Notes regarding selecting international schools

Prospective parents seeking to place their children in school need to review themselves the quality and qualifications of the present teaching staff and school management. Having been involved with recruitment I am only too aware of the dearth of both male and female applicants who would not be given the charge of students in the exacting vetting procedures of developed countries. Are they too stringent and tough? Whereas the days when  school administrators would wait outside of bars at 6 a.m. offering an hours teaching to those who had been imbibing all night may be over even in places like Cambodia, the people who are wearing the neat clean pressed shirt with the school logo shirt may not be either qualified or even appropriate to be in charge of your children. It depends upon whether you view the school as a creche or somewhere where you child will be prepared for the future, or somewhere where they will learn to think and do like any other achieving international student – in other words will these people be able to teach them to be global citizens prepared for all that a globalising world throws at them.

The first place to start is asking to see the teachers and managers transcripts. You want to see bachelor degrees at least in education. You will also want to see licences to teach. This would be state licences of they are Canadian, American, Australian or New Zealand or qualified teacher status (QTS) if they are British.

Teachers from the Philippines are rife in South east Asia. They are cheap and typically obtain their degrees from bogus or ersatz colleges. In the Philippines the law is clear:

Except as otherwise allowed under this Act, no person shall practice or offer to practice the teaching profession in the Philippines or be appointed as teacher to any position without having previously obtained a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional license from the Commission.

Of course being good with children, being ‘liked’, being a good teacher (not necessarily the same thing) is not necessarily the same thing. Nor does credentials on their own make you a ‘good teachers’. But it does mean someone has the training and therefore the knowledge of how to teach, what to teach, and how to teach it.

Good sites to start your research would be the Good Schools Guide. In accord with its title this site has many articles covering issues related to international schooling you would do well to have a glance through it. It is perhaps telling that Cambodia is not mentioned in their list of education systems covered. Nevertheless the site provides a welter of information regarding pressing issues such as the accreditation (the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility ) of schools and other issues such as conversation of qualifications between education systems.  Who oversees the quality of what is being taught? Is this left entirely to the teacher? How do they ensure quality? Its simply not good enough to say that students are passing exams. How do you know that the exams they are passing are rigorous enough or even relevant. remember in private education nobody benefits from a student failing, not the teacher, the administrators, the school owner, the student or their parents… Nobody wants to pay for students failing…

Then their is the curriculum. are the students learning the correct mix of subjects? remember to create a well balanced person, who can make judicial decisions in the future requires more knowledge than simply being able to speak English. Sports teach teamwork and turn-taking and ethics, maths teaches relationships as well. All subjects combine to create a well-rounded mindset. Also are they learning at the correct level and depth. Would they struggle if they were given grade appropriate exams?

Most particularly you may wish to look at here , or here, both of which include an exhaustive list of the kinds of questions that you would ask before enrolling your child in any school, not only in Cambodia but anywhere in the world, but most definitely where governmental overseeing of education is plagued by well founded accusations of being corrupt, weak and ineffectual. For further information you can refer here or here.

If your prospective school lacks this ask them why.

Example of COBIS accreditation:

CIS accreditation:



Intentional Baccalaureate