UK schools boss slams Dubai overseas campus move

Ofsted head says top UK schools like Repton should focus less on opening campuses overseas
An artists impression of Repton Abu Dhabi.
By Shane McGinley
Mon 24 Jun 2013 02:17 PM

The head of the UK’s official body for inspecting schools has said has hit out at British private colleges investing in opening campuses in overseas destinations like Dubai and should instead focus on supporting struggling local state schools.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, hit out at UK-based private schools which have expanded overseas and said they should focus on helping state schools struggling during the ongoing UK recession.

Wilshaw specifically highlighted Repton School in Derbyshire, which charges almost £30,000 ($46,050) a year for boarders, which had opened an international school in Dubai in 2007.

While more than a third of students at the UK school earned A grades in their exams, standards in nearby state schools in Derby were given a less than glowing report by Ofsted’s inspectors.

“I can’t help but wonder if it might first have looked a little closer to home. Less Dubai, more Derby, you might be tempted to say,” Wilshaw told British media.

Many private schools in the UK have opened campuses in Dubai and across the Middle East. Last year, Marlborough College, which was attended by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, announced it was looking to expand overseas and looking to open a campus in the Middle East.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.