Our Governance

Brief Introduction to the Governance of Wellington College China Schools

Wellington College China (WCC) schools currently have fifteen governors in total.

Each school has five board members, drawn down from the total fifteen mentioned above. For WCC International Schools, the governors are jointly appointed by Wellington College China and Wellington College in the UK, whereas Huili School governors are solely appointed by Wellington College China. People with the expertise and skills required to support the colleges in operating to the highest standards across all functions are selected. Searches take place across the Wellington community and networks for potential members with that sought-after expertise and a willingness to contribute. Currently, the WCC Board has British and Chinese educators, a legal expert, finance experts, a tax expert, a marketing expert and several entrepreneurs who understand how to operate in China. Outside the board meeting cycles, the WCC governors are always available to provide advice and support in their areas of expertise, which all Wellington College China schools and colleges can access.

As mentioned above, a subset of five members form each school’s governing body, known as the School Affairs Board (SAB). This is the legal board for each school or college, where key strategic decisions are approved. The SAB meets three times a year, in November, April and June and is attended by the Master, Second Master/ Principal and Bursar, along with the five SAB members who have the legal voting rights. The members for Wellington College International Shanghai (Joy Qiao, Helen Kavanagh, Chen Wei, Patrick Allen, Scott Bryan) and their biographies can be seen below.

Each college’s SAB is supported by three sub-committees, which are the forums for more detailed discussions on focused topics. This is also where external advisors are invited to attend for support where needed (for example, facilities management experts).

The 3 sub committees meet prior to each of the SAB meetings, in the order listed above. Educational needs of the college always come first: the priorities for educational development are determined in the academic sub-com which is followed by the facilities and services sub-com where provision to meet the educational outcomes is decided, before finally feeding into the finance and HR sub-com to inform and plan the budget. The recommendations and meeting minutes of the three sub-committee meetings are then submitted to the SAB meetings.

The college budgeting process and timeline is designed to support each college’s strategic planning and fits into the SAB meeting cycles. All Wellington College China schools and colleges are not-for-profit organisations. Financial management is driven by educational quality. Thus, any surpluses generated are invested back into the schools and colleges and education research.

Wellington College China governance undergoes an annual evaluation process to examine the effectiveness of its strategic leadership. This is done through self-assessment by all governors, collecting feedback from school leaders, as well as working with external consultants to compare ourselves with the most effective school governance worldwide. The Board works with an experienced UK school governance specialist who supported the development of the current structure and provides ongoing training and support to all the governors. This continuous self-improvement process helps to keep the board professional and adaptable to each school’s, and the group’s, growing needs.

The role of a governor is to be a ‘critical friend’ to the school leaders. ‘Critical’ in order to continually strive to raise the bar and hold the leaders accountable to deliver ever higher standards. ‘Friendly’ because the role is supportive as we work towards achieving a mutually shared vision.

Joy Qiao

Joy Qiao

Chair of Governors Wellington College China
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Joy Qiao

Ms Joy Qiao is the founder and Chair of Governors of Wellington College China. She has been devoted to international education in China for many years and is committed to fostering exchanges and partnerships with Britain. Having grown up in Shanghai, Joy attended the University of Oxford from which she holds a BA in Computer Science. She then worked in the IT industry for a decade in a variety of sales and marketing roles in the UK, Germany and China.

Becoming a mother motivated her interest in education and inspired her advance into the international education sector. She has extensive experience in multilingual communication and cross-cultural cooperation and is a critical bridge for bringing together the multiple partners involved in setting up Wellington College in China. Joy also holds an EMBA degree from the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and is fluent in Mandarin, English and Shanghainese. She is married with two children, both of whom are attending Wellington College International Shanghai.

Helen Kavanagh

Helen Kavanagh

Chief Executive Officer and Governor
Wellington College China
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Helen Kavanagh

Ms. Helen Kavanagh is Chief Executive Officer of Wellington College China. Helen is a native of the UK who was employed as the International Business Director for Wellington College, quality assuring the schools in China and leading business development globally. She has served on the Wellington College China Board as the Deputy Chairman since August 2014 and already has a deep understanding of our needs as a fast-growing organisation.

With over 30 years’ experience in education Helen has operated in a wide range of contexts in the UK and internationally. After two successful Headships in England she became a Senior Inspections Manager with responsibility for the quality of inspections in over 1500 schools, and from there went on to lead a school reform project in the UAE before being promoted to Regional Director Middle East. She was next appointed as Executive Vice President of an American education company providing advice and guidance to schools in the US, UK, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, India and Jordan.

Helen has represented employers nationally and internationally up to government level. She has mentored many Heads for over 15 years and still gains a buzz from being in the school environment. She has a BA (Hons) from Sheffield University; a PGCE (Leicester University) and 2 further postgraduate degrees in Education Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her elder daughter is a teacher in the UAE. Her younger daughter is a graduate of Wellington College and currently studies at McGill University, Montreal.  She enjoys travel, keeping fit and food.

Scott Bryan

Scott Bryan

Governor
Wellington College International
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Scott Bryan

Mr Scott Bryan is the newly appointed International Director for Wellington College. He is responsible for developing Wellington College International’s schools’ business and working with partners to ensure the reputation and quality of those schools.

Scott brings a thorough understanding of the UK independent sector coupled with a wide range of international experience from more than 20 years working in education.  His school leadership experience includes three successful Headships; in the UK, UAE and more recently as a founding Head in Switzerland.

Scott has previously held the post of Strategic Director at a leading UK Independent School, including responsibility for developing international business. He has also served on school governing bodies and chaired the finance committee. He brings extensive experience of international schools business, strategic planning, regulatory compliance, school improvement and mentoring of senior leaders.

Scott has a BSc (Hons), PGCE and Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies. He is office based at Wellington College in the UK, though in his spare time he joins his family at home in the Swiss Alps, where he enjoys skiing and a variety of outdoor sports with his wife and two daughters.

Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen

Governor
Wellington College International
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Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen has a career spanning over 30 years in financial services with a focus on Asia and its stockmarkets. Since 2002, he has resided in Shanghai, where he manages BPI China, a company he founded to specialise in direct investment opportunities in China. During this time, Patrick has been managing private discretionary funds to invest in China and other parts of Asia.

In 2005, Patrick became chairman of The China A Share Fund. In 2006, he became chairman of DFM Films, Shanghai, Ltd., and in 2010 he helped found EBF International Investment Group, an education services company, which he also chairs. He is also a trustee of the Shanghai Community Sports Club.

Patrick is married and has three children, two of whom are presently attending Wellington College, UK.

Chen Wei

Chen Wei

Governor
Wellington College China
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Chen Wei

Ms Chen is a Managing Director at Nomura International (Hong Kong) Limited. She started her investment banking career at Lehman Brothers New York office in 2000. Since her relocation to Hong Kong, she has been serving Chinese corporate clients for public and private bond offering, pre-IPO mezzanine financing and cross-border M&A advisory. She is also enthusiastic in social responsibilities. She is member of All-China Youth Federation, member of Jiangxi Provincial Political Consultative Committee and invited representative for Shanghai Women’s Federation.
Ms Chen received her BA from Fudan University and Master of Accounting from University of Southern California. She is married with four children and her elder son is currently attending Wellington College International Shanghai.

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