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600-year-old English school to set up branch

Standard Media – 01 February 2020

One of the world’s oldest schools has announced plans to open a campus in Kenya.

Durham School, a 606-year-old independent day and boarding school in North East England, has chosen Kenya as the location for its first branch in Africa.

Founded in 1414, the school was later re-founded by King Henry VIII of England in 1541. Plans for its Kenyan campus were discussed on the sidelines of the UK-Africa summit in London last week.

“With over 600 years of education experience, there is a phenomenal amount Durham School has to offer children and parents in East Africa,” said Kieran McLaughlin, the school’s headmaster. The school announced the plans to enter the African education sector following the success of Durham School for Girls Doha in Qatar, which opened in September 2019 with 560 students.

Next frontier

Its entry to Africa will start with nursery entry – ages three to six  – in September 2020, followed by primary and secondary phases.

The school has signed an agreement with the Studybridge Group, a firm investing in education in Africa, to lead the opening of its campuses in the continent.

Brijesh Bakhda of Studybridge says Africa’s fast growing middle class and pool of expatriates seeking world-class education for their children makes it the next ‘frontier’ for international schools.

“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,” said Lord Popat, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda.

Already, Kenya has a number of international schools offering the British GCSE system of education.

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