Adventurous education innovator

EducationWorld November 2022 | EducationWorld People
Dilip Thakore (Bengaluru)

JAMES COSTAIN is the newly appointed Head of School at the Legacy School (estb.1984), Bengaluru, ranked among India’s Top 10 international day schools, and #1 in Karnataka and Bengaluru in the latest EW India School Rank­ings 2022-23. Affiliated with the UK-based Cambridge International and Geneva-based International Bac­calaureate (IB) exam boards, Legacy School has 860 students mentored by 100 teachers on its muster rolls.

Newspeg. Costain was appointed headmaster at Legacy in June this year.

History. An alumnus of UK’s Nor­thumbria and Exeter universities, Costain began his career in 1990 as a leisure industry consultant and subsequently in an offshore financial company. Two years later, he signed up with the Longridge Tower School, Scotland as games master and physics teacher (1993-96). This was followed by a decade-long stint at the privately promoted Lord Wand­sworth College, Hampshire, where he served in multiple roles and was promoted to head of higher second­ary school.

In 2006, he took on his first overseas assignment with the Brit­ish School, Nepal where he taught science and served as head of higher secondary school. In 2011, he returned to the UK to pursue a Mas­ter’s degree in education leadership at the University College of London where he researched K-12 education models and systems worldwide.

Unsurprisingly, given his deep study of best schools and education systems, Costain received a flood of offers from private schools around the world, immediately after post­graduation. In 2012 he accepted an appointment as headmaster of senior school at the Oakley College, Canary Islands, Spain. Three years later, he moved to St. George International, Koln (Germany) comprising four English-medium schools with an ag­gregate enrolment of 2,500 students. After a two-year stint (2015-17), craving further “academic adventure and experience,” Costain signed up to head the British International School, Ukraine (2017-19).

In 2019, this peripatetic primary-secondary education leader returned to the UK and started Ethos Educa­tion, an international consultancy providing institutional improvement advice to schools around the world.

Direct talk. “During my long and varied career in private schools in Europe and Asia, I have become increasingly aware of the vital impor­tance of teachers transforming into lead learners in their classrooms. The mission to introduce and propagate this pedagogy to the teachers and educators community in India which hosts the world’s largest number of children, drew me to Bengaluru and the Legacy School, whose values and mission are congruent with mine. During my tenure here, I intend to invest my learning and experience to develop a professional develop­ment model which will be globally accepted,” says Costain.

Legacy School, Bengaluru’s brain gain may well prove to be India’s as well.

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