Benenden School has announced that it will be opening its first schools overseas as part of a commitment to increase the number of pupils who are able to attend Benenden on significant bursaries.
The School has partnered with Hong Kong-based CTF Education Group (CTFEG) to open a series of schools in China, with the first of these due to open in South China in 2023.
Benenden Headmistress Samantha Price said: “We are delighted to be opening a Benenden-branded school in South China and hope this will be the first of a number of such schools to support our ambitious bursary programme.
“As one of the leading independent schools in the UK, Benenden is committed to significantly widening access and the opportunities available for future generations of girls to benefit from our educational offering.
“We have been looking at various options in recent years and this first project in China is a wonderful opportunity to establish a fantastic new school at the same time as generating, in time, revenue that will supplement the donations from our incredibly generous supporters to help us offer more bursaries here at Benenden.”
Mrs Price added: “We are very excited to be working with CTFEG, who are vastly experienced and whose vision for educating young people matches our own. We are very clear that these new schools will not just have Benenden’s name over the door, we are working very closely with our partners at CTFEG to ensure that these new schools reflect Benenden’s educational ethos and feel wherever possible.”
Mrs Jennifer Yu Cheng, Deputy Vice Chairwoman of CTF Education Group, said: “We are delighted to announce CTF Education Group’s strategic partnership with Benenden School to bring one of the best schools in the world to the Greater Bay Area. The partnership sets the tone for our goal to deliver one of the best K-12 bilingual schools in Greater China.”
This partnership with CTFEG has been developed with the support of a Benenden Senior in Hong Kong, Jennifer Ma, Group Chief Strategy Officer of CTF Education Group, who will remain closely involved with the project along with the strong CTFEG team. The two organisations have signed the agreement, paving the way for construction work to start shortly on the – as yet unnamed – first school, which is due to open in 2023. Based in the Panyu District in the city of Guangzhou, the school will teach 1,550 boys and girls from kindergarten through to Sixth Form, half of whom will be boarders.
CTFEG is part of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, an incredibly high-profile brand in China and Hong Kong, which has been operating schools for around 30 years and has a string of both international and local schools in Hong Kong. CTF Enterprises are also known for jewellery, retail and major infrastructure development projects via New World Development group.
Numerous British independent schools have opened international schools in recent years and this project represents the first expansion of the Benenden brand since the School was founded in 1923.
Revenue from the overseas schools will enable the School’s leaders to offer an increased number of bursaries for girls at Benenden, which is committed to developing an endowment to facilitate a significant bursary programme in the future.