FOBISSEA is a membership association of British International Schools of quality in the South East Asia and East Asian region. The schools in the Federation work together to provide a range of combined events for their students; professional development opportunities for their teachers; and collaboration on a range of matters that support the provision of a British-styled education in the region.
FOBISSEA was founded in 1984 by Ronald Stones OBE, who was then the Principal of the British International School, Jakarta. He suggested that the Headteachers of British Schools in South East Asia should meet in order to discuss matters of mutual interest, and to offer each other support in delivering a British type curriculum far removed from home base. Heads' informal exchanges and visits between the six schools that responded then began, and other schools joined in the circle. After many years, this lead to the formation of FOBISSEA, then known as the Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia.
FOBISSEA was registered in May 2002 with the Registry of Societies (ROS) in Singapore. It currently has 38 member schools offering British-style international education to over 29, 600 students in FOBISSEA schools. In February 2010, it further expanded its horizon to encompass schools in East Asia hence now being called Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia and East Asia.
Today, member schools are found in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Brunei. Membership is granted to schools that meet the entry criteria which include the ability to demonstrate Britishness as defined by the Federation’s Constitution.
Events for Students
The Federation’s flagship events are those provided for the member schools’ students.
Games – Games are held annually for various age groups and are hosted by each of the member schools in turn. Competition is keen in a range of sporting codes with sportsmanship being the overriding measure of success.
Music Festivals – Musicians are given the opportunity to practice and perform with other musicians from other Federations schools.
Community and Environmental Service – recently established, projects are being developed for students to collaborate in.
Model United Nations (MUN) – The MUN provide students with an opportunity to debate issues of regional relevance.
By means of these events, students from FOBISSEA schools develop greater teamwork skills within their own school teams and, a greater understanding and appreciation of young people from other cultures and countries.
Events for Teachers
FOBISSEA has developed a range of professional development offerings for the teachers of member schools.
Professional Development Centre - A Professional Development Centre, based at Tanglin Trust School, coordinates a range of PD opportunities based at Tanglin and at member schools.
School based PD events - Schools often make their own PD events available to teachers in other member schools.
Committees - Each of the main areas of the Federation’s operations is coordinated by a committee. These committees bring together teachers from member schools and provide extensive opportunities for the sharing of ideas and good practice. Currently committees operate for the purpose of coordination of the Games, Music Festivals, Service, and Professional Development.
Conferences - The Heads and Senior Managers have an annual conference to which leading educational thinkers, from in particular, the UK, are invited to speak and lead seminars. The Heads of PE and Heads of Music from the member schools also meet for an annual conference which includes a professional development element.
Federation Wide Events
Teacher recruitment - Vacancies in member schools are advertised by means of the FOBSISSEA website.
Liaison with other Federations - Through its Executive Committee, the Federation has a close working relationship with British Schools of the Middle East (BSME) and liaises regularly with Latin America Heads Conference (LAHC) and COBIS (Council of British International Schools).