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Global growth of a new species of private education

Global Education Management Systems (Gems) has rapidly become the leading firm providing private education in the UK.

The company, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, aims to run a mix of "mid-market" and "mid-market plus" schools, charging annual fees of around pound;5,000 as well as more expensive "premium" schools.

The company hopes to run 120 schools in the UK within five years. It already owns Bury Lawn school in Milton Keynes, Sherborne House in Southampton and the Sherfield school in Basingstoke, scheduled to open in September.

Last month, the company bought a further 10 schools, most of them in the North-west of England, in an pound;11.9 million deal.

Gems estimates that its 30 schools in the Gulf states teach around 40,000 pupils, and it is pushing ahead with plans to expand into the United States.

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