Director & Founder of Partner Schools Worldwide
I was lucky enough to spend my early childhood in Kenya, and after schooling in England I spent several months overlanding through Central Africa. After returning I spent a year teaching, then several months in Zambia and then returned to the UK again to work for two well-known school expedition companies for a number of years.
The story of PSW really began in early 2000 when I arrived in Ghana for the first time, having driven across the Sahara to bring medical supplies to a clinic in Elmina for a friend. While I was rebuilding my Landrover engine, I came across a large group of children being taught under a tree. Having learned more about the need for new school buildings in the coastal community of Brenu Akyinim, by the time I was ready to drive back to England I had made a promise to help build a new school for the community.
In September 2003, I founded a charity called Sabre Education which paved the way for me to deliver on that initial promise. The school at Brenu Akyinim became the charity’s first project in Ghana. Construction began in April 2004 for the new nursery building and one month later for the Junior High School. The new Junior High School was gradually completed over several years with the help of community members and a succession of committed volunteers.
The work was funded through community events, sponsored challenges and expeditions. In 2007 the charity established a school partnership between Chesham High School and Brenu Akyinim which laid the foundation for developing a model of cultural learning partnerships bringing together students from the UK and Ghana.
In 2008, I left the UK to live in Ghana with my young family to cement an operational base for the charity and develop links with the Ghana Education Service. We spent nearly 5 amazing years there. During that time, the charity formed links between more and more schools in the UK and Ghana and by 2010 it had entered into a relationship with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) to promote high quality partnerships to their member schools. The charity went from strength to strength, winning awards for its innovations and collaborative approach to education development. Its success has been down to an ethos of working in partnership with communities, the GES and other experts in the fields of education and construction in the UK & Ghana, including a number of multinational corporations.
In 2012 we carried out a full strategic review of our achievements to date and the challenges ahead and made the decision that the charity would focus exclusively on Kindergarten Education. This focus on early childhood development led to the decision to separate the educational travel arm into a new entity, leaving the charity to pursue its refocussed agenda unencumbered by the legal and safety concerns that surround youth travel overseas. This new organisation was named Partner Schools Worldwide! I remain actively involved in the work of the original charity as Founder and Trustee and am very proud of the substantial impact we continue to have on Kindergarten Education in Ghana.
In 2018 I founded a new charity, Akwaaba Ghana, to supplement the work of the original charity. Akwaaba Ghana has the wider aim of improving education for Ghanaian children throughout their school life beyond the Kindergarten. As well as managing school partnerships, it has its own programme of school improvement projects for which it secures its own funding through grant applications, community fundraising and running a volunteer programme.
Partner Schools Worldwide’s unique programme brings together my lifelong passions of travel, education and development and I feel privileged to have a job I love, working with schools and communities to effect sustainable change in young people.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us. We are ever ready to discuss your plans and keen to collaborate in the development of our future adults.
+44 (0) 1252 819462