Cranleigh’s first school in China, in the city of Changsha in Hunan Province, opened to students last week. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, within a year of agreements being signed with local authorities and investors the school has been built and all staff recruited. It’s proving a popular choice for pupils with over 370 attending in the first week.

Sharon Qu from the British Government Department for International Trade said “Congratulations to Cranleigh School on its new campus opening in Changsha! We’re very glad to see the fruitful result from the partnership between Cranleigh School and Cogdel Education Group, which was included as one of the key deliverables at the 10th UK China Economic and Financial Dialogue which took place in London in 2019.”

This school is the first of a number of schools planned across the territory with Cranleigh’s partner in China, Cogdel Education Group. The successful opening is testament to the incredible dedication, hard work and adaptability of our partners at Cogdel to whom we are very grateful.

Cranleigh’s Head for the Changsha School, Mr Andrew Griffiths, has yet to be able to get to China owing to travel restrictions but expects to be there shortly. Mr Griffiths said: “I am very excited to be heading up this unique initiative. It will provide a fantastic opportunity for our Chinese pupils to experience a broad education enabling them to be fully prepared for careers in the global economy and have fun at the same time.”

Changsha’s 374 pupils are in three entry year groups at the start of the primary, middle and high school phases of education. Pupils will follow a Chinese education model in the primary and middle school sections with a strong emphasis on English and the core values of a Cranleigh education, this is then taken further in the high school phase with GCSE, A-level and IB courses being taught, designed to assist student passage to UK, US and other overseas universities.

Mr Mark Coggins, CEO Cogdel Education Group said: “In any situation starting a new school is a huge challenge. To have opened successfully in 2020 speaks volumes of the skill and tenacity of both the Changsha and Cranleigh teams and the strength of our partnership.”

Collaboration projects have already commenced between pupils in the UK and China school and we hope this will be the start of a new era of greater mutual understanding and partnerships across the Cranleigh family of schools

Cranleigh’s next school with Cogdel Education Group is scheduled to open in September 2021 in the city of Chengdu located in Sichuan Province.