Letters Extra : Not such a precious GEM

20th August 2004 at 01:00
He came like the promised saviour, Sunny Vary and his dream team at Global Educationnbsp;Management Systems (GEMS)nbsp;- rather like Roman Abramovich at Chelsea - so why is it they are already proving to be something of a disappointment?

Because apparently, despite all the expertise, the gathering together of a hybrid team of all the great and good, they have managed to completely ignore the fundamentals.

GEMS appears to have seriously underestimated parents' knowledge and understanding of the independent sector.nbsp;State-of-the-art facilities are no longer their primary motivation - as is clearly demonstrated by the fact that they are prepared to pay fees even though facilities offered at the local maintained school are frequently superior to those at the school of their choice.

Researchnbsp;shows that class size is the main driver for parents when opting for the independent sector and therefore to increase class size in order to provide enhanced facilities does not in any way reflect the needs of the key stakeholders.

There appear to be deep-seated flaws in a business model that does not enable a product to meet the basic needs and expectations of its customers - surely not an intentional own goal for the dream team at what could have been the start of such a promising season?
Dr Rosemary Taylor
Educational Consultant amp; Advisor
Harrogate

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