Can you make money from running schools?

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.

On the move

Down the road in Chelmsford a pair of GLS refugees have joined together to form Your Educational Supplies. Karen Payne, the former GLS head of sales persuaded David Hinds, the former GLS inventary manager, to abandon his home in South Africa and head back to the motherland, tan and all. Karen says ‘We aim to give better service than anyone else.’ So who’s going to win the battle for the hearts and minds of Essex schools?

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?

Gratnells Election Statistical Analysis

As most of the UK population is only too aware we have a General Election coming up next week. But who will win? Here at Gratnells we think we know.

Looking at the highly scientific principle of analysis of our most popular colours of tray sold since the election was announced we can confidentially predict that the Blues have it!

Our expert analysis shows the Conservative Party (blue) just in the lead with 29.1%, Labour (red) are a close second with 22.9%. The Liberal Democrats (yellow) a polling a disappointing 13.1% closely followed by the Green Party (green) with a 12.6% share.

So will our tray sales actually predict the election result? Check back after the election next week to see if we were right.