Portsbridge hosts International Educators Conference in University of Portsmouth

Portsbridge Educational Services held its first International educators conference on the 11th and 12th of July 2017 at the Portland Building in the University of Portsmouth, supported by the School of Education and Childhood Studies.

The theme of the conference was: Exploring Developments in Teaching and Learning: the Scope for International Transfer. It was aimed at educators gaining an understanding and experience of some good practices in the British education system that could be transferable to their various contexts.

Andrew Porter, who represented the School of Education and Childhood Studies, welcomed the delegates. The keynote address, presented by Dr Angeline Barrett of the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, was titled: Best practice and the teacher: How to navigate the global exchange of educational ideas. This thought provoking paper challenged the idea of best practice with statistical evidence from different research contexts. Dr Stella Adagiri, the director of Portsbridge Educational Services and Dr Timi Hyacinth, on behalf of NAPPS (National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools) Abuja, also presented a paper which explored private education in Nigeria, its issues and trends. They suggested a way forward including consolidating locally, in Nigeria and developing international partnerships to support the drive for world class education.  The conference coordinator Dr Sylvia Horton, concluded the first day by highlighting the importance of evaluating training programs basing her presentation on a research project on Portsbridge International Training programs and their impact to date.

 

Participants were teachers, school owners, administrators, researchers and educational consultants from West Africa and the United Kingdom. They also attended the SECS Annual conference on the 10th of July which was primarily academic and research based. The Portsbridge International Conference, in contrast was practitioner based and included training sessions on Early Years, Teaching and Learning, Sustaining Outstanding Leadership, Special Education Needs and Entrepreneurship.

Facilitators included teacher trainers from the School of Education and Childhood Studies (SECS), an Early Years practitioner from a local nursery and the Principals of Portsmouth Grammar School and St Johns College Portsmouth. An award winning youth Enterprise Academy in Portsmouth – Unloc, also shared their experiences in developing enterprise in schools and colleges across the city and beyond.

Participants expressed their appreciation of the conference and shared a range of good practices they had been introduced to during the seminar sessions. Those who enrolled in a five day school placement program in local schools in Portsmouth, which preceded the conference, found the experience enlightening. These participants from Nigeria and Ghana were more enthusiastic and determined to be the agents of change that is needed in their different contexts. Feedback from the both programs was excellent and there was a huge interest in organizing such programs in their countries so as to reach a wider range of educators and schools.

Some of the comments included:

  • “This has been such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to get back to share with my colleagues on special education needs and developing policies on safeguarding and reward system in our School”  Chineye Alabi , Cuddle School  Abuja Nigeria.
  • “The Highscope approach in early years was a new and incredible experience for me. I hope to introduce it in my school” …Lami Gidado, Treasure box Preschool  Jos,Nigeria.
  • “I would like to partner with the young entrepreneurs on a project I am embarking on in Ghana. They were very inspiring…. This has been a great conference and I have enjoyed every bit of it. …. Farouk Iliasu, Multikids Inclusive Academy, Ghana
  • “It was very interesting and enlightening” …Kat Thorne, Commonwealth Education Trust, UK.  

According to the conference coordinator Dr Sylvia Horton, Portsbridge plans to follow up the participants in six months’ time to find out how many of their plans have been implemented.

Portsbridge Educational Services, which was founded by Dr Stella Adagiri a University of Portsmouth  Alumni in 2014 and has organized four successful international programs and this conference, which has helped to promote the School of Education and Childhood Studies and opened opportunities for future international collaborations. Having gone through the route to start up program with the support of nest and Innovation Space University of Portsmouth, Portsbridge is one of the successful international graduate enterprises which was recognized as the graduate  startup business in March 2016 Enterprise showcase and now looks to expand the business in Nigeria working across West Africa and the UK..