Cognita UAE Expands with Repton 'Partnership'

Global schools group Cognita is making up for being late to the UAE market adding three Repton schools to its growing family of schools in the emirate. The "partnership" means the school group now has interest in seven schools in the country.
Cognita UAE Expands with Repton 'Partnership'
By David Westley
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The three Repton Schools in the UAE have entered into an undefined "partnership" with Cognita, a global international school operator.  Repton School Dubai, Repton School Abu Dhabi and Repton Al Barsha are now said to be "part of" the global group. 

No statement has been released on the financial nature of the partnership, if it is financial at all, but Cognita has been in acquisition mode since launching the Royal Grammar School Guildford in 2021. Reticent to enter the "crowded" UAE market until that time, group sentiment has seen a volte-face with the acquisition of Ranches Primary School, Horizon English School and Horizon International in 24 months. 

A complete buyout of the Repton UAE schools would be by far the biggest investment into the UAE market by the privately owned group so far however, but no statement has been made regarding the level of the financial commitment. Sources close to the matter, speaking unofficially to Which Media, said that currently the agreement currently only covers the assets of a single school but that discussions are fluid and a buyout of the holding company for the three schools, Excella, could be on the cards. 

Repton schools in the UAE are currently home to just over 4,500 students, generating approximately 300 million AED of revenue in fees annually, according to B2B education information service,

Which Media has requested official comment from Cognita and Excella regarding the nature of the partnership, and will publish any detail either party chooses to reveal here, as it is provided.

Excella, previously known as EKI, first partnered with the UK’s Repton School– a prestigious Derbyshire-based private school – in 2006, leading to the launch of Repton School Dubai in 2007-2008. This was followed by two more Repton-related schools launching in the UAE in 2013: Repton Al Barsha (formerly known as Foremarke) and Repton Abu Dhabi.

Any deal is not expected to affect the relationship with Repton School in the UK.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Mahdi H. Mattar, CEO of Excella, said:

“We are thrilled to [now] be part of a global network of leading schools that share the same passion and commitment to academic rigour, as well as developing the whole child…”

A letter to parents from the regional Cognita and Excella leaders.

Frank Maassen, Group CEO of Cognita, also commented on the partnership. stating:

"I am pleased to welcome the Repton UAE schools into our global family, This strategic partnership is a significant moment for Cognita and the wider education community.  We took forward to working together to provide a world-class, holistic education and to drive innovation in teaching and learning, enabling our students to thrive and find their success in an ever-changing world."

This is a live article: will continue to update this article as more information becomes available. 

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