British Elite Westminster School Ends “Ambitious” China Project

Westminster School, an elite private school based in London, cited the COVID-19 pandemic and “recent changes in China’s education policy” as reasons for its departure on Tuesday for an “ambitious” education project in China. Announced that it was finished.

In a letter to his parents dated November 2, Westminster Governor Chairman Mark Batten said: A new school in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

“It’s a shame to say that this project has ended for Westminster School and its wholly owned UK-based subsidiary Floreat Overseas Holdings Limited (FOHL).”

Originally aimed at developing up to six new bilingual schools in China, the school’s China business is based in Hong Kong, which wants to run the school in mainland China using the name Westminster School. Fully funded by investors.

according to Report published by the Times of London The investor in October was the Hong Kong Melodic Education Technology Group (HKMETG). Among the founders of the group is David Mao, a former Communist Party secretary at Peking University. Xu Ouyang, a businessman sitting on a standing committee advising the administration of Tibet.

Through its subsidiary FOHL, Westminster School acted as an education consultant providing educational support and supporting the development of bilingual curriculum.

“As you can imagine, building a school with 2,000 new students, such as building all the buildings and developing a bilingual curriculum for children aged 3-18, is not an easy task,” Batten told his parents. I did. ..

“The project was “significantly influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic and recent changes in China’s education policy,” he said.

In May, the State Council of China announced strict new regulations on school curriculum and ownership of private schools.

The new law, which will come into force on September 1, will suspend the teaching of foreign curriculum in schools from kindergarten to 9th grade (K-9) and prohibit foreign ownership or control of private K-9 schools. I am.

Under the new rules, international schools are required to teach the same lessons as Chinese public schools and must maintain the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

This may mean that foreign-branded schools may have to follow a new rule that they will be taught “Xi Jinping Thought” from September in order to “arm” their brains with Marxist beliefs and communist idealism. Means.

Batten said the benefits of China’s business were seen as “potentially transformative,” but unfortunately “the situation for developing such a school is very different from 2017.” rice field.

Westminster School said all development work had been suspended from both a site and curriculum perspective, and the staff working there were no longer employed by operators.

“Currently, Westminster School has no plans to approve the name or provide education consultants for other new school projects in China,” Batten said in a letter.

Alexander Chan