Chris Waterman, Early Years Chairman of the British International Educational Association (BIEA), along with Yang Feng, BIEA Marketing Director, visited the UK Department of International Trade office in Guangzhou on the 27th February. There they held discussions with Sharon Qu, Schools and New Markets Education and Skills Secretary, and Florence Huang, Secretary for Education and Skills Trade Investment. The discussions centred on how to support the BIEA projects in China and satisfying the demand for British education in the international Chinese education market along with the promotion of the development of British and Chinese co-operation in this field.

Chris outlined the model of BIEA’s educational programme in China and internationally – integrating UK education resources and setting up dedicated teams to meet the various needs of the overseas education market. Chris hoped that these internationally designed programmes would benefit the children, their families and the teachers carrying them out.

Yang gave a detailed description of the current BIEA projects being implemented in China. Currently, the BIEA Early Years Education Alliance (E-League) has a partnership nursery in China that is adopting the EYFS (Early Years Foundation System). To compliment this, BIEA has set up an EYFS teacher training programme. EYFS Training is one of BIEA’s CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training programme modules for UK overseas education practitioners. It is also a popular international early years professional training facility that is welcomed by BIEA E-League members. These programmes that focus on British early years education practices are popular in the Chinese market. Yang explained that in terms of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education that BIEA had held an international STEM Youth Innovation Competition opening and a STEM Conference in London in January this year which successfully attracted the attention of many schools, students and parents from China.

Sharon expressed their appreciation of BIEA’s efforts to promote British education internationally and that the DIT would give the BIEA support and promote exchanges between the UK and China and the expansion of BIEA in China.

Chris thanked the support given by the DIT at the STEM conference in London. Particularly to Geoff Gladding and Sarah Chidley.