International School Awards 2020

The International School Awards 2020 gala presentation evening, attended by over 200 educators and other senior figures from the world of international education took place in London on Monday 20th January.  Anne Keeling reports.

Award categories

The annual International School Awards, which are hosted by ISC Research, recognise outstanding initiatives being delivered in English-medium international schools around the world. Award categories include school well-being and safeguarding, supporting students as future-thinking innovators, inclusion, supporting students’ pathways to higher education, digital technology in learning, and ethical values education.

This year, the Awards attracted 255 eligible nominations from international schools in 40 different countries including Guatemala, Colombia, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and South Korea. The most popular category for nominations was the environmental initiative award. An independent judging panel of 11 highly experienced international educators selected the winners.

Overall winner

St Andrews International School Bangkok (Primary School), Thailand was named the overall winner for its exceptionally powerful environmental initiative. The school’s ‘Eco beasts’ initiative is bringing about collective and sustainable change through action plans led by students that address a range of environmental challenges. Based on the success of the early initiative, the school now employs two environmental sustainability coordinators who, along with a dedicated website which provides downloadable resources, and a community action day, have supported the growth of this initiative beyond the school to now include 17 local schools and 14 local sustainability organisations.


Head of Key Stage Two at St Andrew’s International School, Geoff Magee received the International School of the Year 2020 trophy from the Right Honourable Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth and Chief Education and External Office at TES Global. 

Twelve Category Winners

As well as the overall winner, there were 12 individual category winners:

  • ACS International Schools Surrey, UK won the digital technology in learning award for a tech equipment sharing project with local schools, which includes student to teacher learning
  • British Embassy School Ankara, Turkey won the ethical values education award for an initiative that links ethical conduct with critical thinking and global citizenship
  • The British International School Abu Dhabi, UAE received the community award for a collaboration between students and Abu Dhabi University to redesign a local superblock with sustainable and community benefits
  • International Community School Amman, Jordan won the inclusion award for the development of a specialist-led inclusion team that provides modelling and mentoring to staff, and shares best practice in local centres
  • Qatar Academy for Science and Technology won the teaching and learning award for a project-based learning framework supported by external partnerships in order to create and present solutions to real-life local and global issues
  • Atlanta International School, USA received the international award for establishing the student-led #MyFreedomDay campaign which has been embraced by other schools and students to create a global movement that is challenging and raising awareness of human trafficking
  • New Cairo British International School, Egypt was presented with the pastoral award for a daily emoji check-in system for all children which includes an App that is accessible for other schools
  • Branksome Hall Asia in South Korea won the award to support students as future-thinking innovators. Its initiative involves remote collaboration between students in South Korea and its sister school in Canada to solve problems related to the environment and its social and economic impact
  • Nanjing International School, China won the strategic leadership award for an initiative to transform learning and develop talent by focusing on strategy and embedding it around inclusion, creative thinking, and personal excellence
  • Raha International School, UAE was presented with the award for the best initiative to support students’ pathways to higher education for a night school programme accessible for all secondary students and their parents, which provides information and resources on universities and their application procedures from over 40 countries
  • Dubai College, UAE won the school well-being and safeguarding award for a research-led initiative which drew on best practice and expert advice to create a programme of positive psychology interventions for its students
  • St Andrews International School Bangkok (Primary School) won the category award for the best environmental initiative, which was also selected as the overall International School of the Year 2020


In addition to this year’s headline sponsorship by TES, category awards were sponsored by BETT, New York Times in Education, Enhanced Learning Services, InterHigh, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British Council Schools, Furlong, Pearson, SpaceZero, Follett, Monash University and Impero Software.


According to ISC Research data, there are now more than 11,000 English-medium international schools around the world teaching over 6 million children. “There are some quite exceptional international schools implementing truly outstanding initiatives,” said CEO of ISC Research, Leigh Webb. “ISC Research is very proud to host the International School Awards which help to recognise, and raise awareness of some of these very best initiatives. All initiatives have to demonstrate to judges evidence of strategies that enable the initiative to be shared with other schools. Many congratulations to St Andrews International School Bangkok for its superb success this year, and to all the award winners.”

International schools are encouraged to participate in the 2021 awards. Nominations will open on 15th May 2020. Look out on the ISC Research website or social media for details then.


Anne Keeling Communications Director | ISC Research

Data and intelligence on the world’s international schools market


UK Office   +44 (0) 2920 304996   ( UK Office   +44 (0) 7906 353863    anne.keeling@iscresearch.com   :  www.iscresearch.com   Skype Anne_Keeling