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Nick Magnus, Headmaster Dulwich in Singapore

With the Dulwich College in Singapore rolling along quite quickly inDulwich.com took some time to talk Nick Magnus, Headmaster Designate Dulwich College in Singapore. Before we get to that we asked Nick for some brief biographical details. Nick Magnus was educated at St. Boniface College, Plymouth, Devon and graduated from St. Mary’s University College, Strawberry Hill with a BA QTS (Hons) in Education and history. Nick taught at several schools in Bristol and London before moving to Nairobi, Kenya where he was first Deputy Head and then Headmaster of Braeburn School, the largest British International School in East Africa. During his 5 year tenure as Headmaster the school attained full membership of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools(IAPS) following a successful diagnostic visit by a team of Independent school Inspectors (ISI) The school also enjoyed an excellent  reputation within the Nairobi  and wider Kenyan community. In his 5 years as Head the student enrollment increased from 380 to 680. In 2006, Nick was elected by his peers as the Chairman of the British Curriculum schools of Kenya, Heads Association. In 2007 Nick moved to China as the Founding Head of Dulwich College Suzhou. On his arrival in Suzhou he inherited 3 members of staff and an empty shell of a building. 5 years later Dulwich College Suzhou boasts an enrolment nearly 900 students from 38 different nationalities and over 150 teachers and administrators. Whilst at DCSZ Nick was a co-opted Member of the Executive Committee of The Federation of British International schools in South and South East Asia (FOBISSEA) and the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International schools (ACAMIS) Nicks contribution to International Education in China was recognized by the Municipal Government of Suzhou, when he was awarded the title of Honoury “Friend of Suzhou” in 2009. This was followed in 2010 by the Jiangsu Provincial Government awarding him a similar title for the whole of Jiangsu Province. At the World Expo in Shanghai, Nick was amongst 20 VIP’s who were invited by the Government to officially open the Suzhou Pavilion. Finally Nick was awarded the title of one of Suzhou’s “top ten educators” in 2011. To date he is the first and only foreigner ever to receive this accolade. inDulwich.com: What attracted you to the Singapore position? Dulwich College in Singapore has the potential to be one of the very best International schools in the World. The city, the clientele, the competition, and the life style are all factors that will demand the very best but in return offer tremendous rewards as well as professional and personal opportunity. I’ve always said that a Dulwich in Singapore is like being offered the chance to manage Manchester United. I have always fancied having a go at emulating Alex Ferguson (but with more of a sense of humour!) and this is my chance. inDulwich.com: How will it be different to Suzhou in terms of challenges and potential hurdles? All of the Dulwich’s have identical core values and many other similarities but they are also unique and different in their own ways. This is largely down to the city that the school is located in. Singapore and Suzhou are very different places. I am certainly looking forward to no more winters inDulwich.com: What will you miss about Suzhou? I loved my time in Suzhou and the place will always be special to me. It is such an easy city to live in and has a lovely relaxed pace of life. I have so many good friends there and I will miss the people, the local cuisine and the golf courses. The school will always be a part of me. I know I will be regularly checking out their website and newsletters when I am old, grey and retired. inDulwich.com: What are some features in the Singapore international education space for parents – i.e. a look at what schools exist there already? Singapore boasts of some of the very best schools in the World and the clientele will have the very highest expectations. Saying that, there is a shortage of places at the top tier schools and Singapore is crying out for a Dulwich. I am going to assemble the very best team and we are going to take Singapore by storm. It’s going to be tough and we will need to be at the top of our game. I’ve got some great plans for DCSG but I don’t want to give away too much right now. Watch this space…