IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for Senior Leaders of Boys’ Schools

South Africa

Starts in early 2021.

IBSC Ideas Lab invites senior leaders of member schools in South Africa to connect virtually using the free online tool Zoom. Limited to 12 participants plus facilitators, each IBSC Ideas Lab includes three one-hour sessions for participants to discuss topics focused on boys and boys’ schools.

Designed as an interactive exchange among colleagues, IBSC Ideas Lab engages dedicated educators who learn and grow together. Each session starts with a 10-minute introduction from a global guest to jumpstart a facilitated conversation on the topic. Together we surface fresh ideas and build mutual support structures and enduring professional friendships.

Available exclusively to IBSC member schools, first-time participants who can commit to joining every session within a cohort get preference in registration to support the success of each small group.

Who Should Attend?

Senior leaders from member schools, including deputy heads, directors, division heads, executive committee members, and others who aspire to headship of a boys’ school in South Africa

Course Format

IBSC Ideas Lab attendees participate in three scheduled one-hour calls using Zoom. Tony Reeler, principal, Bishops Diocesan College (South Africa), facilitates each session with thought-provoking input from guest presenters who contextualize each topic. This IBSC Ideas Lab focuses on these topics:

Conversation 1

Topics Facing Heads of Boys’ Schools
Guest Presenter: Byron Hulsey, Headmaster, Woodberry Forest School (United States)

What issues at your school keep you up at night and occupy your thoughts during the day? Engage with fellow heads of school to examine and discuss such issues as following school mission and values, considering their relevancy in today’s climate, creating a welcoming environment for boys, cultivating connection among boys, staff, and families, welcoming and acclimating new families and staff, building equity and inclusion, exploring concepts of masculinity, finding best practices to educate boys, and strengthening leadership and governance. Dive into how these vital issues impact boys and our schools.

Conversation 2
The Head and the Heart
Guest Presenter: Lester Lalla, Headmaster, St. John’s Preparatory School (South Africa)

How do you prioritize your own well-being and present an effective role model for your staff to do the same? Join leaders to discuss caring for yourself, managing stress, creating healthy cultures, practicing mindfulness, enhancing faculty wellness, and sustaining leadership energy.

Conversation 3
Write a New Narrative for Boys’ Schools
Guest Presenter: Tom Batty, Principal, Scotch College (Australia)

What is the narrative for your school? Explore ways to broaden definitions of masculinity, foster belonging in boys’ schools, create safe spaces for boys in our schools, view success in a modern context, marry tradition with the demands of modern society, and establish boys’ schools as places of purpose.

Read more about the guest presenters.


Tony Reeler

Tony Reeler

Tony Reeler was educated at Rondebosch Boys High School (South Africa). He matriculated in 1981 as deputy head boy with full academic colors. Reeler comes from a teaching family: Both his parents were teachers and both his sisters are teachers. With this background it surprised no one when he pursued the teaching profession. He completed his BSc at UCT, majoring in mathematics, whereupon he completed his PGCE. His first teaching post was at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth where he stayed until 1999, heading up the mathematics department for seven years and coaching rugby (at first-team level) and cricket.

Following a four-year stint as deputy headmaster at Rondebosch, Reeler served as headmaster at Pinelands High School for seven years. During this time he was part of the inaugural Advanced Certificate in Education programme at UCT, a qualification he obtained cum laude. Reeler started as headmaster at Pretoria Boys High in July 2010 and completed his time there in June 2020 to take up a new position as principal of Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town. He is married to Rose (an ex-teacher) and they have two children, a son recently qualified with a law degree from Pretoria University and a daughter who is in her third year of university study—to become a teacher! Apart from education Reeler’s interests include all sports—particularly golf—reading, and music.


IBSC member rate: $150

Refund Policy

IBSC will refund 90% of registration fees if a written request is received two weeks prior to the class. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this time. Schools seeking to register an alternate to replace a participant unable to attend should contact IBSC@theibsc.org.

Please note: Participants will receive detailed call information and meeting invitations after registration closes.