Our mission is to re-imagine private education in terms of both cost and experience. Our first school, opening in London in 2021, will charge an annual fee of around £13,500 for a four A-level course delivered by an outstanding teaching team and supported by technology tailored to the smartphone generation.
This is a remarkable aspiration in a context where London tutorial colleges rarely charge under £25,000 for three A-levels and where some top London independent schools are charging closer to £30,000 for a day place. But we are also competing with some new, highly selective, maintained sector sixth forms – and we have no illusions about the challenge of attracting good students.
We won’t compromise on the financial cost of either teaching excellence or outstanding pastoral support but we do believe, especially in a great capital city, that ingenuity and research – enhanced by the network of resources which the internet now reveals – can create a thriving extra-curricular culture without the need for expensive in-house facilities. Indeed, we are determined to mentor the students in our care not only towards academic success and the judicious choice of courses and careers, but also towards long term physical and mental wellbeing. We want our students to have a sense of joy and freedom in their pursuits and interests and a corresponding sense of their place within, and obligations to, society at large.
The Scholar 6 environment will feel like a bridge to university and the world of work. Many sites we are considering are adjacent to office spaces, and the school will itself be a workplace, housing our own software development team (who also deliver Computer Science A- level). For one of our preferred sites a great design has been drawn up for us by Modus Interiors incorporating café and break out areas, defined seminar spaces, one-to-one consultation spaces for tutorials and music lessons, flexible quiet study zones, a reading room, a drawing studio and a stage – all within about 13,000 square feet.
This space won’t only be a school; in the evenings, at weekends and in the holidays it will also be a tuition centre, catering to the current surge in demand for private tuition, but also allowing our school students to pursue a greater variety of courses if they wish.
The longer term vision is not just one school but a brand: a template for a family of schools which develop a reputation for inspiring education and extraordinary value across London, the UK and beyond.
How will Scholar 6 schools be different?
Scholar 6 will be the first sixth form to align its physical and online products into a truly blended education that combines human and digital interaction. It will avoid the common pitfalls of ed tech companies trying to sell into schools and traditional schools trying to adopt disparate technologies.
Why Scholar 6?
Scholar 6 is a step change in sixth form education that will deliver clear benefits to students, parents, teachers, non-Scholar 6 schools and investors.
Scholar 6 will launch its first college in London in September 2021, followed by four additional colleges across the capital before expanding into other major UK cities. Each college will be based on a central model that can be applied to schools across the country and internationally.
The Scholar 6 team brings together teachers and technologists from leading independent and state schools, as well as figures from industry, academia, sport and the arts. The vision we propose is balanced, creative and authoritative – now is the moment when we want to make it real.
Though still in his thirties, Mark Wang is an inspirational figure in international education and an accomplished businessman. A fluent speaker of both English and Norwegian, he studied at the United World College in Norway (UWC Red Cross Nordic) and subsequently at the University of Oslo. He is the founder of the UWC college at Changshu. He was selected as a carrier in the Olympic torch relay and has been the subject of a TV series and even an opera.
A life-changing air accident in 1993 resulted in the loss of both his legs and a serious spinal injury which hospitalised him for five years. Far from being crushed by this experience, it forged Mark’s amazing resilience and zest. He won 2 gold medals at the 36th Disabled Ski Championship (1999) and wrote a multi-million selling autobiography, Hold Up the Blue Sky of Life (translation from the Mandarin title).
Previously a senior master at Eton College, Joe Francis is the founding director of Scholar 6. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School Guildford and St Catherine’s College Oxford where he took a First. Joe gained experience of US and Italian university and corporate environments before returning to the UK in 1994 to teach first at Tonbridge School then at Eton where he was Head of English until 2010. In 2011 he had the opportunity to spend a sabbatical year as Headmaster of Hampton Court House, gaining a radically different form of management experience in a West London day school. Returning to Eton, he took charge of Sixth Form Select, the elite academic prefects who deliver the School’s celebrated Speeches programme. In 2016 Joe was elected by his fellow masters as Chair of the Common Room (negotiating pay and working conditions).
Joe has made an extensive study of funding, fees and the rising costs which affect education in the UK. He has also been inspired by Eton’s new Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning and worked in consultation with the Christiansen Institute and some of the UK’s top teachers to develop the Brillder concept and pedagogy.
Joe is married to Catherine, a cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital. He has three children.
From January 2020 he will be Executive Principal at Stoke College, the school near Cambridge where some elements of Brillder technology will contribute to a new international sixth form.
Andy Rothery brings immense experience in commerce and property to the Scholar 6 team. He is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
After studying PPE at Oxford, Andy joined Deloitte in 1988 where he had a long and distinguished career, eventually becoming a senior partner and leading Deloitte Real Estate. His extensive business experience includes handling large scale mergers and acquisitions and purchasing major assets on behalf of global investors.
Andy is a trustee of the London Transport Museum and also chairs the Florence Trust, a London-based contemporary arts foundation. Following his retirement from Deloitte in 2015, he became Chair of the Governing Board of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools in his native south London, an experience which is turning his mind increasingly to the challenges of modern education. The beneficiary of a full scholarship to Colfe’s School himself, he has a particular interest in promoting social mobility for young people.
Andy has four children and a grandson and lives in New Cross.
Lindsay Macvean is the youngest member of the Board but brings by far the greatest tech know-how and experience. He attended Lord Wandsworth’s College before going up to the University of Nottingham to read Philosophy. Like all the best tech entrepreneurs he never finished his degree, but dropped out to launch his first tech business, building websites.
In Ireland, an encounter with Bill Liao in 2011 led to Lindsay’s involvement in the foundation of CoderDojo, the non-profit phenomenon which teaches children to code worldwide. Lindsay has also acquired extensive knowledge of open resource education platforms such as the Khan Academy.
Currently the Analytics Product Lead for Invotra, a significant supplier of software to the UK Government, Lindsay has worked on the delivery of commercial software for over 10 years, in every aspect from Product Development, to Quality Assurance, System Administration and Account Management. His adventures in America, from building Face Recognition software in Nevada to winning Hackathons in Silicon Valley, will hopefully, one day, be narrated in one of his You Tube lectures.
Lindsay regularly flies back and forth to Ireland to see Amelia and Pearl.