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Leadership webinar: setting up new schools (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What are the key considerations when setting up a new for-profit school? And can state schools open up new versions of their brand abroad?

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Graham Able, deputy chairman of the Alpha Plus Group.

    We will examine how the group identifies new opportunities.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on March 15 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Graham and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.

    1920x1080-leadership-video-still-v2.jpg

    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2017
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The webinar video will be available for seven days in this thread after the webchat. If you wish to view the webinar after 21st March or to access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Institutional subscriber. You can find out more information here.
     
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hi,

    Don't forget to submit your questions below ahead of Wednesday's webchat.

    Thank you.
     
  4. profjulieallan

    profjulieallan New commenter

    What is the average cost for establishing a free school (primary) including buying the land and property?
     
  5. profjulieallan

    profjulieallan New commenter

    And now a rather specific question:
    We are looking to make an application for a University primary school, following from our establishment of a University secondary school. Should we make a new application for a primary school or an application to extend the existing school to become a 5-18 school? Are there any differences in the process between then (2011) and now?
     
  6. profjulieallan

    profjulieallan New commenter

    Finally, do you see any difficulties in establishing a primary school as a University Training School?
    Thank you!
     
  7. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webchat.


    The TES Leadership webchats give you the opportunity to put your questions to industry experts about key school management and operational issues.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel member Graham Able, deputy chairman of the Alpha Plus Group, who will be available for the next hour to answer your questions.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.





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    Please click here for full Terms and Conditions which apply to all TES Global’s websites.
     
  8. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to this webchat on setting up new schools. Joining me is Graham Able, the deputy chairman of the Alpha Plus Group. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.

    Thanks for joining us, Graham.

    Your group owns and operates nearly 20 schools and colleges. What's the rationale behind starting a new school in the group?
     
  9. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Our vision is to expand the Group further, but to do so in locations where our offering is likely to be attractive. We therefore look for opportunities in suitable locations, principally in London and the immediate Home Counties. We look at demographic data carefully if we are considering a start-up school in a new area.
     
  10. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Do you have an optimum size of number of schools that you are working towards?
     
  11. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    No, but our current Head Office and management structure will need to be expanded if we grow appreciably. Given our London-centred focus, it is unlikely that we would ever increase our number of schools rapidly. We currently have a number of schools in their early years of development so we are more likely to expand by acquisition of established schools over the next two years than by further start-ups.
     
  12. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How do you identify where to start a new school in the UK?
     
  13. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    We look for suitable premises, ideally already with D1 use (educational or medical), in locations where our research suggests there will be sufficient demand for places. This is likely to restrict us geographically to London and its close environs.
     
  14. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How do you identify where to start an international school?
     
  15. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Using the same criteria as within the UK, but also – unless it is within Europe – in a location where we can partner with a property investor as we cannot commit our own capital outside the EU and Switzerland.
     
  16. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Do you see more growth in that sector?
     
  17. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    The international sector is growing fast but our shareholders are sensibly prudent and, quite properly, we will need to prove concept in New York before looking elsewhere; I expect this to take two to three years. We would then consider other ‘world’ cities with similar profile.
     
  18. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Does being a for-profit group make life easier when developing new schools?
     
  19. Graham_Able

    Graham_Able New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Probably as we have the capital assets, both within the company and through our shareholders, that allow us to invest and wait two to three years for the school to become economically self-sufficient. It is rare for a new school to break even until the third year of its existence. Without the ability to wait for returns, the temptation would be to open too may year groups at once.
     
  20. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

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