UK school provider said to eye UAE expansion

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A British school academy is looking to tap into the growing demand for schools in Abu Dhabi and is planning to set up to three new schools in the UAE capital, providing thousands of new places for pupils over the coming years, it has been reported.

Liverpool’s Belvedere Preparatory School opened the Belvedere British School in Abu Dhabi earlier this month and is aiming to have three schools open by 2014, according to a report by the Liverpool Echo newspaper.

The first facility has seen huge demand for places since it was opened by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson last week.

“We have 450 students at the school that the mayor opened this week, with a waiting list of 550,” Richard Mathias, chief executive of Belvedere Schools Ltd, the company behind the expansion, was reported as saying.

“We are going to go to 750 in September and then the year after that we will go to 1,250 and then potentially we are going to build next door to the new one and take it to 2,500 pupils,” he added.

In a bid to prepare for the increase in school places, the academy held an open event in Liverpool to recruit teachers for the Abu Dhabi facilities, with 150 teachers in the area turning up.

The move is part of Abu Dhabi’s plan to expand its educational section, with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) announcing last it was planning to build 100 new schools over the next decade.#

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