-Dilip Thakore (Bengaluru)
Hitherto principal of the Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy, Beijing (China), ANDREW LEALE is founding-headmaster of the Harrow International School, Bengaluru (HISB) which is under construction on a 30-acre campus in Devanahalli, a suburb of the garden city (pop.10 million). HISB is the outcome of a collaboration agreement between two heavyweights — the Delhi-based Amity Education Group comprising 11 universities, 25 K-12 schools and five preschools in India, and 16 campuses abroad (and whose flagship Amity University, Noida is ranked India #1 in the EducationWorld India Higher Education Rankings 2022-23) and Harrow School (estb.1572), one of imperial Great Britain’s most venerated public (i.e, private, exclusive) schools. Alumni include our own Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Winston Churchill and six other British prime ministers as also poet Lord Byron among other notables of imperial Great Britain’s establishment and history.
Newspeg. HISB is fast readying to admit its first batch of 150 class VI-XI students in August 2023. Moreover unlike its parent school in the UK, HISB will be a co-ed boarding-cum-day school — “not the other way round” — with the number of boarders budgeted to outnumber day scholars. Annual tuition fee: Rs.16 lakh and additional Rs.4 lakh for boarders.
History. An alumnus of the highly respected Charterhouse Public School, UK, and blue-chip Oxford University from where he graduated with a PPE (philosophy, politics and economics) degree, Leale plunged straight into academia and began his career as an economics teacher at the vintage boys day-cum-boarding independent (public) Tonbridge School (estb.1553), where he played a long innings (1993-2019) rising to the position of boarding housemaster and director of admissions.
In 2019 after serving at Tonbridge for 26 years, following a global search, Leale was selected and appointed international principal of the privately-promoted Chaoyang Kaiwen Academy, Beijing. “I had a very satisfying and enriching experience as international principal during my three-year stint there. But when I was offered the opportunity to start HISB in India with which I have a stronger history and cultural connection, I was delighted to accept the offer,” says Leale.
Direct talk. “We intend to build super curriculums that will go far beyond the prescribed syllabus. Moreover Harrow School, UK has a centuries-long tradition of nurturing outstanding political and business leaders and public intellectuals. Building on this great legacy and tradition, I am confident that HISB will nurture and develop great leaders for Indian society in all walks of life,” says Leale.
Future plans. According to Leale, all government and official clearances for establishing HISB “modeled on Harrow School in the UK” have been obtained, and construction of its main block is in “full swing and moving quickly forward”. In keeping with tradition, the school will offer excellent field sports, racquet games and athletics infrastructure and 20 highly experienced teachers, including some drawn from ten Harrow International Schools abroad (Japan, Thailand, China, among other countries). “Harrow School is UK’s most international independent school. Therefore, HISB will offer students and teachers a plethora of study and work abroad opportunities,” says Leale.
Stiff competition is on the cards for the garden city’s several excellent international day-cum-boarding schools including Indus International, TISB and Stonehill International. But HNW (high net worth) parents who prefer to invest in their children’s education rather than silver and gold, will be spoilt for choice.