Derek Smith holds a B.Ed. in mathematics and an MA in Education Management and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Durham University where he is researching the impact of ICT in education in Africa. He is an experienced international school principal having led schools across Africa and Europe.
Derek first travelled to West Africa in 1995 to work as a volunteer maths teacher in local schools in Guinea Bissau. As a result of this experience Derek worked with the European Union and the Ministry of Education to introduce a four year In-Service training programme for teachers of science and maths throughout the country.
Following this experience Derek began to work with international schools in The Gambia and was appointed Deputy Head of Marina International School. Working alongside the national government, the World Bank and local private sector companies Marina International School became the first school in The Gambia to introduce the internet into classroom teaching. With the support of the World Bank this project was then rolled out to government secondary schools across the country.
Derek continued to work in international education and headed schools in Poland and Spain. He moved to Nigeria in 2007 and has worked in Abuja and Lagos. Most recently he spent seven years as the Principal and CEO of Olashore International School in Osun State and was the President of the Association of International School Educators of Nigeria from 2016-2019.
In September 2019 Derek joined the International School of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as Headteacher where he is guiding the school through the authorisation process with the International Baccalaureate Organisation.