It is excellent to see Penny Mordaunt, the new Secretary of State for International Development, set out a clear strategy for the UK’s international development activity.
I read with great interest her article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, and I enthusiastically support the principles she has outlined.
I spent the first fifteen years of my career in the voluntary sector, including eight years as CEO of youth leadership charity Changemakers. However, since moving into the international development space, I have become convinced that traditional aid models alone will not enable developing countries to reach their full potential, and that the private sector has a crucial role to play.
Notwithstanding our strong commitment to social and economic development, Scholé has therefore been established on a wholly commercial footing. Our schools are operated on a profit making basis and we have secured private investment to fund our school acquisition and improvement strategy.
We very much see ourselves as a UK export company and, in these post-Brexit times, we believe that the UK should be utilising its historic ties with Commonwealth countries to strengthen trading relationships outside the EU. We also believe there are significant opportunities to align international development and trade policies to support British businesses who are contributing to the improvement of education, health and other critical infrastructure in developing countries.