Meet OuR Judges

Professor Jeff Thompson CBE 

Emeritus Professor at the University of Bath

Jeff Thompson is currently Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Bath, where he has been Head of Department, Dean of Faculty and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and where he teaches and researches in the field of international education. At a national level he has held many leadership positions arising from appointments by successive governments, including the design of the National Curriculum for England and Wales, Vice-Chair of the Schools Examinations and Assessment Council, Chair of the Examinations Appeals Board for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and was a member of the National Commission for Education, inter alia. 

He has been active in many international bodies and projects, being involved in the original team responsible for the design and implementation of the International Baccalaureate, chair of the Advisory Board for the International Primary and Middle Years Projects and is currently Chair of the Board for the Alliance for International Education. He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees.

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Pippa Leggate

International Advisor for the Council of International Schools

Pippa has extensive educational experience gained both internationally and in the UK, from a career devoted to education as teacher, school Head, IB Regional Director and consultant. She joined the CIS team in June 2017 as an International Advisor supporting and visiting schools applying for CIS membership and participating in the cycle of CIS accreditation

Professor Mary Hayden

Professor of International Education at the University of Bath

Dr Mary Hayden is Professor of International Education at the University of Bath, UK. Prior to moving to Bath she worked for nine years with the International Baccalaureate Organization, since when her main research interests have continued to relate to the field of international curriculum, international schools and international education. She teaches and supervises Doctoral and Masters students with interests in this area, many of whom are teachers and administrators in international schools worldwide. 

Mary has published many books and articles with a focus on international schools and international education. She is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Research in International Education and, with Professor Jeff Thompson, joint Editor of International School magazine. She has led teams undertaking research projects including, recently, those relating to implementation of the IB Diploma CAS programme worldwide, and student experiences at the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kevin Ruth

Former Executive Director at ECIS

Kevin is the former Executive Director of ECIS. In addition to two decades in education as a teacher, advisor, department head, and deputy head, he has given 19 years of service as a director on non-profit boards, with four years as a school trustee. Kevin is a Fellow in the UK-based Royal Society of Arts; advisory council member for Harvard Business Review; advisory council member for AAIE (Association for the Advancement of International Education); member of the Online Executive Panel (Education) for McKinsey & Company; member of the Feedback Forum (Marketing) for the Financial Times; and past lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He holds bachelor’s degrees in French and German and a Master’s in Comparative Literature, all from the Pennsylvania State University; a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University; and two executive certificates from Stanford University in Advanced Project Management and Strategic Decision & Risk Management.

Paul Regan

Former Principal of Oaktree International School, Kolkata, India

Paul has worked in the field of education as teacher, head teacher and principal for over thirty years, fifteen of them in international education. He has run schools in Kenya, the Ukraine, Bosnia and India and, as founding head, he has started up 2 new IB residential schools, one of them being UWC Mostar, the twelfth United World College.


Paul has a degree in Russian which he also taught for many years. In addition, he has taught French, Latin, History and the International Baccalaureate’s Theory of Knowledge.


Paul has authored several published chapters mainly on the subject of education as a route to peace and conflict resolution.

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Trevor Rowell

Chairman of COBIS

Trevor has extensive international experience with 20 years overseas. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, after headships in England he was then Head of an international school and CEO of a leading schools group. He has been Chairman of COBIS, the premier professional association for British international schools since 2011, dealing with schools and governments around the globe and helping to extend its services. 

Trevor has also been a governor of 12 schools around the world, and an experienced consultant on school leadership and governance. Elected FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts) in 1994, he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. 

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Judith Fabian

Former Chief Academic Officer of the International Baccalaureate

Judith taught English and Drama in secondary schools in London for 10 years, followed by 15 years as department head and principal in international schools in Jordan, Tanzania and Germany. She joined the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Cardiff in 2004 as Head of Programme Development, and in 2007 was appointed Chief Academic Officer, leading the development of IB curriculum for students aged 3 to 19 years. Latterly based in The Hague, she left the IB in 2014 to return to her home in the UK to work as an educational consultant and is a non-executive director on the board of Estyn, the inspectorate for schools in Wales. She has presented to and worked with schools and educators all over the world.

John Bastable

Director of Bastable School Solutions

After graduating from Cambridge in 1975, John left the UK for a two-year teaching post overseas and returned 38 years later having gained extensive international experience, spending 35 years in leadership positions.

John is now semi-retired in Cambridge and is an independent educational consultant offering support in school governance, school security, cultural issues and leadership mentoring. He is a co-opted governor of an area special school in Cambridgeshire.

Dr Helen Wright

International Education Advisor

Helen has an energetic career spanning 25 years to date in the UK and international education sector, including 13 years leading schools as Head, as well as a number of national and international roles, including as Vice-Chair of the Independent Schools’ Council, President of the UK Girls’ Schools Association, and Chair of the Research Group of the World Leading Schools’ Association. 

She is a regular speaker at international education conferences on topics including internationalising schools and engaging with digital technologies to extend global educational and career opportunities for young people. She currently coaches several senior international school leaders in post (and transitioning between roles) in various parts of the world. As an Associate of LSC Education (international executive search), she has helped to recruit numerous candidates for roles in international schools across the world.

Helen is active in several non-executive and advisory board roles in the UK and overseas. 

Jeremy Lewis

Head of School, ACS Egham International School, UK

Jeremy Lewis has spent 35 years teaching and leading in international schools in Kuwait, Japan, Hungary, Vietnam, Turkey and most recently the UK. Jeremy has considerable experience teaching and administering the International Baccalaureate, and has recently been appointed as a Commissioner for International Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), a role which plays to his interest in school accreditation and transformation.  Jeremy’s years in international education, coupled with his own childhood in South Africa, have contributed to his commitment to providing students with a global mindset.

Mary van der Heijden

Founder and Company Director, Pro Learning International Ltd

Mary van der Heijden has been an experienced teacher and senior leader in schools in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Zambia, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia. She has experience with a range of national and international curricula. She was the founding head teacher of a bi-lingual school in Indonesia and the founding vice principal of the United World College in Singapore. Over the last three years, Mary has worked as a consultant and has trained and supported schools worldwide, coaching and training middle and senior leaders. Leading accreditation teams, writing professional development programmes for NGOs and foundations, and co-writing a food, energy, water programme for young people all meet her ambition to help develop international schools.

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