Benenden School, an independent school for girls in Kent, has announced it will open its first schools overseas in a move to increase the number of pupils attending Benenden on significant bursaries.

The school has partnered with Hong Kong-based CTF Education Group (CTFEG) to open a series of schools in China, with the first due to open in South China in 2023.

The two organisations have signed the agreement, paving the way for construction work to start shortly on the first school, based in the Panyu District in Guangzhou, which will teach 1,550 boys and girls from kindergarten through to sixth form, half of whom will be boarders.

Benenden stated that revenue from the overseas schools will enable it to offer an increased number of bursaries for girls at Benenden, and that it is committed to developing an endowment to facilitate a significant bursary programme in the future.

Benenden headmistress Samantha Price said: “We are delighted to be opening a Benenden-branded school in South China and hope this will be the first of a number of such schools to support our ambitious bursary programme. As one of the leading independent schools in the UK, Benenden is committed to significantly widening access and the opportunities available for future generations of girls to benefit from our educational offering.

“We have been looking at various options in recent years and this first project in China is a wonderful opportunity to establish a fantastic new school at the same time as generating, in time, revenue that will supplement the donations from our incredibly generous supporters to help us offer more bursaries here at Benenden.

“We are very excited to be working with CTFEG, who are vastly experienced and whose vision for educating young people matches our own. We are very clear that these new schools will not just have Benenden’s name over the door; we are working very closely with our partners at CTFEG to ensure that these new schools reflect Benenden’s educational ethos and feel wherever possible.”

Jennifer Yu Cheng, deputy vice-chairwoman of CTF Education Group, added: “We are delighted to announce CTF Education Group’s strategic partnership with Benenden School to bring one of the best schools in the world to the Greater Bay Area. The partnership sets the tone for our goal to deliver one of the best K12 bilingual schools in Greater China.”

CTFEG is part of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, which has operated schools for around 30 years and has several international and local schools in Hong Kong. CTF Enterprises is also known for jewellery, retail and major infrastructure development projects via New World Development group.

Date published: 12 January 2021

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