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UK prep school appoints AI chatbot as Principal Headteacher

Written by Tue 24 Oct 2023

Cottesmore School has implemented artificial intelligence (AI) to act as its Principal Headteacher. The boarding prep school in West Sussex will use the AI to assist acting Headmaster, Tom Rogerson.

Cottesmore School said the Principal Headteacher, named Abigail Bailey, ‘elegantly marries’ traditional education ethos with modern tech advancements.

“Her leadership is steering Cottesmore towards a unique pedagogical approach, blending cutting-edge AI with time-honoured academic values, ensuring students, teachers and parents are well-prepared for a digital future while maintaining core educational principles,” said Cottesmore School.

The Principle Headteacher functions as an AI chatbot similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard. The AI Principal Headteacher can reportedly analyse vast amounts of data, enabling it to have knowledge about educational management.

The AI system will be used to assist staff, support pupils with ADHD, craft school policies, provide seven-point plan responses, and prompt school leaders with questions to stimulate their thinking.

“It does not mean you don’t ever also seek counsel from humans. Of course you do. It is just very calming and reassuring knowing that you don’t have to call anybody up, bother someone, and wait around for an answer,” said Rogerson to The Telegraph.

Rogerson believed students should be prepared for the increasing use of AI and robotic technologies. He is also seeking to give state school headteachers access to the publicly-available online AI.

“The introduction of AI is not about replacing our dedicated educators but about augmenting their capabilities and ensuring our students receive the best education possible,” added Rogerson.

Cottesmore School previously became the first school in the country to seek a Head of AI. After conducting interviews, Rogerson selected to appoint another AI system for the role.

The AI, named Jamie Rainer, is described as an ‘expert in generative AI’ and will assist the school with its AI strategy. The AI will also help embed technology into the curriculum and advise teachers on reducing their workload.

Cottesmore School has also provided its students with individual AI systems to understand their distinct learning preferences.

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Written by Tue 24 Oct 2023

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