The Telegraph is reporting suggestions from a leading head that state schools should be allowed to set up branches abroad ‘to raise millions of pounds a year’.
Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski has urged the Government to help a hundred of the country’s best state schools to set up fee-paying counterparts in countries such as China, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The head of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls said that Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, seemed “very enthusiastic” about the idea when they discussed it at a business dinner.
“[Mrs Morgan] pulled a pen from her bag, took notes down and kept asking me for details about it,” Dame Dana told the Sunday Telegraph. “She was very enthusiastic about the idea at the table.”
Private schools already have years of experience of opening branches abroad and generate around £1 billion in revenue to the UK economy.
Academy chains are beginning to follow suit. Earlier this month, Ark academy chain, which runs 34 schools in England, announced plans to sponsor a school in South Delhi, India.
“We have many private schools [abroad], so why not pilot 10 of the best state schools to go to places like China, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia?” Dame Dana said.
“We are asking the Government to use tax payers money to pay for legal advice and to help us manage the infrastructure.”
Support would also come from local business people who would partly fund the construction of the facilities, according to Dame Dana, who is chief executive of the Bright Futures Educational Trust academy chain…
Dame Dana speculates that if one hundred state schools each run two such schools abroad then it could generate up to £100m per year. She also suggests part of the money raised could form a general levy to boost overall education spending.
So is this a viable suggestion for the state system to raise more money?
The British education brand is strong – should state schools start exploiting that?
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