The personal touch

Liz Thomson

The successful management of large scale international projects.

Today, those who work for CfBT (now Education Development Trust) are very conscious that they belong to an organisation where it is important to have personal contact at all levels: with clients, whether overseas or in the UK, with teachers and consultants who work on international projects, and with each other. In this respect CfBT is carrying on a tradition where the ‘personal touch’ can make all the difference. Whilst the organisation today is much larger and more diverse, it still reflects some of the values that were established by its founder. The Report that follows is the outcome of research that was conducted to see how CfBT’s work in Germany from 1968 to 1982 exemplified key principles that still apply to the management of people working on international projects today.

In the course of conducting the research I was able to interview former teachers and former professional and administrative staff from the German Scheme. I also had discussions with several members of staff in Reading who originally worked for CfBT as teachers, in Germany, Malaysia and Brunei. As the interviews and discussions progressed I became very conscious of how their early experiences of working for CfBT had influenced the development of their careers. The profiles included in the Report are of former teachers who participated in the German Scheme. They all acknowledge the way that the experience provided a foundation for their future professional and career development. When reading the profiles, it is clear that the personal touch of Anthony Abrahams and his team had a lasting effect on the way in which these former teachers were able to take on greater and diverse responsibilities are their careers progressed.