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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

'Mixed emotions' for founding Cranleigh head as he steps down for Dubai move

Brendan Law is to take up senior post at Gems after five year association with leading Abu Dhabi school

Brendan Law, vice president, British Cluster Lead at Gems Education, says the merits of IGCSE and GCSE must be evaluated on a subject by subject basis. Christopher Pike / The National
Brendan Law, vice president, British Cluster Lead at Gems Education, says the merits of IGCSE and GCSE must be evaluated on a subject by subject basis. Christopher Pike / The National

The founding headmaster of one of Abu Dhabi’s top schools is to leave for a senior position in Dubai.

Brendan Law, the current head of Cranleigh School on Saadiyat Island, will join Gems as its vice president of education.

Mr Law opened the school in 2014 and was involved in the project from its inception five years ago with the local partner, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).

His decision to move on, Mr Law said, came with: “Hugely mixed emotions.

“These are remarkable staff and children and I am very fortunate. They are all very dear to me. Being the founding head has been a huge privilege.”

Among those paying tribute were Mohammed Al Mubarak, TDIC Chairman. In a joint statement with Adrian Lajtha, Chairman of Cranleigh’s Board of Governors, he said: “It takes a very particular skills set to launch and lead a new school and Brendan was perfectly suited to the role.

“He has been an outstanding leader and his legacy is one to be proud of.”

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Cranleigh was recently chosen as the top school in Abu Dhabi by the website schoolscompared.com, and was named New British International School of the Year 2017. Fees range from Dh65,000 to Dh96,333 a year.

In his new post at Gems, Mr Law will have responsibility for the company’s British schools, where he will work with Sir Christopher Stone, chief education officer, knighted for his services to education in the UK in 2013.

Mr Law, who was born and educated in South Africa, will take up his position with Gems at the end of the second term, in March next year.

His replacement is already a familiar face at Cranleigh. Mike Wilson is currently Headmaster of Cranleigh Prep School in the United Kingdom, is a member of the Abu Dhabi board and wrote the school’s curriculum plan.

He will formally take over for the start of the next academic year. Mr Law said he had known Mr Wilson since the 1990s. “We share very similar vision and values,” he said.

Mike Wilson, currently Headmaster of Cranleigh Prep School in the UK, will be taking over from Brendan Law.
Mike Wilson, currently Headmaster of Cranleigh Prep School in the UK, will be taking over from Brendan Law.

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