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Private schools

CfBT owns and manages four high performing fee-paying private schools in the UK and South Africa. We also provide private school quality review services worldwide for both schools and government agencies.

CfBT's direct involvement in the ownership of private schools began in 1999 when the charity acquired St Andrew's School in Rochester, England. We now own four high performing schools: three in England and one in South Africa. Our schools benefit from proximity to the great cities of London and Cape Town. They share common values and principles: offering extremely competitive rates, academically non-selective and aiming to provide first-class education to children with a great range of talents and abilities. Each school enables parents the opportunity to access a high quality private school education for their children, with a promise of quality from an internationally respected not-for-profit organisation.

School improvement: ISQM and IBSO

In addition to owning private schools, we also work extensively with other private schools. CfBT offers the International School Quality Mark (ISQM) as a form of accreditation for international private schools that meet a high international standard of quality. ISQM uses a robust benchmark of quality but also provides a developmental consultancy so that schools can be both evaluated and improved. Schools across the world are increasingly turning to ISQM as a way of achieving recognition for quality, while also receiving a clear steer as to school development and improvement. ISQM has, for example, a very high profile in Thailand where many private schools choose ISQM and where we have an excellent relationship with the government agency that regulates private school quality.

CfBT has recently been awarded a licence by the UK government to Inspect British Schools Overseas (IBSO). We are now able to evaluate both school standards and the extent to which schools comply with British government quality expectations. These IBSO inspections are quality assured by Ofsted, the school quality agency for England. They have the potential to provide reassurance to parents and prospective parents of British style international schools that the school quality meets a high standard.

International partnership

We have a strategic relationship with the government of Dubai, with a particular focus on supporting excellence in the private schools. Our partners are KHDA, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai. The Emirate is relatively unusual in that the great majority of students attend private schools and these schools teach an extraordinary range of different curricula and charge a wide range of fees. We have worked with the authorities in Dubai to understand why parents choose private education for their children. See the In search of good education: why Emirati parents choose private schools in Dubai report. CfBT is also providing services to government agencies in Bahrain and Kuwait relating to the review of private school quality.

In partnership with the World Bank we have developed a toolkit for global policy makers explaining how they can establish an effective partnership with the private sector as part of their strategy for education reform [LINK TO PPP toolkit]. Together with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank we have provided technical assistance to private school owners and principals in Ghana and Kenya. In India, we worked with the HSBC Bank in an innovative partnership supporting private schools: HSBC helped in the area of infrastructure and finance, while we specialised on teaching quality and professional development.

Case studies

Oakfield Preparatory School

Since 1887 Oakfield Preparatory School has given its pupils a caring, challenging and inspiring environment encouraging every pupil to be inquisitive, forward-thinking and the best that they can be.

Danesfield Manor School

Danesfield Manor School has offered its pupils a welcoming, exciting and stimulating environment since 1943. Every pupil is encouraged to have an enquiring mind, a thirst for learning and a personality.

Latest research

Partnership working in small rural primary schools

01 April 2014 | England

CfBT Education Trust has commissioned Robert Hill and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to investigate partnership working in small rural primary schools.

Action research at St Mark's Academy 2013

06 November 2013 | England

The third volume of findings from action research at St Mark's Academy, this research report focuses on research into improving the quality of teaching and learning, based upon a series of teacher-led projects.

Unleashing greatness

01 February 2013 | England

The Academies Commission, sponsored by CfBT, conducted a seven-month 'rapid review' of the academies landscape and this report documents its findings.

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Nigel Fishwick

Head of schools operations

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