Marbella Weather

Exclusive: Globetrotting Headteacher Andrew Atkinson Reveals His Journey to Laude San Pedro!

December 31, 2023
Exclusive: Globetrotting Headteacher Andrew Atkinson Reveals His Journey to Laude San Pedro! - andrew atkinson2 scaled 1 - Local Events and Festivities -

Andrew Atkinson’s Journey to Becoming a Teacher

Andrew Atkinson, 56, was inspired to become a teacher after watching a TV series about a soldier who transitions into teaching. The series, “To Serve Them All My Days,” resonated with Atkinson when he was just 14 years old. As the youngest of six children, Atkinson’s father had always hoped one of his children would pursue a career in teaching. His father’s first wife was a teacher and he had a deep appreciation for education. Atkinson’s decision to become a teacher brought great joy to his father.

Atkinson’s Early Career and Education

Atkinson’s siblings chose diverse career paths, including social work, advertising, interior design, and law enforcement. However, Atkinson’s passion for learning and teaching set him apart. Born in Cheshire and raised in Edinburgh and Guildford, Surrey, Atkinson studied Geography and History at Exeter University. He began his teaching career at a challenging comprehensive school in Finchley, North London.

Atkinson’s International Teaching Experience

At the age of 25, Atkinson decided to explore teaching opportunities abroad. He found a job in Mexico and later moved to Argentina. During his time in Buenos Aires, Atkinson taught at the Holy Trinity College and St. Andrews. He also retrained to become a drama and theatre teacher with guidance from a professor from the Colon Opera House. Atkinson’s career took a turn when the Argentine economy collapsed in 2003, forcing him and many other international teachers to leave the country.

Atkinson’s Role in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme

After teaching theatre in Milan, Atkinson moved to Spain to work at the British School of Barcelona. He was later recruited to help establish the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme for six Spanish schools in the SEK group. His success in organizing the schools led to a job offer from the IB group at its headquarters in Cardiff, Wales. Atkinson was later tasked with overseeing the relocation to its current IB Global Centre in The Hague, Holland.

Atkinson’s Return to Teaching

Despite his success in the corporate world, Atkinson realized he missed teaching children. This realization led him back to the classroom as the Director of the International School of London (ISL). However, the impact of Brexit on his students led him to leave the UK and base himself in Ireland as a consultant.

Atkinson’s Views on Bilingualism and Brexit

Atkinson believes that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has had a negative impact on language learning in the country. He emphasizes the importance of bilingualism, stating that it opens doors and improves brain development. Atkinson argues that the decline in language learning in the UK is a result of arrogance, as many English people assume everyone speaks English.

Atkinson’s New Role at Laude

Atkinson’s consulting work took him to various countries, including Uruguay, Russia, and the Middle East. However, he is now settled in his new role at Laude School in San Pedro de Alcantara, Spain. Atkinson plans to retire in Spain and is currently renting in Guadalmina. He is looking forward to buying a home in San Pedro or Marbella and visiting Sevilla for Semana Santa.

Atkinson’s Future Plans and Personal Interests

Despite his love for travel, Atkinson is ready to settle down and retire in Spain. He has previously lived in Barcelona and Madrid and speaks Spanish, albeit with an Argentine influence. When asked about his interest in golf, Atkinson responded with a look of disdain, indicating that he does not share the common pastime of many retirees in Spain.

Atkinson’s Role as Headteacher at Laude San Pedro

As the Headteacher at Laude San Pedro, Atkinson is committed to offering both A-Levels and the IB. He believes that while the IB is great for students who are unsure of their career path, A-Levels are more rigorous and in-depth, making them a better choice for students who know what they want to do. Atkinson is working on creating a tailor-made version of the IB to go alongside A-Levels at Laude.

Don't Miss