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GEMS Education, one of the world’s leading education providers, has appointed Jeffrey Beard as Group Director for Innovation. Mr Beard, a recognized leader in international education, will lead the development of innovative international education programmes and global teaching at GEMS to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.
Mr Beard has served as Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB) for the past eight years, transforming the not-for-profit educational organization into one of the fastest-growing and most respected international education curricula across the world. Highly regarded by both governments and universities, the IB’s four programs, which emphasize critical thinking, project work and global-mindedness, are taught in almost 3,700 schools across the world, with almost 1.2 million students registered in 2014.
Mr Beard, who led the IB to exponential growth throughout his tenure, will bring his proven leadership and management ability to the development of new educational programmes for 21st century learning. Among the programmes under development are a new global school network that will combine top quality education and student skill development with cultural experiences across different countries.
“My tenure with the IB helped me to appreciate that it is the only international education program in the world that combines a rigorous curriculum with an externally moderated challenging summative assessment for parents, schools, and students in different countries to see where they stand. When a school wants to implement an IB program, it’s basically transformed; it changes the way it delivers education. The IB then provides curriculum support and teacher training in order to prepare students to be lifelong learners. That background and experience will help me at GEMS build programs and curricula for 21st century skills that will enable students to develop and practice a global mind-set that is a core value of the company,” Mr Beard said.
“GEMS is uniquely positioned to implement novel programmes to cultivate global learning and lead innovation. For parents and students, it can open a world of learning and growth built round the skills that everyone will need in a modern knowledge economy. I am excited to join such a forward-looking company.”
Dino Varkey, Group Chief Operating Officer at GEMS, said: “We are delighted that Jeffrey Beard will be joining us to help lead the innovation of programmes to cultivate a new generation of global citizens and implement some of the most novel research and ideas going on in education. Few organizations have the global reach and ambition to implement such programs as GEMS, and we will benefit from his experience and leadership.”