A NORTH East private school which has been educating children for 600 years is planning to open branches of its institution around the world.
Durham School has formed an innovative partnership which aims to promote education excellence for boys and girls on a global scale.
The school has signed an agreement with IKC Holdings, a major Indian IT company operating under a brand called Infinity, to plan, design and build new schools abroad.
The new schools will be based on Durham School’s day and boarding model and will cater for three to 18-year-olds. The schools will be fee-paying, though costs are yet to be announced, and it is expected that bursaries and scholarships will be made available to talented children.
Students at Durham School, which charges up to £15,225 annually for day pupils and up to £23,097 for full-time boarders, are set to benefit from the partnership through exchange programmes with the foreign schools and interactive lessons over the internet, via Skype.
Plans are already under way for the development of schools in a number of sites in India. However, the long-term plans could see schools opening around the world.
Martin George, headmaster at Durham School, said: “In the 21st Century businesses and services, including education, will only be truly successful in a global context.
“This venture is going to bring to India and other countries, and in particular to their children, the immense benefits of what is the most highly-regarded form of education in the world, and one to which many countries aspire.
“I am confident that the new global Durham School community will provide extraordinary opportunities for pupils in Durham and overseas.” Mr George will fly out to India later this month to discuss potential sites for the new schools, which will be built from scratch.
Ravindra Chamaria, chairman and managing director of Infinity Group, said: “The partnership with such a prestigious school as Durham School provides the necessary expertise to establish outstanding education across the globe.
“We are excited and proud to have reached this point and look forward to seeing our plans come to fruition.”
Alasdair MacConachie, chairman of the board of governors of Durham School, added: “I am absolutely thrilled that after many months of discussions we have reached the point where our shared aspirations can become a reality.”
IKC Holdings is already involved in major projects that aim to promote higher education in various countries.
Durham School was founded in 1414, making it one of the oldest schools in the country.
Illustrious former pupils include TV comedian Alexander Armstrong, Batman actor Michael Gough and anti-slavery campaigner Grenville Sharp.
... the new global Durham School community will provide extraordinary opportunities