Mary Langford and Gracia Lockwood collectively have 68 years’ working with IB Programmes at all levels in different IB schools.  They bring this shared wealth of IB knowledge and experience to the ILLTC. 


Mary Langford

Mary Langford

Mary Langford, Director

Mary Langford is a US/UK dual national who moved abroad at the age of two and then attended eight schools in three languages before finishing secondary education.  She is a textbook ‘TCK‘ (Third Culture Kid.)  She has over 40 years’ experience in almost every area of international school life: administration and personnel, governance, admissions, alumni, public relations and communications, teaching (ESL and Spanish), as Principal in an IBPYP school, and as Director in European-based boarding and day schools offering US, UK, IB, Spanish, Italian, and Saudi Arabian curricula to students ranging in age from 6 months to 19 years. She has also been a consultant advising international families seeking school placements in the UK and abroad, and in her early years worked in diplomatic and political positions in Washington, DC. Attending The College of William and Mary in Virginia, George Mason University, and University of Texas, she earned a BA with a double major in Spanish/Portuguese and Latin American Humanities.  After moving to England, she earned an MA in International Education from the University of Bath. Working under the supervision of Professor Jeff Thompson, CBE, and Prof. Mary Hayden, her graduate research published in 1997 focused on how international schools serve internationally-mobile students and, according to Google Scholar,  has been cited by numerous academics doing similar research.  In 2018 Mary started her doctoral studies in International Education at the University of Bath and has focused her studies on the themes related to the International Baccalaureate schools and programmes.

As Deputy Executive Director of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) from 2007-2011, she was responsible for ECIS professional development programmes including the Sustainable International School Governance – SISG (for boards and senior leaders) in London, Vienna, Istanbul and Cascais;  the International Leadership and Management Programme  -ILMP  – with Fieldwork Education for middle and senior school leaders at residential programmes in Brussels, The Hague, Cascais and London; and the 32 ECIS professional committees and their subject conferences – notably the EAL/Mother Tongue Committee, Librarians Committee, Early Childhood Committee, and Student Service Learning and Maths Quest events for students and teachers.  She also oversaw the award of the ECIS Fellowship and Margaret Saunders Scholarship Programme.  She also had oversight of ECIS’ major publications –  IS Magazine , International Schools Journal, and the ECIS Membership Directory.  She represented ECIS attending professional development conferences of other regional international education organisations including SGIS (Swiss Group of International Schools) in Lausanne and Zurich,  Nordic Network in Oslo, TAISI (The Association of International Schools in India) in New Delhi and Bangalore, ELSA (English Language Schools Association) in Paris, LISA (London International Schools Association), and the AIE (Alliance for International Education) in Istanbul.

As manager of the ECIS International Teacher Certificate (ITC) in collaboration with University of Cambridge International Exams, she served as an instructor at the ITC Institutes in Brussels, Istanbul, Havana, London, Madrid, Pattaya, Atlanta, Cairo, and Rio de Janeiro, addressing the areas of language issues (second language learners, multilingualism, mother tongue), mobility and transition. She also negotiated masters -level credit recognition for the ITC from 6 UK, US and Australian universities, and recognition from the International Baccalaureate Organisation for the ITC as equivalent to the IB Teacher Certificate (IBPYP, IBMYP, IBDP), the first and only non-university pathway to that certification.   (She later became an examiner with CIE for the ITC.)

In 2012, as an independent consultant, Mary worked for two years with four founding parents to open the new Halcyon London International School, the first not-for-profit international IB World School (MYP and DP) in Central London, and through ILLTC managed Halcyon’s mother tongue language programme for its first two years.

Since 2007 Mary has worked as an Education Consultant with the Good Schools Guide specialising in international and bilingual education.  She has served as an international school expert witness called to provide testimony for intellectual property and tax appeal cases before courts Italy and the UK.  Since 2013 she has been a Visiting Lecturer for the International Honours Teaching Degree progamme (formerly ITEPS) at University College Zealand in Denmark where she also has provided guidance on international teaching practice placements for UCZ students. Currently she works as a consultant with the team providing training for teachers on EAL and multilingualism education for schools in Spain and Mexico with Across Cultures. 

Mary has also served on 17 multi-agency international school accreditation visiting teams (including four bilingual teams) doing ten-year, five-year, preparatory and special visits for the European Council of International Schools, Council of International Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, and the IBO. This work has taken her to Vietnam, Thailand, the USA, Panama, Chile, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary and Lebanon.  In 2017 Mary served on the first NEASC ‘virtual accreditation team’ for the Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Somaliland, in a remote setting where travel is discouraged, and then at another school in Spain during the 2020 pandemic.

Mary’s articles have been published in Britain, Europe, the Far East, and in the USA; she was a contributing author in International Education: Principles and Practice (Sage), The Essential Guide for International School Teachers (John Catt), and Effective Marketing, Communications and Development (John Catt Effective International Schools Series). She is also a consulting editor for The Good Schools Guide and The Good Schools Guide International (online) specialising in international and French curriculum boarding and day schools in greater London, and private boarding and day schools in the Washington, DC area. She has written academic peer book reviews about trilingualism, international teacher education, teaching assistants in international schools, women’s universities and colleges worldwide, teaching EAL in mainstream classrooms, and Third Culture Kids for Multilingual Matters (publishers), the Journal of Research in International Education (Sage), the International Schools Journal (ISJ) and  IS Magazine.   She has also written for the Parents League Review (Parents League of New York), has been a regular contributor to American in Britain magazine, and since 2014 has authored the Education Section of The Expatriate Guides to Living in the UK.

