In the long running debate about the Tory proposals for so-called “free schools” the party has confirmed they can be run for profit. Firms understood to already be in discussion about managing schools on such terms include Edison Learning, Kunskapsskolan,
and Sweden’s International English School. Meanwhile, a number of firms are applying to join an existing government scheme which would allow them to take over the management of failing schools. Serco, VT Group and Edison all confirmed they have applied to become “accredited schools providers”. Such providers will be able to take over schools following a parental ballot.

International News

It looks like troubled times for Gems Education in Dubai. The company says it may be forced to close down some of its schools because they are no longer viable. Gems Education operates the largest chain of private schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and has been hit by a government ban preventing private schools from raising their fees. Gems Education chairman Sunny Varkey has been quoted saying that some of the company’s schools had been “driven to breaking point”, and standards could not be maintained unless fees were raised.


The horror that is Worlddidac is looming. The bi-annual international education love-in is all set for October in Basle and we are there with a stand the size of Wales. Why IS everything the size of Wales? Anyway our Wales-sized stand is looking forward to greeting you with a soggy biscuit and weak hot coffee. I will be behind the desk somewhere between Pont-y-Berem and Abergavenny.

New to us

Baker Ross imports and distributes arts and crafts, educational and fundraising products to schools, playgroups, and charities. Co-founded in 1974 by Patti Baker, the company is still a family owned and run business employing 80 staff at their office and warehouse in Walthamstow, London. More recently, Baker Ross expanded its operations during the past few years by establishing Yellow Moon UK Limited and Patticrafts.

Gratnells heads for the dictionary

Gratnells has found a place in the English language…well, nearly. According to research we’ve conducted, many school teachers when cleaning their classrooms or science areas say that they are ‘Gratnelling’ rather than tidying up. Apparently, ‘Gratnelling’ refers to the whole process of ensuring things are stored away properly, in their rightful place. Have you done your ‘Gratnelling’ today?