The annual Times Educational Supplement Independent Schools Awards recognise outstanding achievements in independent education. Prince of Wales Island International School (POWIIS) in Penang, was one of just four shortlisted schools worldwide in the International School of the Year category. Principal Simon Leese, accompanied by Mrs. Jane Leese, were at the glittering event at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane.
“You rehearse the magnanimous smile of disappointment, and don’t let yourself get too involved - but when the result was announced I was delighted. I am very proud of everything the school has achieved in its short life since opening in 2011. The award recognises the development of our Sixth Form; we have set out to offer the most outstanding experience for our students, which will significantly enhance their progress to the most prestigious universities around the world. Top grades are all well and good; we are producing top people with top grades - there’s a very big difference, and the best selective universities have always known that.”
POWIIS is an English curriculum day and boarding school, bringing modern practices and international perspectives to the traditional UK style of independent school. Principal Simon Leese worked in the UK in a school founded in 1495, before being Headmaster of New Zealand’s longest established senior day and boarding school, founded in 1850. He says:
“We learn from history and tradition - but it all counts for nothing if the education provided in 2018 is not exactly what today’s young people need to progress to successful and fulfilled adult lives. POWIIS is a very young school, but we are building a reputation which will endure long into the future. Our young people will have the benefit of a globally recognised school on their CVs - I am delighted for them.”