Andrew Halls OBE | Honorary Principal
Welcome from Honorary Principal, Andrew Halls
After 23 years as a headmaster of two schools in the UK, it is a great honour for me to take on the new role of Honorary Principal at King’s College International School, Bangkok. It is a huge pleasure, too: in this role I can continue an association with the school and its founders which goes back to our very first meeting in 2017, and I can help the governors and the school executive committee in their aspiration to make King’s Bangkok one of the greatest schools in Asia.
This is a very special school: I was sure it would be from the very first day I met a group of men and women who were to become our partners, our friends, and, it seems to me, family, too.
I still remember that first meeting. We talked about the sort of school I thought King’s in Wimbledon was – its aims, its values, and how nearly 200 years earlier, in 1829, it was founded by the British Prime Minister, The Duke of Wellington, with a royal charter from His Majesty King George IV. We discussed how King’s had, over the years, become one of the most sought-after and most successful schools in the world. We imagined ways in which we could combine our experience in the UK, with all our partners’ faith in us, their goodwill, and their commitment to create only the very best, regardless of cost.
Together, we would take a 200-year process towards excellence, and accelerate it. We would take the very best from our Wimbledon school, and develop it. We would design the ideal campus, and build it – in one of the most convenient and prestigious locations in the whole of Bangkok. In short, we would create a sister school we could all take pride in, and we would do everything we could to make King’s in Bangkok one of the greatest schools in Asia.
Despite the challenges of Covid, the wonderful team led by Headmaster, Thomas Banyard, with the unstinting support and generous investment of all our partners, ensured the school opened on schedule. In spring 2022, I led a group of colleagues from King’s in Wimbledon to provide a full audit of King’s in Bangkok. We were overwhelmed by the state-of-the-art facilities on site, the way the buildings caught so much of the character of our school in the UK, by the dedicated staff and supportive parents we met, and by the pupils we witnessed in lessons, clubs, sports and activities. Even the main assembly of the week was given over entirely to thoughtful and articulate pupils, including an unforgettable performance of one of the best pieces of mime theatre I have ever seen on a stage!
King’s Bangkok has a great future ahead of it, and I can’t tell you how proud I feel to be able to play a small part in the next chapters of its life-story.
Andrew Halls OBE, Honorary Principal of King’s College International School Bangkok
Mr Halls graduated from the University of Cambridge and has swathes of experience both in teaching and running a school. Mr Halls was Head Master of King’s College School, Wimbledon for 14 years (2008-2021) and was previously Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford for nearly ten years, in helping pupils at both schools attain the best public examination results in the UK.
He is the only headmaster to have won the Independent School of the Year award from The Sunday Times for two different schools, and was also awarded Best Head of a Public School by Tatler. Mr Halls is the one who helped decide to establish King’s Bangkok and had a vision to build King’s Bangkok to be one of the best schools in Asia and he has displayed an astonishing array of skills and talents which have reinforced and enhanced the standing of King’s.
He is vocal in the field of Education, writing pieces for organisations such as the Daily Mail, HMC, and the Times on a variety of topics, and was awarded an OBE for his services to Education in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. Mr Halls has campaigned in the media for a number of causes which include the ending of public exam grade inflation; improving mental health support for young people at school and university; the importance of good literature; the risks of social media addiction; and the pertinent role of independent schools in the national education system, among others.
That success has manifested itself in many different ways. The school enjoys a renowned position for its academic excellence, commanding the heights of the UK school league tables. Each of the years of Andrew’s tenure at King’s Wimbledon has brought superlative results in public examinations, whether at (I)GCSE, A level or IB. The school has been recognised by the Sunday Times as overall School of the Year and London Independent School of the Year.
Mr Halls will provide advice and work closely with the Board of Governors, Executive Committee, Headmaster and the Senior Leadership Team with a mutual aim for King’s College International School Bangkok and helping us to improve the school and assisting to achieve our aspiration in all areas, including academic excellence and the highest quality of the school. His experience and contribution will be an invaluable asset for us all.