Wellington College China (WCC) aims to establish schools that, over time, can flourish with high levels of autonomy. All schools are legally and financially independent with their own governing boards (School Affairs Board, SAB). However, the schools are not independent. They all operate under a clearly defined common framework. We have consistent standards and policies in many aspects across the group. At the senior leader level, we share some group level targets and work together to nurture the group talent pool. The Central Office is a shared group resource. The WCC Executive Board is established to make group-level strategic decisions and govern the Central Office. It has 6 members who are drawn from existing school SABs.
All 15 members of Wellington and Huili SABs, plus Masters are given the title of Wellington College China governors.
Wellington SAB members are appointed by both Wellington College China and Wellington College International. Huili SAB members are solely appointed by Wellington College China. School Masters are ex-officio non-voting members of their school’s SAB and therefore ex-officio WCC governors.
Annually all the WCC members meet to:
• Evaluate the effectiveness of governance and plan for improvements
• Share group level information and long-term development strategy
• Engage in training and development
There are 3 full-time governors: The Chair, the CEM and the International Business Director (IBD). The Chair and CEM serve on all Wellington and Huili SABs and the IBD serves on all Wellington SABs. All other governors are non-executives and serve on one SAB only. The combination of paid full-time governors and unpaid non-executive governors provides a balance. The full-time governors have the depth of knowledge and overview of the group and are responsible for much of the governance administrative work, while the non-executive governors provide a broader range of expertise and ensure openness and transparency in our governance.
The SAB meets 3 times a year. It oversees the work of three sub-committees, to which much of the decision making has been delegated:
• Academic (ASC)
• Facilities and Services (FaSC)
• Finance and HR (FiHRSC)
The aim of the sub-committees of the SAB is to provide a more detailed and practical level of governance to the school. It allows for deeper analysis and discussions and has delegated authority from the SAB to make certain decisions.
The sub-committee members are made up of SAB members, school leaders, Central Office (CO) representative(s), and parent members. This combination is intended to offer a balanced view. The SAB members attending the sub-committee shall decide if any item needs referring up to the SAB.
Wellington College China governance undergoes an annual evaluation process to examine the effectiveness of its strategic leadership. This is done through self-assessment by all governors, collecting feedback from school leaders, as well as working with external consultants to compare ourselves with the most effective school governance worldwide. The Board works with an experienced UK school governance specialist who supported the development of the current structure and provides ongoing training and support to all the governors. This continuous self-improvement process helps to keep the board professional and adaptable to each school’s, and the group’s, growing needs.
The role of a governor is to be a ‘critical friend’ to the school leaders. ‘Critical’ in order to continually strive to raise the bar and hold the leaders accountable to deliver ever higher standards. ‘Friendly’ because the role is supportive as we work towards achieving a mutually shared vision.
Joy Qiao is the Founder and Chairman of Wellington College China. She founded the group in 2009 and, under her leadership, Wellington China has become one of the most reputable international education groups in China and globally. Joy grew up in Shanghai and earned her BA in Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Prior to her devotion to education, she had extensive experience working in the IT industry in the United Kingdom, Germany and China.
Joy is married to a British husband and they have two teenage sons. Influenced by this, Joy's vision is to create the world's leading English-Chinese bilingual schools, which combine the very best attributes of both British and Chinese education. She views such blended education as being a key contributor towards deepening understanding and appreciation between China and the rest of the world. Bilingualism, cross-cultural awareness and global citizenship will all be highly valued skills in this century when East is meeting West.
Julian is the Executive Master of Wellington College in Tianjin. In August 2022, he moves to Shanghai as Chief Executive Master of the Wellington College China group.
Julian has been involved in school leadership for over 20 years, the last eight of which have been based in Tianjin. Before moving to China in 2014, he began his career in education as a teacher of history in a prestigious independent girls’ school in north London, followed by almost 18 years at our sister school in England, Wellington College. He is a graduate of Durham and Exeter universities.
Ms Lydia Cheung has served as the Non-Executive Director of Wellington College International China Management Ltd since 2016.
Lydia graduated at Queen Mary College (University of London) with a BSc (Hon) Statistics and also holds an MBA degree from Oklahoma City University in the United States. She practiced as an auditor in London after graduation.
Primarily based in Hong Kong, Lydia has more than 20 years of financial management experience in the United Kingdom and Greater China. Her expertise includes anticipating strategic investment, optimising capital structure, budget control, implementing financial recommendations to achieve business objectives and enhancing sustainable long-term shareholder value and profitability.
Lydia is the Financial Controller of Italian luxury fashion brand INNIU. She is a visionary finance professional with extensive technical knowledge in the international luxury fashion industry, having previously worked for Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga.
She is married with one daughter who is a graduate of the Wellington Academy in England and is currently studying her postgraduate degree in Luxury Brand Management.
Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co., Ltd.
Huili School Nantong/Huili Nursery Nantong
Ms Shuanglin Chen is a senior architect who specialises in the design and development of mixed-use projects in urban centres. She joined Lujiazui Group in 2013 and has played a key role in major projects, including the New Bund Centre office tower, the Qiantan Shangri-La Hotel, the Qiantan Taikooli shopping village, the Zhangjiang Science Gate office tower, the Zhangjiang Hilton Hotel and more. She has also participated in the development of Huili Shanghai South Building.
Ms Chen has bachelor’s degree in architecture from Tianjin University, and master’s degree in architecture from National University of Singapore.
She is married and has two sons and is passionate about education.