At the end of this month Andrew Griffiths will complete the initial period of time he was asked to lead the International High School at Cranleigh China Changsha. Andrew worked closely with James Dale-Adcock and the Cogdel team during the inception of the project and took on the Headmaster role in February 2020 ahead of the school opening its doors to students last September. Unfortunately, this timing was not in our favour to say the least as Covid began to dominate all our lives and ultimately stopped Andrew reaching China in person. Despite this, as we knew he would, Andrew has thrown himself into the role remotely being heavily involved initially in marketing the school and staff recruitment, and then engaging from afar with the staff to set the Cranleigh ethos. It is testament to Andrew that we find ourselves in a position today with a Cranleigh China School which has student numbers above pre-Covid targets, a strong teaching staff and a very bright future. Andrew will remain close to the project and will await, like we all do, this pandemic to pass! 

Deputy Chair of Governors and Cranleigh China Board member Mrs Monica Fisher said “The Board of Governors of Cranleigh School watched the establishment of Cranleigh China Changsha with considerable interest. To have a new school up and running within a year is a great achievement. However, to do it in the most challenging of years is outstanding. The part that Andrew Griffiths played has been central to this success and we are very grateful for his all his hard work, tenacity and dedication.”

Cogdel CEO and Cranleigh China Board member Mr Mark Coggins said Cogdel CEO and Cranleigh China Board member Mr Mark Coggins said “Andrew is the epitome of what made us want to partner with Cranleigh School. A dedicated team player who cares deeply about student outcomes and an ability, even from afar, to gain the loyalty and respect of partners and colleagues. Cogdel have benefitted hugely from Andrew’s experience and professionalism. He will always be a friend to the Cogdel team!”

Andrew is succeeded by Mr Adam McRoy who is currently Headmaster of the International High School at Chengdu’s prestigious no.7 school where he oversees a team of over 70 staff and 400 students. In Adam we are extremely fortunate to have a highly talented, very well-regarded ex-pat leader who is fluent Chinese and has a strong record of working at leadership level with Chinese colleagues. Adam has been involved in all of the knowledge building work completed between Cogdel and Cranleigh during the development stage of the project including visits to Cranleigh UK and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. Work is underway to provide Adam with as much support as possible from the UK to take Cranleigh China Changsha to the next stage of development.

The final words of this article are left to Andrew who said “It has been a privilege to be part of the new Cogdel Cranleigh School in Changsha.  The Cogdel team in China have worked tirelessly in getting the school up and running and have been very supportive as we worked virtually throughout the first semester.  The school is already hugely impressive and has a great future as the first in several Cranleigh Cogdel schools in China.  I look forward to my continued involvement in its future and hopefully it won’t be too long before I can visit the school in person.  I know Adam and have been extremely impressed with his energy, experience and integrity and I know he will be able to take the Cogdel Cranleigh Changsha School onto the next stage and make the school one of the top international schools in China.”