History of FOBISIA

In 1988, Ronald Stones OBE, who was then the Principal of British International School Jakarta, suggested that Headteachers of Britsh schools in South East Asia meet in order to discuss matters of mutual interest, and offer each other support in delivering a British-international-style curriculum far removed from home base. A number of British international schools had been running very successfully in the region long before this, but they had always been self-contained and operated independently of one another. As a result of this initiative FOBISSEA (the Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia & East Asia) was born.

The first meeting was hosted by Mr. Stones in Jakarta in November 1988 and was attended by five Heads: Mr. Abidin of Kota Kinabalu International School, Mrs. Goodban, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore, Mrs. Cloutt, British School Manila, Mr. Thomas, Bangkok Patana School, & Mr. Eales, Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur.  The inauguaral meeting was judged a great success, and it was agreed that the  experience had been of benefit to all – so much so that it was decided that the meeting should be held annually with a different school acting as host each year. This enabled the Heads to see each other’s schools and in the process, gain new insights to what was being offered. Each school was different to some degree, but the common denominator was the fact that they offered a British-international-style curriculum.  In 2013, the membership agreed to expand beyond South East Asia into the broarder Asia region - and FOBISSEA became FOBISIA (The Federation of British International Schools in Asia).

The Federation has grown significantly over the last 30 years.  It is now governed by a Constitution, with three Board Meetings per year (in November, March and June), two Heads' Business Meetings (in November and March) and an annual Leadership Conference (in November). 

Although best known for its Music Festival and The Friendly Games, FOBISIA supports, fosters cooperation between, and promotes the interests of its Member Schools through shared professional development and a range of student enrichment programmes.

From very humble beginnings, the Federation is respected all over Asia and beyond, serving the interests first and foremost of all FOBISIA students, teachers and communities.


The Federation of British International Schools in Asia. (FOBISIA)
39/4 Todsamon Clubhouse Building
M FI, Soi Lasalle 39/1, Sukhumvit 105, Bangna
Bangkok, Thailand 10260 
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