Global Learning & Leadership

Rob is CEO & Director of Heritage International School group in Moldova. Heritage is the first international school in Moldova and is based on the Cambridge curriculum offering IGCSE and A Level to over 20 nationalities. Heritage is also an accredited member of COBIS, an ETwinning school and recognised by the British Council for its contribution to international education.

Prior to joining Heritage, Rob was an educator for nearly 30 years, a history and politics teacher, a school leader in various schools in the UK and was principal of Wyedean School in the UK.

Rob is a long-serving British Council schools’ ambassador, a Varkey/TFF2030/UNICEF global school leader and speaks and advises on global education and school leadership internationally. He frequently contributes articles on international education for the TES and ISM/International School Magazines. In the AKS international education awards, Rob won the Global Principals’ Award for 2021.

British Schools Ambassador’s Conference, London 2020

Rob has written a number of articles since taking up his post in May 2019, about leading the 1st international school in Moldova including one on the challenges for school leaders which was a feature article in the highly acclaimed “International Schools Magazine” summer edition for 2020.

In London in October 2019, at the British Council’s HQ, Rob was honoured to receive the prestigious International School Award from the British Council in recognition of the outstanding international education work of Heritage and its support of others in global school networks. Rob opened the British Council’s international conference for Connecting Classrooms with a talk stating the case for global learning at the heart of the curriculum for the 2020s. Rob also spent a week working with schools in the UK developing international education in their curriculum.

Rob talking to Radio Free Europe

Rob was asked to contribute to Radio Free Europe’s diary programme as someone in education in Moldova. Rob has contributed again in interviews with journalist Valentina Ursa, on issues like the educational response to the Covid19 crisis.

Rob Ford with HE Ambassador Paul McGarry

Rob worked with the Irish Embassy for a schools event across Moldova to celebrate St Patrick’s Day before going to London to be the closing speaker at the British Council’s Ambassador’s conference in late February.

British Council Conference, Cairo, March 2020
Rob speaking in Cairo, 2020

Rob continued to support UK schools before heading to Cairo at the start of March 2020 to speak to one of the largest international school conferences as the opening keynote speaker showing the incredible impact of the work of Heritage International School and our innovative approach. FB link to the his keynote here:

Successful meeting between Secretary for Education, Mr. Popovici and Rob Ford

Because of the effectiveness and success of the school’s distance learning plan, Rob has continued to speak at a number of high profile online conferences internationally throughout this time and in late March 2020 spent most of a Saturday with the Minister of Education and the State Secretary MECC showing and explaining our DLP and supporting our national education community develop a solution so all children in our country can access education in this crisis. Rob is spoke at Eton College in late June 2020, one of the oldest and most famous private schools in the World. He spoke about the Heritage model of education and the achievements of the education community in Moldova.

Heritage International School, Front Cover of International School magazine

Rob continues to write and has written a number of articles including one on the challenges for school leaders which was a feature article in the highly acclaimed “International Schools Magazine” summer edition for 2020. Heritage was on the front cover as an example of a positive school attitude in a community. Rob has continued to lead most weeks the Teaching and Learning briefing at Heritage covering a multitude of topics from effective feedback, Hattie’s influence and stretch & challenge learning.

QCA – The Global Dimension in Action 2006, Towards an International School, case study; pp42-43

Teaching for Global Competence in a Rapidly Changing World – Centre for Global Education/Asia Society – OECD report – contribution on p31:

Proud to have contributed a chapter to this publication: Griffiths, Lowrey and Cassar have assembled the narratives of school leaders from around the globe, who share their experiences and musings about the lived emotions and mindset of their life’s work. For those entering the field or those with many years under their belt, this book is a wonderful reminder as to why we choose this path.

