Our School

A Brief History of Southbank

In 1979, Milton Toubkin, David Tucker, John Marberry, Susan Marberry and Stephen Bailey signed a document establishing the American International School (AIS) with three key principles:

  1. The school would be democratic
  2. The school would use London as the classroom
  3. The curriculum would be individual

In 1981, the school moved into a Victorian primary school building on Cornwall Road and was renamed Southbank International School. Southbank was the first school in the UK to be authorised to offer all three International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes in 1997.

The school has flourished from its humble beginnings on London’s South Bank with a few dozen students to a tri-campus institution in the heart of London serving more than 700 students ranging from ages 3-19 years old.

Southbank International School has led the way in providing internationally-relevant world class education for more than 30 years and continues to be at the forefront.

School Governance

Southbank International School is part of Cognita Schools Group, a global leader in independent education that is committed to enriching the lives of children to achieve more than they believe they can.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 2004, the Cognita family now includes over 65 schools worldwide. Thanks to the efforts of our talented educators and support staff, we have helped thousands of students achieve beyond expectation.

With the most diverse portfolio of schools in the world, Cognita draws upon our international breadth and the wide-ranging expertise of our educators to share best practice and raise standards across our Group. At the same time, we value and respect the individuality of our schools, each one retaining its own unique ethos, with curricula and programmes tailored to the needs of the parents and children it serves.

What to expect from a Cognita school:

  • We strive to challenge all children to realise their full potential in all fields of endeavour.
  • We foster best practice in every aspect of our schools’ provision.
  • We support and monitor teacher performance, investing in regular and appropriate staff training and development.
  • We encourage open and effective communication between our schools and our parents.
  • We promote and preserve the unique character and identity of each school.
  • Our duty of care to our students is paramount, and we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of safeguarding and child safety, without compromise.

Cognita is proud to be a major partner of The Global Fund for Children, which works to transform the lives of children on the edges of society, helping them regain their rights and reach their potential.

Director of Education, Europe: Simon Camby
Group Chief Executive Officer: Chris Jansen

5 & 7 Diamond Court, Opal Drive, Eastlake Park, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DU
Telephone + 44 (0)1908 396250 | Email: uk@cognitaschools.com


Southbank is authorised (and regularly evaluated) by the IB and is also inspected by the Schools Inspection Service (SIS). Southbank is a founder member of the International Baccalaureate Schools and Colleges Association of the UK and Ireland (IBSCA), and the London International Schools Association (LISA) and a member of the International Schools Sports Association (ISSA) and Independent Schools Associations (ISA).