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UK School Targets Kenya Elite with Nairobi Academy

Business Daily – 15 July 2020

One of the oldest schools in England, Durham School, has launched an international academy in Nairobi.

The up to Sh500,000 fee a year school joins a growing list of institutional investors in Kenya’s private education cashing in on high demand for quality schooling from local wealthy and middle-class families as well as expatriates working for multinationals, foreign governments and global institutions.

The day and boarding school, which is 600 years old said yesterday it would offer the British curriculum and start with nursery entry — ages two to six — from January next year.

“We look forward to welcoming a diverse community of children with a range of cultural, and educational backgrounds, languages, talents and abilities to our brand new school in January 2021,” said Sue Small, Headteacher-elect of the school located in the leafy suburb of Thigiri in a statement.

British High Commissioner, Jane Marriott, welcomed the opening of the school in Kenya.

“As a former student of History at Durham University, I am delighted Durham will be opening a school in Nairobi in January 2021.

“Education links are a key part of the UK and Kenya’s relationship, and it’s fantastic to see Durham School being the first British school to open a branch in East Africa,” she said.

The school announced the plans to enter the Kenyan education sector following the success of its Durham School for Girls Doha in Qatar, which opened in September 2019 with 560 students.

Kenya has several international schools offering the British GCSE system of education.

Durham will be in direct competition with other elite learning institutions such as the German School, International School of Kenya, Potterhouse School, Braeburn, Rosslyn Academy, Sabis, Kenton and St Andrews Turi.

The international schools’ space has recently benefited from the steady growth of the middle class and the large pool of expatriates working for multinationals, foreign governments and global institutions like the UN.

The top-of-the-range schools charge annual fees of between Sh200,000 and Sh600,000 for day scholars while those in boarding school pay up to Sh1.7 million a year.

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