Mary has spoken internationally (in person and, since the pandemic, virtually) to parent associations (London, Istanbul, Brussels, Havana, Shanghai and Lisbon), teachers, school leaders and boards, admissions directors, relocation professionals, at international education and training conferences including ECIS, IBO, London International Schools Association, Nordic Network, Swiss Group of International Schools, The Association of International Schools in India, English Language Schools Association in France, Foreign Service Youth Foundation, UK Diplomatic Service Family Association – DFSA,  Belgian Foreign Ministry, American Women’s Club of London, Shell Outpost, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the European Banking Association, Association of Relocation Professionals – ARP, European Association of Relocation Agents – EURA,  FOCUS Information Services, University of Bath,  NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum, UK) and Across Cultures. She has been interviewed for international expat blogs and podcasts, newspapers, radio and television on the subject of international education, the International Baccalaureate Programmes, and the effects of international mobility on children and families. In 2017 she led the ‘Role of Languages’ strand for the biennial conference of the Alliance for International Education in Amsterdam.  She presented a session on How Schools Should Serve International Students and Families on behalf of the Good Schools Guide at the 2019 Festival of Education at Wellington College, and has been invited to present virtually at three upcoming Wellington College EdFests in China in 2022 (now postponed due to COVID). Her work has taken her to over 90 international schools in the Middle and Far East, South and Southeast Asia, North Africa, Europe, and North, Central and South America.

Having worked with hundreds of international families seeking international education for their multi-lingual children, Mary is well aware of the significance that international mobility and mother-tongue literacy development has in the educational careers of young people. This has motivated her to work with esteemed colleagues to develop the International Language and Literature Teachers’ Cooperative  providing mother tongue language support to hundreds of IB students living and studying outside their home countries.

Mary’s hobbies are her charitable projects and activities.  She serves as a Founding Trustee for the London International Gallery of Children’s Art and also was Founding Secretary of Friends of Cricklewood Library.  She is also a Trustee of the Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust which cares for a 16th Century heritage property in Lancashire in the north of England. She is also an occasional volunteer for Children Change Colombia and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. She serves as Parish Safeguarding Officer for her church, St. John’s Hyde Park. Most recently she has been involved in coordinating community engagement of volunteers in collaboration with former Royal Ballet soloist Fernando Montano for his Dance for the Sea initiative for World Ocean Day in support of the Marine Conservation Society to heighten awareness of pollution caused by single-use plastic.  She served as a translator and elocution coach for Fernando’s (virtual) Hay Festival 2020 presentation, and continues working on an English translation of his autobiography, Una BuenAventura, published in 2019 in Spanish by Penguin Random House. In 2021 they collaborated on the organisation of Ocean Voices, a virtual symposium hosted by Fernando for an Erasmus Plus project aimed at the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in London and schools in Italy, Turkey and Germany.  Most recently she has served as an advisor for the launch of Fernando Montano’s couture fashion brand Maison Cachua, a line of luxury alpaca garments and gold and silver jewellery responsibly sourced and made by artisans in Peru and Colombia.

Mary lives in London with her rescue Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Bella Buttons.

Two of Mary’s greatest joys are:

-Seeing the blossoming and accomplishment of the thousands of young international school students who she has worked with over the years and who, though now scattered all over the globe, are truly global citizens doing so much to make the world a better place.

-The privilege of having met and become friends with so many inspiring international school colleagues who share in common a love of teaching young people worldwide.


Gracia Lockwood, Academic Advisor

Gracia is a ‘Carioca’ from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She earned a BA (Hons) in Education and did a Post Graduate Programme (MA equivalent) in Philosophy of Education at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She started her career as a primary teacher in a Jesuit school and within five years became the head teacher where she was responsible for the pedagogical leadership of 80 teachers serving 2000 students. During that time she visited other Jesuit schools throughout South America where offered pedagogical advice and led teacher training as a new curriculum was introduced by the Jesuit Order. (This was her first exposure to international education!) She then returned to her alma mater, the Federal University in Rio, as an Assistant Lecturer in Education, and became a Consultant/Advisor on pedagogical matters relating to curriculum and teacher training for the Department of Education of the State of Rio de Janeiro where she worked with a wide range of secondary schools.

Gracia moved to England in the mid-eighties and began to teach the IB in 1986 as a teacher of Portuguese Language A and B at one of the earliest IB-authorised schools in the UK, the International School of London. She also gained an Advanced Diploma in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London to add to her impressive credentials. During her time in the UK, in addition to her work at IB World Schools as an IB Diploma and IB Middle Years teacher at the American Community School in Hillingdon, International School of London, International Community School and Southbank International School, she has done translations for the Open University, the BBC, and some major international companies. Gracia has also taught A-Level Portuguese in a London independent school and to private students, and has been responsible for running teacher training workshop at some of the London international schools. She has attended many IB Language A and TOK workshops over the years, including the new IB SSST Lit A (SL) training in Oxford, and has supervised several Extended Essays and IBMYP Personal Projects.

Gracia serves as Founding Academic Advisor for ILLTC and in that capacity helped to manage the ILLTC mother tongue consultants working with IBMYP students at Halcyon London International School during its first two years.  She oversees all of the work done by our consultants and acts as a mentor and advisor to them.

Gracia claims that her most important achievement is that all of her students have been successful, and many continue to regard her as a valued mentor!