How IB Influences Your Whole School
The parents guide to the IB Diploma
An independent* guide by Dr Marc van Loo
Chief editor of the Cambridge University Press Book
and John Goodban formerly IBO director of the IB Asia Pacific Office
Julie Hessler IB Coordinator
Excerpt p5–emphasis added:
On the side of caution, a school adopting the DP must prepare itself for significant investments in terms of time, effort and money. It is easy to spend too little initially, but in our opinion this is unwise, both from an educational and a business perspective. Mistakes made initially tend to get magnified by concerned parties and may well lead to parents withdrawing students from the IBDP or from the school altogether (see the case studies in our Cambridge publication). In the time leading up to IBDP authorization, a school will have to invest in the professional development of its staff. Following this, teachers’ salaries may well have to be revised upwards in order not to lose staff immediately to higher paying institutions after providing them with IB training; maximum class size may have to shrink; and the IBO has strict requirements in terms of IT and library provision. As mentioned earlier, a school may also have to invest significant efforts in getting the IB diploma accepted by target universities, well before proposing the IBDP to parents.
While the authorization procedure typically takes less than 2 years, a school must allow up to 5 years for the IB diploma to fully establish itself in the school community: there will be no such thing as an overnight success here. It is very important that all stakeholders accept this fact and are committed to ensuring that the IBDP is allowed to grow successfully well before the whole process begins. Likewise, all parties concerned must have a realistic picture of the cost and accept it as a worthwhile investment.
As a final word of caution, if a school is running programmes parallel to the IB, care needs to be taken that the IB does not erroneously end up being perceived as a separate elite programme – as a school within a school. The IBDP programme needs to be fully integrated with the rest of the school curriculum to avoid conflicts and/or fragmentation.