We hear that... 105 schools are affiliated to COBIS. Of these, 35 are full members accredited by the organisation, meaning that they have been inspected by the ISI and got a good report. This is only just over 10% of the impressive 330 accredited schools boasted by CIS. But the numbers will rise, because five other inspectorates have been authorised by OFSTED to give British schools abroad their official ticket (or not). And because, crisis or no crisis, the international schools sector just keeps on growin'. All five new inspectorates were on hand at the elegant COBIS conference, to make their pitch to the distinguished networkers gathered there. Cachet was conferred on the event by authoritative speeches from the Minister for Schools and the OFSTED supremo. And by the many perfectly toned bodies inside expensively tailored clothes, of course. And by the royal lady who turned up at the end. No, not that royal lady, alas. Returning to accreditation, one hears that 'Penta' may clean up the Middle East, where the King of Bahrein fears and loathes the COBIS/ISI axis of evil. But how long will the King remain on his BSME throne? The other organisations will squabble over the rest of the pickings - schools in Europe, Africa and Asia not already accredited. Will COBIS find the other five organisations as much to their taste as ISI? They are waiting and watching, it seems, under the direction of a new chairman. London was mostly sunny, and there was time to shop, with Boots and M&S the main targets in these straitened times, rather than Harrods or Fortnums.