Sir Keir Starmer's grammar school to open campus in Sharjah
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Sir Keir Starmer’s grammar school to open campus in Sharjah

Sir Keir Starmer’s grammar school to open campus in Sharjah

Keir Starmer’s old school, Reigate Grammar, is opening a new campus in Sharjah’s Masaar megaproject.

Gareth van Zyl

A top grammar school that UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer attended as a teenager is preparing to open a branch in Sharjah.

From 1974 to 1981, Starmer attended the Reigate Grammar School in London. Reigate Grammar School switched from being a state to a private school just two years after he joined. Starmer’s fees were paid for by the council of Reigate until he turned 16, according to the BBC.

Reigate Grammar School’s history stretches back centuries. Alderman Henry Smith founded the school in 1675, and for 350 years it has been in Reigate, a historic market town 15 miles south of the City of London.

Today, the co-education school is ranked in the top 20 for academic performing schools in the UK with 98 per cent of its students receiving offers from top universities. In 2021, Reigate Grammar was also awarded School of the Year by Tatler Magazine. In the same year, it received an accolade as School of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards.

Apart from the UK, there are Reigate Grammar Schools in Saudi Arabia, China and Vietnam.

Now the school is setting its sights on the UAE with a plan to open a branch in Sharjah megaproject Masaar in 2026. Reigate Grammar School Masaar will be the first branch campus of the British school in the UAE, and it will have a capacity for 2,700 students. Masaar is an upscale forested community development that will feature a ‘green spine’ with more than 50,000 trees, 3,000 villas and townhouses, and 13 km of cycling tracks when completed.

School operator and investment company, Bright Capital Investment, is spearheading the development of the Reigate Grammar School Masaar. Established in 2010, Bright Capital has investments in Bright Learners Private School and three campuses of Star International Schools in Dubai.

In a press statement, Bright Capital Investment and Reigate Grammar School congratulated Starmer for becoming the UK’s new prime minister. Starmer’s Labour Party stormed to victory in the UK elections last week, securing a majority in Parliament.

“We are delighted and proud to congratulate Sir Keir Starmer on being elected as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. We are honoured to bring the prestigious Reigate Grammar School’s UK branch to the UAE and are excited about the world-class quality of education that will benefit the future leaders of the United Arab Emirates and beyond,” said Esref Temel, managing director at Bright Capital Investment.

Sean Davey, global business director of Reigate Grammar School International, further congratulated Starmer.

“As part of our vision, we aim to help educate young people to be the leaders the world needs with better answers to the biggest questions facing our planet. Indeed, the newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is a former RGS pupil and recipient of a major bursary to ensure he realised his potential,” said Davey.

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