The GSM Team


Ian Rysdale

Chief Executive Officer

Ian Rysdale, a UK national, holds a BA (Hons) degree from the University of London, UK, a PGCE from Simon Fraser University, Canada, and an MA in International School Administration from the College of New Jersey, USA.  He has been involved in international education for over 25 years, serving as Head of School and Founding Director of schools in Africa, China, Venezuela, Kazakhstan and Canada.

As a school management consultant for ECIS, Ian was Founding Principal of the Western Academy of Beijing. Later, for CIS, he established and supervised the development of a new model of education in Kazakhstan, combining the programmes of the IB with those of the Kazakh National Curriculum for the Nursultan Nazarbaev Education Foundation.

Ian has many years of experience in leading schools to international accreditation and IB authorization. He was a founding member of the team that initiated and wrote the International Schools Curriculum Project (ISCP), which later became the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), now taught in over 1,000 schools world-wide.

In 2007, Ian joined GEMS Education in Dubai as Senior Academic Officer for Academy One (A1) Schools, GEMS’ most prestigious model, and led the design and development of this new concept. He then became Senior Director, Pre-Operations, supervising the design and development of 7 new GEMS schools across the Middle East, South East Asia, China and East Africa.

Later, as Chief Operating Officer of Educational Advisory Services (EAS) international, a GEMS consulting arm, Ian played a leading role in conducting a feasibility study for Branksome Hall, Toronto, resulting in the creation of the school’s first Asia campus in Global Education City, Jeju Island, South Korea.

Following this, he established the GEMS regional office for East Africa, founding their first school in Nairobi, Kenya and concluded his GEMS tenure as Chief Academic Officer, Pacific Rim, East Asia and China, securing GEMS first school in Singapore through the EDB bidding process, as well as opening the GEMS World Academy Tianjin Eco City in China.

Ian later joined Knowledge Universe (KU) as Head of K-12 Development and spearheaded their efforts to develop a significant presence in the K-12 education sector, establishing partnerships and collaborative relationships with major clients and educational providers in the Asia Pacific region.



John Sperandio

Chief Operating Officer

John Sperandio, an American national, holds a B.Sc. (Summa Cum Laude) degree in physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.Sc. in physics from Yale University and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Worcester State College in the USA.

He taught in the USA, Africa, Europe and the Middle East at the secondary and tertiary levels and has 9 yrs experience as the business manager at the International School of Tanganyika and Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas.

For 15 years John has been involved as the Director or CEO of new schools in Malta, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh and India. These schools were in the early stages of development and required the addition of grades and programme, principally IB PYP, MYP and DP programmes, as well as accreditation by international bodies such as ECIS/CIS and NEASC. The International School of Azerbaijan and International School Dhaka were the first IB schools to graduate IB Diploma students from Azerbaijan and Bangladesh.

John has most recently served as consultant and Founding Director of Stonehill International School, an accredited, three programme, IB authorised school in Bangalore, India, where he was employed from ground breaking to the graduation of the first IB Diploma students, four years from the school opening.

As an experienced trainer and presenter for the IB and the PTC in school finance and governance, an accreditation visiting team member and as a developer of new schools and school programmes, John has a unique combination of  educational experience, financial acumen and engineering and design background to contribute to all areas of school development.



Niall Nelson


Dr Niall C W Nelson, an Irish national, holds a B.Ed (Hons) from the University of Sussex in the UK and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He taught in the UK and the USA at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, was a teacher and administrator at the Anglo-American School, Moscow, and led international schools in Italy, Libya, Tanzania and Indonesia.

For 15 years Niall was Headmaster and CEO of Jakarta International School, a 3,000 student, multi-campus school serving the city’s diplomatic and business communities and offering IB Diploma and AP programmes. In 2000, Niall was selected Superintendent of the Year by the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE).

Niall served as Chief Academic Officer (Global) for GEMS Education from 2006-2010. During that time he helped create and was appointed CEO of Educational Advisory Services (EAS) international, a GEMS consulting body providing high level advice to schools and other educational providers on start-ups and related strategic and operational matters.

During 2011-12 Niall was Interim Head of the Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland. He has also consulted to international schools and educational providers on a range of topics, including school governance and transition planning.

A former member of the IB Board of Governors, the IB Heads Committee, and the IB Grant Committee, Niall was Founding Board Chair of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and of the Academy for International School Heads (AISH). He also sat on regional association boards in Africa and Asia.

Niall was appointed Honorary Irish Consul to Indonesia by the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland in 1996 and served in that role for 10 years. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Research in International Education, has written for various publications, and has presented at many international school conferences and association meetings.


Kevin Bartlett

Kevin Bartlett

Curriculum and Programme Consultant

Kevin Bartlett has held leadership positions in the UK, Tanzania, Namibia, Austria and Belgium, the latter as Director of the International School of Brussels (ISB), a fully inclusive school with 1550 students from 70 nationalities.

He has been deeply involved in transforming international education on a number of fronts, including co-designing accreditation systems for the European Council of International Schools (ECIS), the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Kevin was a member of the Founding Board of CIS and served as Chairman for four years. He has also served on numerous other boards, including CASE, Europe and AMCHAM, Belgium.

