International schools operator Cognita has struck a deal with Royal Grammar School (RGS) Guildford to launch an offshoot of the British independent in Dubai next September.

The arrangement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, will expand RGS’s footprint in the Gulf, where it has operated a school in Qatar since 2016.

The Dubai campus will be situated within Tilal Al Ghaf, between Dubai Motor City and Sports City. On completion, the 40,000-square-metre site will have capacity for 2,100 students and will house a 25-metre swimming pool and “state-of-the-art” labs, among other amenities.

RGS Guildford Dubai will teach both boys and girls aged three to 18 and will be led by founding principal Craig Lamshed, who has more than 25 years’ educational experience, a press release stated.

Since being acquired by Swiss family office Jacobs Holding in 2018, Cognita has sought to leverage premium British educational brands to entice more students to new schools across the world.

In 2019, Cognita announced a deal with Brighton College, one of England’s most prestigious private schools, under which the latter would open a school in Singapore this year – though the pandemic has perhaps delayed the original timeline.

Founded in 1509, RGS Guildford is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the UK at both A-level and GCSE.

Date published: 4 November 2020

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