Saturday, 5 May 2007

I have just got back from Brno in the Czech Republic...

Jenny Hill, my colleague from International Relations and I spend wonderful 48 hours in Brno, the Czech Republic's second city after Prague. I was speaking at the International Dalton Conference which is a project linking together Brno, Utrecht in Holland and now Leeds! The Conference brought together educators and academics from all over the world who are interested in the Dalton method... which is about personalisation, coaching and student choice. Jenny and I flew the flag for Leeds and everyone was inspired by what we are doing.

Our visit was hosted by Vladimir Moskovan, Headteacher at the Chalabalova Scola in Brno and Milos Sifalda who is the politician heading up learning in this part of the Czech Republic. Jenny and I also met local and regional politicians and officials and visited Zakladni Scola, Milanova and the Vejrostova Gymnasium which specialises in English and Spanish.

It was a fantastic visit and Jenny and we both learned a lot which we hope to use back in Leeds. Interestingly, the audience at the conference was almost entirely women, as is the education workforce. It is apparently really hard to recruit and keep teachers in the Czech Republic who are only paid around £4500 a year with headteachers earning around £9000... still beer is only 35p a pint!

You can find out more about the Dalton method by visiting their website at We hope that a future International Dalton Conference will be hosted in Leeds... although with flights, hotels and living expenses so cheap in the Czech Republic perhaps we should all go there for the conference!

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