Westminster School will set up six bilingual schools in China. This, Westminster says, will help fund bursaries for disadvantaged students in London. It is one of the biggest expansions of a UK school brand into China. They are being formed with the help of an education firm from Hong Kong, HKMETG. The first of these, for pupils aged six to 15, will open in 2020 in Chengdu with the final being opened by 2028.
Westminster School charges more than £37,000 per annum for Boarders and more than £26,000 for Day pupils. The income will mean it can afford bursaries for all pupils in London “who need financial support.” Harris Westminster is a sixth form that the school sponsors and does not charge fees.
The schools in China will teach China’s own national curriculum that will be “augmented by aspects of a Westminster curriculum.”
This would deepen a “cultural collaboration,” Westminster’s head, Patrick Derham, said. It would be a step towards providing a Westminster education for all who might benefit from it, irrespective of means”.
Westminster joins Harrow, Dulwich College, Malvern and Wellington College, among others, in opening up schools in China. While Westminster will teach China’s national curriculum, Wellington College teaches both the British and Chinese curricula. However, Westminster did point out that it would maintain a “soft power” and that 16 to 18-year olds would be offered International GCSE examinations based on the English curriculum along with English A-Levels.
“The reason for opening the schools is that we’re quite excited about being able to influence education of Chinese pupils in China,” a spokeswoman said.