The Journal – 25 January 2020
ONE of the oldest schools in England has revealed plans to open a sister school in Africa. Durham School, originally founded in 1414 and re-founded in 1541 by King Henry VIII, intends to open the new international school in Kenya – its first in Africa – later this year.
The news follows the success of Durham School for Girls Doha, which opened in September 2019 with 560 students – the highest achieved by any new international school in Qatar.
Once opened, Durham will be the first UK-based school to open an international arm in East Africa.
Having signed a strategic agreement with the Studybridge Group to lead the opening of Durham International Schools in Africa, plans for Kenya were discussed on the sidelines of the UKAfrica Investment Summit, which this week took place in London.
Kieran McLaughlin, Headmaster of Durham School, said: “With over 600 years of education experience, there is a phenomenal amount Durham School has to offer children and parents in East Africa.
“We are excited with the opportunity that Africa presents and are confident that Durham International Schools will be highly sought after by parents looking for high-quality, all-round education for their children at a competitive fee level.”
Nick Millen OBE, Director of International Operations for Durham School, added: “Durham School will maintain very strong links with each International School, providing governance and quality oversight together with professional development and exchange opportunities.”
With a reputation for excellence, Durham School aims to prepare its day and boarding pupils, aged 3-18, with a “Confidence for Life” and with the skills required to tackle the challenges of the 21st century whilst retaining a sense of traditional values.
Brijesh Bakhda, Managing Director of Studybridge, added: “We have already made considerable progress planning the first Durham International School in Africa, which will be in Nairobi.
“We are confident in the long-term prospects that the capital offers and believe that parents and students in Nairobi will welcome the quality and ethos of education that Durham offers.”
Studybridge, which is focused on educational opportunities in Africa, will invest in setting up new schools and will look to partner with local real estate developers as it expands into new African markets.
Supporting the Durham initiative for Africa, Lord Popat, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda, said: “It is wonderful to see Durham School, a 600-year-old British institution, enter Africa.
“With a fast growing middle class and an increasing demand for high-quality schooling, I’m sure Durham will be well received.”
The school will initially open for nursery entry (ages three to six) in September 2020 with primary and secondary phases to follow.
For more information, visit www.durhamkenya.com