There can't be many islanders who have not heard of either Roger Deign or Colegio Hispano Británico, the British school in Puerto Del Carmen. Roger moved to Lanzarote in 1974 with his wife and 3 children, then aged between 1 and 5 years. Roger's primary concern was for the children to receive a proper education, and when the local school containing 6 children closed down he spent a year planning with his wife how they could set up a replacement school. In 1976 Colegio Hispano Br¡tánico was formed and they operated from the hexagon building that is now part of Rancho Texas.
In 1982 the school moved to their current site just up the hill. The main building was completed in an amazing 28 days using 100 workmen. In the early days a headmaster was employed, but in 1985 Roger decided to focus solely on the school and took this post for himself, working alongside his wife Maevie who continues to teach English studies. He is a man of many diverse interests, but his enthusiasm for the school, the quality of the staff, and the potential of the pupils is infectious.
Today there are 337 students being educated there, with 171 on a waiting list. The list of nationalities includes children from Britain, Australia, Spain, Germany, India, France, The Netherlands, Austria and even Russia. The school is a recognised examination centre for the Cambridge and London (EDEXCEL) exam boards, it is also a centre for Open University exams and university admissions UCLES. The school is fully recognised under the Spanish royal decrees of 1978 and 1993.
In many ways the school has become a hub for the expatriate communities living here in Lanzarote, with gossip and business cards regularly being exchanged in the school car park. It also owns the radio station UK Away, which is also used as part of media studies courses for the pupils.
The most recent development has been the levelling of 5 acres of land to build a superb 400m running track. This has been uniquely designed with oval corners, enabling a full size soccer pitch to be placed in the middle. The plans incorporate the ability to create a variety of football and various other pitches including cricket.
The school attracts wonderful staff from around the world, many of the teachers are over qualified for the positions they take, therefore the children receive a fantastic quality of education. Combined with the maximum class size of 16 it is no wonder they are cultivating world class students. Roger is particularly proud of the fact that he is now seeing the children of former students being taught at the school.
What started as a way for Roger Deign to ensure his own children received a good education has grown into a strong and vibrant institution with children regularly applying to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The Colegio Hispano Británico epitomises the saying "From tiny acorns great oak trees grow."