Kevin is a regular author of published articles on a range of topics, and a keynoter speaker/workshop leader at multiple international and national conferences. He is a writer and trainer in the field of curriculum design and leadership for learning for the Principals’ Training Center. As a curriculum designer, he was the initiator and early leader of the IB Primary Years Programme. Kevin is the Co-Designer and Co-Leader of two successful global initiatives: The Next Frontier: Inclusion and The Common Ground Collaborative, a curriculum and school transformation system for international and national schools.

Kevin’s work has recently been recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which named ISB as one of six Schools of the Future, and by the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), which named him as International Superintendent of the Year 2014. In April 2015, Kevin received the Award for The Promotion of International Education from ECIS.


Jane Crowhurst photo

Jane Crowhurst

Architectural & Facilities Consultant

Jane Crowhurst, a South African and UK national, holds a BArch from WITS University in South Africa and an MBA from Lancaster University in the UK.

As an architect with an MBA, Jane has a unique combination of skills. She has worked in architecture in Hong Kong, South Africa, Germany, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland and as a strategy consultant in South Africa, Germany and the UK.

By combining her architectural, MBA and management consulting knowledge and experience, Jane has developed an expertise with regard to Educational Strategic Briefing. She believes passionately that architecture is a powerful instrument for change and utilizes her Educational Strategic Briefing process to ensure that the built environment enables and supports schools to achieve their mission and their strategic and operational aims. This process is the essential foundation for all facilities planning and building projects and is applicable to all renovation, rebuilding or new building projects. Educational Strategic Briefing is essential for securing a project’s ultimate success and ensuring that every decision related to the built environment will have academic relevance.

As well as advising GSM on facilities design, Jane leads the Zurich office of tp bennett, a global architectural practice which has completed over a hundred schools. In addition she is an experienced international school board trustee.


Catherine Broadbent 2

Catherine Broadbent

ESL Consultant

Catherine Broadbent is a British national who graduated with a BA degree in English, Anthropology and American Studies from Durham University.  She holds an RSA Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults and a Distinction in her PGCE Dip Ed (ELT) from Exeter University.

She has had more than 25 years of experience in teaching English Literature, Drama and ESL at British A level and National Curriculum levels in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Kuwait and the UK. Catherine is an experienced ESL course designer and has  served as an English Education Consultant for Tan Chong Motors (TCM), teaching English to TCM executives. She has also taught English to Hess Oil and Gas Company staff.  Catherine coauthored, with Nick Bishop, English Essentials: Oil & Gas, published in Malaysia, a communicative English course for Oil and Gas executives.

In addition to advising GSM on ESL matters, Catherine has served as an adviser on curriculum and planning for the Kingsley International Education Group, working with three new British-style international schools and a university in Malaysia.


John Broadbent

John Broadbent

College Placement Consultant

John Broadbent is a British national who holds a BA Hons in History from Durham University, an RSA Diploma in teaching EFL to adults and an MEd Education Research in Bi-Lingualism and ESL from Exeter University.  He has more than 25 years experience of teaching History and Economics at British A level and National Curriculum levels in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Kuwait and the UK.

In addition to advising GSM on College Placement matters, John has advised the Malaysian Government on preparing students for Higher Education and UK university placement and has monitored the applications of Malaysia government sponsored scholars. As Regional Director for the Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO) South East Asia from 2007 to 2013, John advised staff and students in international schools in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Brunei and Indonesia, helping them to make informed career and higher education choices for colleges and universities worldwide.

John’s experience centres on college placement to the UK through UCAS, to individual colleges and universities in the USA, Canada and Australia, and to various destinations within the EU and Japan. He has strong relationships with Higher Education advisory bodies based in KL, including MABECS and the British Council (UK), MACEE (USA) and IDP (Australia), and with university admissions offices throughout the world.  He has organised visits and lectures from admissions officers and written guidelines on how to apply to universities in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.



Saad Faruque

IT Consultant

Saad Faruque is a Bangladeshi national who has been working for the last 15 years as a technology implementer and manager in a variety of industries:  banking, satellite communications and distribution of internet services.

For the past 8 years, he has focused on education, bringing state of the art computing and IT infrastructure to world class international schools in Bangladesh and Bangalore.  His belief in using open source software to solve real world problems has given the schools access to 21st century tools for managing networks, virtualising servers and automatic fault detection and notification.

While working at Stonehill International School in Bangalore, Saad ensured that all physical systems, including telephones, public address, fire alarm, CCTV cameras, access control and wireless internet points, were IP accessible. The software controlling these IP systems were open source products, as was the learning management system, the library system, the student management system, the curriculum mapping system, the student portfolio system, the fault and repair reporting and the document management system.  Saad has specialized in making open source products integrate and exchange information with each other.

Saad is the Global Schools Management consultant for IT and is presently working as Head of Solutions Development at Xeo InfoSoft , a Bangalore based company he co-founded.  You can find his blog at For help with Moodle or other open source enterprise implementation, please contact