Michael Wilson



Michael Wilson joined Cranleigh Abu Dhabi in July 2018 from Cranleigh Prep School in the UK where he was Headmaster for ten years. Michael is no stranger to the Abu Dhabi school, having played a pivotal role in its foundation and development. Michael wrote the school’s 3-18 curriculum plan, co-wrote its business plan and has been actively involved as a Board member since 2014. Michael has over 30 years of top class British educational experience. Runner up in the Tatler ‘Best Prep School Head Award’ in 2016, the majority of his career as an educator has been in the UK but his CV also tells a story of passion for international education. Apart from his significant involvement with Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Mike has spent four years teaching in his native Kenya (where he also coached the national tennis team) and played a key role in the establishment of Dulwich International College in Phuket, Thailand when it opened in 1997. His career has taken him into every area of school life, as a practitioner, manager and, for the best part of the past 20 years, as a leader. He has sat on the Educational Board at three leading independent schools in the UK. 


Leadership stream

25 February 2020 | 17:00 - 17:30 | Setting up an International School - Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi - from conception to maturity.

An insight into setting up an International School from scratch, focusing on the challenges faced when the school is up and running and needs to settle down into the 'mature school' phase. I was involved in the first conversation about Cranleigh, I was part of a team that chose the site, was involved in the design phase, fit out and then preparation of the curriculum, policies, job descriptions and eventually job interviews. I then sat of the Board for four years before taking over as Principal. I will talk about the lessons learned and more importantly the difficult phase from birth to maturity.