Gems to shine brighter

1st July 2005 at 01:00
One of the biggest owners of private education in the world says it will increase its portfolio of schools by almost half in the next 12 months.

Global Education Management Systems (Gems), which runs 13 private schools in the UK, has said it will expand its worldwide operation from 60 to 85 by September 2006. The company, founded by Sunny Varkey, a Dubai-based millionaire, has advertised for 25 headteachers but refused to say how many new schools would be in this country.

The plans were announced despite criticism of the running of Bury Lawn school, Milton Keynes, the first to be bought by Gems in the UK. Parents passed a vote of no confidence in the Gems management after three headteachers quit in a year.

The controversy has already led the company to pull out of a pound;4 million deal to sponsor two academies in Milton Keynes.

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