima Reilly, said: “It was a pleasure welcoming fellow Headteachers from Colombia.

“Morpeth is an accredited National Teaching School, which makes us a centre for sharing good practice in teaching and learning with other schools.

“We are always happy to extend our knowledge and expertise to teachers and education officials from overseas, as we did recently to another group of teachers, visiting from Hangzhou in China.”

The trip to the UK was arranged following an agreement between the British Council and Bogota’s Local Education Authority, to work on strengthening English teaching in local schools in the City.

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