The transformation of Azerbaijan’s post-Soviet education system into the envy of the Caucasus was thanks to large scale investment and visionary thinking. That thinking, as well as ideas drawn from across the globe, is what helped Tale Heydarov establish the European Azerbaijan School, which combines local and international teaching methods, and emphasises the importance of an education fit for the future. In his article for New Europe, Graeme Pollock, Director of the Azerbaijan Teachers Development Centre in Baku, reflects on the features which set excellent schools apart from the pack, including an international outlook, space for students’ creativity and investment in the best teachers.