The UK’s newest independent school has announced a groundbreaking education partnership which will see them open their first Chinese campus in December.
Myddelton College, in Denbigh, will partner with Myddelton Yinhai College in Qingdao, a city of almost nine million people in Shandong province.
The arrangement was announced at the launch of Myddelton College, in the grounds of the former Howell’s School in Denbigh, by the heads of the two schools.
Andy Howard, the new headmaster of Myddelton College, shook hands on the deal with Heping Tang, the owner of Myddelton Yinhai – Silver Sea – College, this week.
It will see every pupil at the Denbigh school, a co-educational day and boarding school which will cater for 11-18, offered the chance to spend up to three weeks a year at Myddelton Yinhai College, staying with the families of Chinese students.
It is seen as the first of many similar partnerships and it will come into operation as soon as Myddelton College opens its doors to pupils in September 2016.
Andy Howard said: “This will start immediately after we open next September when we expect to have 150 pupils and each of them will have the opportunity to spend time in China every year.
“That will continue throughout their time at Myddelton College and will also apply to pupils of Myddelton Yinhai College who will spend time every year here in Denbigh.
“We see this as the first of many such partnerships with school outside the UK and believe it fits perfectly with our ethos of providing more than just an education here at Myddelton College.
“This is about equipping our students so that a pupil of Myddelton College will get an education that is recognisable and provides a core of 21st century skills with personal profiling to help them plan their next steps and leadership development.
“The British independent education system is a very strong global brand that is widely admired and aspired to.
“Boarding schools like Myddelton College are responsible for a young person’s whole development and not just their education.
“It’s about more than just passing exams. It’s about preparing a young person to be happy in their life because a lot of society is not doing well by its young people.”
Yinhai College Head Teacher Angela Xia said: “It’s a great honour to be here today. A good education doesn’t have any boundaries and Myddelton Denbigh and Myddelton Yinhai share the same mission and aims.
“We not only want to give our students good results but also create a well-rounded person who can face the challenges of tomorrow’s world confidently and with all the necessary skill sets for the 21st century.
“We will be working closely together on teacher training, curriculum design and on setting up a student exchange programmes and we will welcome students from Denbigh to China.”
Qingdao is a major seaport and naval base on the East China Sea and was the site of the 2008 Olympic sailing events when the UK led the medal table with four golds including one for Sir Ben Ainslie.
As part of the new partnership a party from Myddelton Yiinhai College, led by School Chair Heping Tang, attended the launch which was carried out by the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Henry Fetherstonhaugh, who unveiled a plaque while a welcome to the new school was given by former Howell’s teacher Wendy Grey Lloyd.
Also in attendance were James Davies, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, the Chair of Denbighshire County Council, Councillor Gwyneth Kensler, and the Chair’s Consort, Gaynor Morgan Rees.
The first appointments of administration and maintenance staff have already taken place and the school has also just appointed a Commercial Manager and Head of Admissions.
When Myddelton College opens next September it is expected to have over 50 staff and 150 pupils aged 11-18 in Years Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten and 12, two thirds of them boarders.
By 2018 those numbers are projected to rise to 450 pupils, generating over £10 million in fees with over £4 million ploughed back into the local economy in wages and payments for supplies and other ancillary services, in addition to the major investment in the school buildings and equipment.
Myddelton College Denbigh’s partnership with Myddelton Yinhai College will see it follow in the footsteps of schools such as Harrow and Dulwich College which have opened colleges in China.
But the exchanges to be made by Myddelton College Denbigh, which is backed by Myddelton Education Investment Ltd, will be more comprehensive with each pupil offered a stay in China every year.
The ambitious plans for the new school will see it grow to 450 pupils within three years, 300 of them boarders drawn from the UK and from countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa along with 150 day pupils.
New headmaster Andy Howard, 47, is a former teacher at world famous Harrow School and has extensive experience in both the state and independent sectors, most recently as headmaster of Sandymoor Free School, in Runcorn.
He added: “This is our first branch campus in China and we see it as the first of many such partnerships with schools outside the UK and not just in China.