The Parliamentary Review 2015-16; Wyedean School, p60+

Why this head is leaving JK Rowling’s old school in Gloucestershire to work in Europe’s poorest country

Rob Ford is swapping Wyedean School and Sixth Form Centre for Moldova

British Council – Connecting Classrooms International Education Conference. London October 18th 2019

I was honoured to be invited to deliver the Keynote Address for this year’s British Council Connecting Classrooms International Education Conference held in London on October 18th 2019. It was an inspiring and dynamic conference. Please see the transcript from my speech below:

META (Moldova English Teachers Association) – How to avoid Teacher Burnout. Keynote talk. National Library, Chisinau, September 12th

„Moldova are propria dezbatere neclară referitor la Europa, identitate, cum să facă față și ce direcție de viitor să aleagă.” Radio Free Europe, Feb 2020

March 2-4 2020; RF Keynote speaker at British Council international education conference, Cairo, Egypt

Distance Learning Briefing Presentation for School Leaders – MECC 18th March, 2020;

How to set up a wellbeing centre in your school – Independent Education Today, April, 2020

Robert Ford: Pe timp de criză „a nu face nimic NU este o opțiune!” Radio Free Europe, May 2020

The Importance of Internationalism in Education; Eton College/British Council – RF Debate and Panel speaker; 23rd June, 2020;

The Challenges of Leading an International School During COVID-19

META Summer School, Moldova 22nd June 2020; Keynote opening speaker. This talk unpacks the rush to a panacea and the cynicism around online distance learning this year that so many schools and countries around the World had to revert to as around 1.6 billion children (UNICEF April 2020) had their school closed because of Covid19. Heritage International School developed a revolutionary and comprehensive distance learning plan of meaningful, daily interactive synchronous and asynchronous education that was used by the Ministry of Education in Moldova as a template for the national education community and copied by other schools and school boards in a number of countries.:

META Magazine. Published on Jun 28, 2020. Rob’s in-depth interview here pp2-7:

Telford’s Rob helps shape education in Moldova

Published: Sept 17, 2020

A Shropshire headteacher running a school in Moldova has been helping the government shape education in the nation.

Salzburg Global Seminar; Social and Emotional Learning & Social Justice: RF Panel Speaker; Oct 12th, 2020;

TES International interview with Rob Ford on leadership and international education in Eastern Europe:

Transatlantic Educators Lecture Series; 7th November, 2020; Heritage International School presenting to European Centre/University of Illinois (Rob Ford, Tatiana Popa and Inga Chiosa):

Teaching French is not necessarily teaching France – How international education is a fundamental part of all successful MFL departments; 8th Dec 2020. Rob Ford talk to Linguascope (UK Language teachers’ association);

From Telford student to voice of tourism for former Soviet republic

A former Telford College student has become the voice of tourism promotion in the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

Education, Leadership and Mindset Series UK 23rd March, 2021- RF – discussion for UK school leaders:

Code Week – #TeachDay – Interactive workshops and inspiring speakers  Saturday 22 May 2021; RF panel speaker:

2021-22: Member of the Varkey Foundation/Unicef Global School Leaders’ Group; RF speaker contributions throughout year on leadership and global education:

Is being an international school leader that much different from leading in a national context? Guest blog for Global School Alliance, Nov 2021;

“Global Learning, National Identity, and Global Citizenship”. Article by Director Rob Ford, published by the International Schools Network:

“Why social responsibility and active citizenship need to be key values for any international school” Article by Director Rob Ford, published by the International Schools Network:

Why school leaders everywhere must fight for education

Two bruising pandemic years are taking their toll on leaders – but it’s vital those at the top draw strength from each other and ensure they have the capacity to lead change for the better across education. Rob Ford. TES: 27th December 2021,

‘We don’t want students to have some notion of noblesse oblige’

International schools must produce good citizens who understand how they can have a positive impact in the world, writes Rob Ford, 20th Dec, 2021 (ISM Plus and International School Magazine):

The following article comes from Rob Ford and Tatiana Popa at Heritage International School, Moldova. 

How to create a robust DEI policy – and why it matters more than ever

After a racist comment from a pupil to a teacher forced this headteacher to put his diversity, equality and inclusivity policy into action, he reflects on why schools must have robust policies on this area – and enforce them when required

28th February 2022, 10:00am

Rob Ford

Rob Ford article in “Limba Romana” on education at Heritage and in Moldova

Meet the Telford man who lives next to Ukrainian war zone

Write Here! Write Now! Director Rob Ford’s interview with @gesica_sirbu for American House Chisinau on writing, writers, blogging & much more.

When We Work Together, We All Benefit: The Duty of International Schools to their Local Communities | Rob Ford – Outstanding Schools

Proud to have contributed to the Spring 2023 edition, pp32-35