18 Jun

'Edinburgh online teaching firm opens Australia office' by Hannah Burley, The Scotsman

An Edinburgh-based online education firm is celebrating its second anniversary with the launch of its first overseas office, as it nears a seven-figure turnover.

My Online Schooling, which provides live lessons to homeschooled children in more than 30 countries, has established a base in Melbourne, Australia, to meet growing demand for its services in the Asia-Pacific region.

The company forecasts that turnover will break the £1 million barrier this year after worldwide enrolment numbers leapt to 300 students, up from five when it started out in 2017.

Staff numbers in the Edinburgh head office have grown from two to 11, with an additional four now based in Melbourne.

Tom Crombie, who has taught in public and private schools in the UK and New Zealand, established the company, launching the first lessons from his laptop in an Edinburgh cafe. The service had enrolled 40 pupils by the end of its first academic year and boasted a 100 per cent pass rate at GCSE level.

My Online Schooling’s first lessons for Australia went live in March, and will cater for expats looking for an alternative to international schools in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

The live lessons, delivered by 40 teachers over 22 hours a day, are aimed at children aged between eight and 18 and based on the English National Curriculum. Subjects include maths, English, sciences, art and design, drama, and business studies.

My Online Schooling has received guidance and support from organisations including Business Gateway Edinburgh.

Crombie said: “I could see a need for an alternative pathway to education which would take into account that each child learns in different ways and that online education could complement different learning styles.

“With an increased global access to the internet, I knew that online teaching would allow greater access to education for everyone, using the British education system that is highly regarded around the world. I never anticipated the business would grow as quickly as it has.”

Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to support My Online Schooling which has gone from strength to strength since it started. With a great understanding of the marketplace, its USP, marketing and branding, it’s fantastic to see the company expand so quickly and take on new staff to be able to meet demand.

“We wish them the best of luck and look forward to being able to continue supporting them during this exciting time in their business journey.”

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