The education and training sectors benefit from favourable demographics, rising demand and changing models of service provision. The market presents attractive opportunities to provide essential services to both the independent and state sector. The UK has a global reputation for the high quality of its education provision. This makes international expansion attractive, either by exporting services internationally or by attracting overseas students to the UK. While Covid-19 has disrupted the traditional delivery system for education, many sector participants have adapted well to this disruption by digitising their offering and by further embracing technology solutions. The demand for education services remains fundamentally strong and the UK is increasingly recognising the societal and business benefits of education and training, from early years to adulthood.
Our most successful realisation to date has been the sale of Education Personnel for 5.8x cost. We merged two large providers of supply teaching staff to schools, creating the demonstrable market leader and achieving very strong organic growth. We are currently expanding Explore Learning, a leading provider of online and centre-based tuition. In 2017, we set up Empowering Learning to capitalise on opportunities in the supply teaching and training sectors, subsequently acquiring Team Teach, one of the most established players in the sector. We have also invested in Higher Ed International which partners with universities globally, enabling them to launch and run online degrees. Most recently, we backed Storal, a group of children nurseries, supporting the business to grow its footprint in the UK.