CDNIS suspended from international education network

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Following the massive staff exit earlier this month, more uncertainties arise at CDNIS as the school’s membership at an international education network is suspended, possibly hindering its efforts to find quality replacements.

(Chinese translation: 加拿大國際學校遭國際學校網絡Search Associates凍結會籍)

Search Associates, the world’s preeminent international education network providing headhunting and recruitment services for international schools around the world, has suspended the Canadian International School of Hong Kong’s (CDNIS) account.

CDNIS is still on the company’s online list of participating schools, but the hyperlink that is supposed to direct to the school’s profile goes to nowhere. HT received a screen cap which indicates the school’s suspended status from a source (pictured).

HT got in touch with the Jessica Magagna, President of Search Associates. She refused to comment on the issue and reverted us to CDNIS and Head of School Gregg Maloberti. With over 600 schools in the company’s network, she clearly knew who Dr Maloberti was.

According to Melanie Hnetka, Development and Communications Manager of CDNIS, the school used Search Associates mostly for hiring teaching staff. She states the suspension would not be too much of a problem as Search Associates is not the only recruitment network the school uses.

“CDNIS utilizes a variety of recruitment services and agencies when it comes to recruiting qualified faculty,” her e-mail reply to us reads. “None of the individual firms account for more than half of the total number of teachers hired”

It was confirmed that 9 teachers and 2 business and operational staff were fired with another teacher resigning in the past four weeks. On Tuesday, Upper School Vice Principal Chris Coates resigned. Nonetheless, Hnetka reiterated that, “The School will be fully staffed with qualified teachers when classes resume in August,” she says.

Concerns were raised earlier this week as the school seem to be recruiting “Full Time Supply” teachers without IB or Canadian teaching qualifications for next year. Parents are worried whether the school will be able to provide quality IB or Canadian education in the future.

Does it matter
Chris Binge, Principal for Island School, suggested that if word spread that if a school had been suspended, it might impair  their ability to recruit quality teachers. While the schools are clients, so are teachers who pay $225USD to be part of the system. There is the impression of a duty of care incumbent on Search Associates suggesting they would assume a “level of commitment to teachers that we [Search Associates] will give your names to reputable organisations.”

Explaining that while Search Associates had no formal accreditation process, Mr Binge notes, “If word gets out that Search have withdrawn a school, it would cause teachers to question the reputation of a school, its quality, if it honours its contracts and such.”  When deciding if they wanted to take a job at a school, “It may lead them to go into more depth” to research a school for problems.

For the record,  Mr Binge and Island School use Search Associates for almost none of their recruitment, while other schools may use them exclusively.

Hnetka suggested that the school is in the negotiation process regarding Search Associate Membership.

“Search Associates reached out to the School over the weekend [June 11-13],” she says, “The School is currently in discussions with Search Associates to address their concerns.”

It is still unknown that who will fill up the vacancies by August, nor whether there will be any changes in the school’s curriculum. No one can be sure what will the school look like after two months when another school year begins.

Screen cap

Disclosure: HT Editor-in-Chief Andrew Work is the President of The Canadian Club in Hong Kong. The Club holds one of the two ex-officio seats suspended from the Board. He resigned along with the aforementioned Governors and Members.