We have already written about what it takes to be a great international school leader. In that article we highlight school governance as a critical part of the leader’s role in an international school.
The international school sector does have large (and increasingly large) investors focussed on building schools. As we can see from the fee income above, the average school is taking US$5 million in fees a year. However, most of that will go on running costs:
- 70% staff costs
- 10% marketing and admissions
(As a comparison to a typical state-funded UK school, you can review UK government data here)
Therefore payback on loans for construction, land, and the creation of the school takes a long time. Investors wanting a fast return are out of luck, but may put intense pressure on school leadership to deliver results (larger class sizes, relaxed admissions policy, cheaper staff) all of which can destroy a startup school’s reputation.