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Friday 09-Feb-2018
【Oh!爸媽】Ruthin校長:英國私校界特朗普

英國私校界有一位特朗普式傳奇人物,就是Ruthin School的校長Toby Belfield。其為人作風充滿爭議性,因此不斷被私校界的老派和傳統派攻擊及唾駡,然而他堅持我行我素、口出狂言的行徑,論「狂」論「爆」,同侵侵同出一轍。

 

Toby去年寄電郵至下屬,表明學校過度收生,為了要騰出學位容納新生,他們非要踢走一些原有學生不可。這消息被爆出後,在英國各大報章媒體引起一片嘩然。別人都覺得這是一場公關災難無誤,唯獨Toby不以為然,反而覺得自己在做的是件好事。他堅信這個行動會得到國際家長的支持,尤其是像香港的虎媽虎爸,聞之更只有擊節讚賞的份兒。無他嘅,Ruthin School這間每年學費近三萬五英鎊的學校,可以藉此機會加強競爭、整頓校風,成績不好的同學仔固然有可能被踢走,紀律欠佳也可能惹來被攆出校的下場,同學仔當堂打醒十二分精神,不會怠慢符碌,更不敢在校園放肆搗蛋。學校乘機清清瘀血,成績與聲譽都因而有所提升。

 

上年一鳴驚人,今年再接再厲。正當世人以為「求學時期是否適宜談戀愛」已是咸豐年代的辯論話題,想不到Toby赫然宣布,校內的學生不准談戀愛。同學仔一旦被發現拍拖,要不就執埋書包包袱走人,要不校方會畫花同學仔的推介信。他表示不容忍校園戀愛,其嚴厲態度引起廣泛討論。我在香港見到他時提起此事,他居然語帶興奮:「Samuel,我們上了國際新聞,太好了,家長們會愛死我們了。」

 

特朗普是狂人,但不是狂人都是特朗普。侵侵在商界有一番成就,Toby Belfield亦在管理學校有其一套,他們的才能令世人不得不接納他們的狂。

 

Ruthin School不是英國私校校長大會HMC的成員,HMC對Toby看不入眼,情況一如高級私人會所看不起出身低下的暴發戶,不接受他作會員。然而諷剌的是,校長會有次舉辦會議,卻邀請非會員身分的Toby來演講。私人會所因身分不合對某人擋駕,偏偏又請他來作演講嘉賓,就證明了這人有過人之處。HMC誠邀Toby來教授在場校長,如何打救一間正邁向執笠大門的學校改變命運,原因是英國好多學校都有閉校之慮。校長大會再不願意,也不得不承認Toby眼光獨到才華過人,校長們可以從他身上學習打理學校這一盤生意。有份參加這次會議的校長以「this man is insane」來形容Toby。演講中,Toby指自己上任的首要任務,就是要求校董會批出奬學金,送予亞洲最頂尖的學生,讓他們免費或以優惠價到學校就讀,這樣就可以馬上提升學校的排名。此外,學校立即採取亞洲國際學校式的經營,吸引亞洲學生。

 

他的這些做法,引來傳統派的白眼,覺得他以吸引成績好的學生入讀是變相「造排名」,炮製一個「有雞先還是有蛋先」的循環,勝之不武。況且,Ruthin經他亞洲化後,三分一都是中國學生,校園氣氛似深圳多過英國。但撇開這些,在他治理下Ruthin排名全英五十大,以神奇四校之一的身份斐聲國際,不少學生都入到牛津劍橋。不論你對Toby有甚麼主觀意見,但他的成功確是有目共賭。

 

Toby改革Ruthin有功,有人問他,當日校董批准你的做法嗎?他直言不批准,許多校董甚至即時辭職。可是Toby語重深長:我坐我的位不是為討好校董,拯救學校、打理好這一盤教育生意,才是我的職責。

 

黑貓白貓——或是如Toby一樣的癲貓,捉到老鼠便是好貓。

 

 

更多有關英國寄宿學校資訊,可致電31840362。

想知道更多有關英國升學資訊,不妨參加「Oh!爸媽」聯同英識教育Britannia StudyLink舉辦的第五屆《英國升學展》,邀得一眾升學專家及英國院校代表為準備赴英升學的同學和家長分享經驗和策略部署心得,一次過為你解答所有升學疑難!

日期: 2018年2月24日(星期六)
時間: 上午11時 – 下午4時
地點: 尖沙咀喜來登酒店3樓宴會廳

詳情請登入【英國升學展】由學制、入學、到留學生活解構英國寄宿學校選校策略

 

作者:Samuel Chan

電郵:Smschan1@gmail.com

個人專頁:www.facebook.com/ukchitchat

原文:http://www.ohpama.com/266335/overseas/%E3%80%90samuel-chan%E3%80%91ruthin%E6%A0%A1%E9%95%B7%EF%BC%9A%E8%8B%B1%E5%9C%8B%E7%A7%81%E6%A0%A1%E7%95%8C%E7%89%B9%E6%9C%97%E6%99%AE/

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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