A Preliminary Investigation of the Potential for Private School Chains in Lagos
The number of private school chains operating in the Lagos market is small, in light of the estimated 18,000 schools, an increase of approximately 50% since 2011. It was initially believed that there were no chains of schools operating along a chain-business or franchise model, while it was known that there are large groups of faith-based schools.
The aim of the research was to investigate the potential for chains of low-fee private schools in Lagos, owned, financed and managed by Nigerians, for delivering a good, standardised quality of education across branches, at potentially lower cost than individually owned schools. The investigation is timely in light of the imminent entry of a foreign chain of schools, Bridge International Academies, into the Lagos market. The company’s aim is to provide a good quality through total standardisation at a relatively low fee, however the company acknowledges that the schools may still be out of the reach of the very poorest.
During the research several very small groups of schools were found, mostly serving relatively more wealthy families, far out of reach of the users of low-fee schools, and those currently using government schools. In addition, one chain of five schools was found, serving at least one slum community, although this chain is run in a very decentralized manner, and the fee levels are believed to be the highest of any school in the relevant slum, meaning that its accessibility to the poor is limited