THE founder of an Australian chain of tutoring centres offering additional classes to schoolchildren expects to open a further 200 outlets in the UK after launching a new generation of its learning software.
Kip McGrath, who oversees a network of 1,100 of his eponymous education centres on a franchise basis across the English-speaking world, told Scotland on Sunday that the software is a key driver for his business.
“If you are going to get kids to do something extra after school, you had better make it fun,” he said. “In today’s market, kids drive parents’ buying decisions more than ever before. If you don’t appeal to the kids, you won’t get the customers.”
McGrath has spent £6.5 million on new learning software, and says the last time he launched a major upgrade the global business doubled, both in terms of sales and outlets.
The group has about 250 centres in Britain, and McGrath is planning to open 200 more over the next two and a half years.
The New South Wales-based businessman was in Scotland last week to visit Margaret Carmichael, the master franchisee who has already built up a network of 28 centres north of the Border.
She is currently recruiting former teachers as she expands her patch to cater for a growing demand for extra tuition.
Carmichael is seeking to open “large centres” in Aberdeen, Angus and Dundee after finding that demand is stronger in the east of the country. The larger centres have more than 200 pupils on their books and typically have a turnover of about £160,000.
“Scottish parents are very aware of the need for their children to succeed and do their very best at school. It just seems to be the way,” she said.