Opening a school

Bridge follows a detailed approach with every new school that it opens. We go through a series of carefully planned steps to to create a great school that will provide a high-quality education. For our affordable schools this involves finding a good location for a school and working closely with local authorities to make sure it exceeds local standards. For our partnership schools it involves making sure the school is turned into a positive learning environment. For all schools we ensure that our teachers are carefully trained and supported to teach the lessons we have developed and that they have the necessary support and materials to enable learning.

We believe that this attention to detail is paramount in running the best schools and giving every child the high level of quality education they deserve.

The slideshow below highlights every step we take to get a school approved, built, and open so we can serve more pupils and families. At every step along the way, we work in close partnership with governments, communities, families and teachers.

  • Technology

    Our Technology applications are used to complete research, navigate land buying, teach, track, and assess pupils, communicate with parents, and manage and evaluate each school.

    While there are other organisations that might have developed any one of these tools, none are using them at our scale or integrating throughout from start to finish!

  • Research

    We analyse the community and the area that our school will serve. Whether we’re building a school or adapting an existing school we research the needs and demographics of local families. using mobile surveys, GPS devices, satellite imagery, and more.

    Our data gives us an in depth understanding of the families and communities we serve and so enables us to better meet their needs.

  • Government Relations

    Government relations liaises with local and national leaders to ensure that we have support for both the approach and the model.

    Stakeholder engagement is essential to ensure that we have support and fully understand local processes and regulations before a school opens.

  • Real Estate

    For new schools, our team looks for locations using satellite imagery to make sure they stay within the neighbourhood identified through our research.

  • Legal

    Legal is responsible for real estate transactions, contracts, intellectual property protection, in addition to general risk management and compliance with local laws and regulations.

  • Physical Planning

    Physical planning ensures that any new schools building plans are approved and that they meet the relevant environmental protection and zoning laws.

    Every planning approval requires in-person meetings with the district physical planner, public health officer, town clerk or county engineer, and occasionally the district lands office, county surveyor, municipal planner, and district education officer, too.

  • Construction

    Construction builds each school based on previously developed and tested designs. If a school already exists then we adapt it to make sure its a positive learning environment.

    Due to the amount of material that we need to build our schools, manufacturers now produce material for us specifically in the iconic Bridge green.

  • Recruiting & Training

    Empowering and supporting teachers is at the heart of our model.

    We seek to recruit entirely from the communities in which we serve. We provide local talent with the opportunity to become leaders and role models through our schools.

  • People

    The People team supports the growing number of individuals we employ.

    In 2018, Bridge was selected as one of the Top Ten employers in Africa.

  • Lesson Plans

    Bridge develops world class lesson plans based on the national curriculums.

    We also develop matching books and learning tools based on the class and country requirements of each school.

  • Production

    Production provides graphic design, illustration, proof reading, and printing support for all of the materials used by our schools.

    For the start of any given term, Production uploads thousands of lessons to to teacher tablets, designs thousands of pages of learning, prints hundreds of thousands of books, and outsources millions of pages of other materials for printing.

  • Supply Chain

    Supply chain is a complicated area of operation. It makes sure that all the material needed for everything from construction to teaching arrives at the schools.

  • Community Engagement

    Community engagement develops programmes, materials, and activities that encourage parents to choose our schools and participate in their child's learning.

    Each community is different and so every school has different celebrations and events such as Grand Opening Celebrations, Parent’s Day and Prize Giving to name but a few.

  • School Operations

    School operations open and manage all schools using a sophisticated tech-enabled support audit, and monitoring system. Our system combines remote data collection and analysis; professional development; audit teams, and; a central call-centre.

    Every Area Manager travels extensively to support our schools, managers, and teaching staff.

  • Business Operations

    Business operations identifies and prioritises challenges arising throughout the opening of a school and then develops, implements, and fully executes strategies to solve them, in addition to enhancing existing processes and building new foundations for growth.

  • Finance

    Finance uses a cashless system to run each school.

    We handle hundreds of thousands of mobile payments each month

  • Data Analytics

    Data analytics tracks every step of our school life-cycle. We analyse our operational and instructional processes to derive more efficiencies and ensure better results.

    Everything we do is possible because of how we use our data. We're improving and iterating all the time.

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