Hong Kong is a fit home

26th November 2004 at 00:00
I am writing in response to the rather one-sided article published last month about Heather Du Quesnay's move to Hong Kong to lead the English Schools Foundation (TES, October 29).

It completely failed to communicate any of the reasons why a person of Heather Du Quesnay's stature and ability would want to take up the post of chief executive and secretary. It failed to mention the huge success of our schools, for example, the fact that, last year, of the 1,544 students who entered A-level exams, over 41 per cent achieved a grade A and that nearly 99 per cent achieved a pass or better at A-level. It also failed to mention what any new teacher to an ESF school always comments on first, the kids are just fantastic - they're motivated, friendly, disciplined and they are clearly enjoying their education. In combination with good leadership, a body of dedicated teachers and supportive parents, this creates a very special "ESF atmosphere" which is obvious to visitors the minute they step across the threshold.

Although this might appear to be a teaching utopia it is true that the organisation has experienced some turbulence recently. However, it was disappointing that the article mentioned nothing of the substantial rebuilding that has taken place. Change is clearly already under way: there is more openness about decision-making, better communication between stakeholders but above all a clear willingness to move on.

Heather Du Quesnay's arrival will be very important in this rebuilding process and is very much looked forward to.

Sarah Rigby Chair, Joint Council of Parent Teacher Associations 17 Braemar Hill Road North Point, Hong Kong

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