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Castlegate International Partnership Services: Exploring Opportunities in Global Education

We support schools seeking partnerships overseas, or to establish branch campuses in new markets.


About Us

We Know Schools. We Know Educational Excellence

Castlegate International Partnership Services

We will connect your school with partner institutions abroad, government ministries, investors, and developers as you seek to establish a presence overseas.


We ensure that your educational ethos and philosophy is faithfully represented and adapted in an overseas context, planning all aspects of a project as members of your team.

Castlegate Consultancy Services

It is an uncertain time for schools. We will support your school with your strategic development, leadership transition, and financial positioning so you can face the future with confidence.


We can work with your school board to strengthen and reposition your institution as the school of choice in an area, to appoint new leadership, or to prepare for a new chapter in your story, such as a merger or an acquisition.

Our Services

Castlegate International
Partnership Services

Bespoke international support

  • Board facilitation days for international strategy 

  • Overseas travel to scope new markets and conduct research

  • Executive search and recruitment for senior leadership teams

  • Business planning and project management services for overseas projects

Castlegate Consultancy

Bespoke Business and Strategic Consultancy

  • Leadership skills audit for Boards and SLT

  • Strategic Plan Development

  • Repositioning within a school’s current market

  • Preparing School Boards and Owners for future sale or merger, including finding acquisition partners



In the next five years we will support schools which face political, economic and social challenges which threaten their ability to deliver excellence to their communities.

We will support board members and school leaders to explore new ways to deliver that excellence in the UK, Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

We will help schools to grow their communities and to build partnerships or branch campuses overseas.


Castlegate Education works worldwide to bring high quality education to communities which desire the highest international standards.


We support schools to strive for operational excellence so that they can continue to serve their communities, thrive, and grow their influence within their own communities, and around the world.



We put children first, and so work with schools who see each child as equally valuable.


We value educational excellence for all, regardless of circumstances, and so work with schools in every country and context to support them in delivery of QUALITY .


We value community, and so we support communities which seek to build an excellent education for their children.

We value opportunity, and so work with institutions which can broaden experience and raise aspirations for each student

Our Team



Alex McGrath

Alex founded Castlegate Education in December 2020. He worked in UK independent schools for over 20 years as Headmaster of two HMC schools; led the British Council’s commercial school development programme in China; and was then promoted to Global Director of British Council Schools.


He led overseas projects in Korea; Dubai; Mexico; China; Malaysia; Portugal; and West Africa; School Design projects in the UK, China, Malaysia and Portugal; advises on the sale of schools in the UK, USA, Latin America and Central Africa; and devised an Edtech teacher training project in Sub-Saharan Africa for the Commonwealth Education Trust, later serving as a Trustee. Alex also recruits senior leaders for schools across Latin America and China.



Chris Day
Operations and Education Management

Chris is Canadian, and the former
COO of Dulwich College in Shanghai and Singapore.


He is an Education entrepreneur
across K-12; Nursery; and vocational learning sectors, based in Vietnam, and advises on operational matters in
APAC markets.


Judith De Swart
Lead advisor: International Risk Management

Judith is highly experienced in risk management and consulting with a specific focus on anti-financial crime compliance, vendor risk management, and contractual provisions.  Judith was Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance Training at Citibank, New York City; and US Head of Financial Compliance Training for HSBC.


Previously she has worked in Toronto, London and Amsterdam. A Dutch national, Judith now resides in Mexico City.


Kristen Smith
Strategic Director

Kristen works full time for Business In The Community, a part of the Prince’s Trust charity. She brings strong commercial experience to our team. She spent twenty years in the New York Retail sector, rising to Vice President at Macy's Merchandising Group. In this role she developed brand strategy across the organisation for new lines and products, managing a $300m budget and achieving consistent growth across her portfolio
of brands.


Kristen spent several years traveling the world, and has experience of more than 50 countries.


Glyn Webster
Education Market Analyst

Glyn is a recent graduate of New College of the Humanities (Northeastern University) in London. He was the winner of the Entrepreneurship Prize at university for Digital Marketing, and supports Castlegate Education with our analysis of market trends in global education. He joined the team in October, 2023, and is based in London, UK.


Glyn assists our client schools with their understanding of markets, market engagement, and education strategy. We are delighted to have him join our team.

Glyn is a keen sportsman, enjoying rowing on the Thames.



Kevin Loft

Former Executive Principal of one of the leading GEMS schools in Dubai, UAE, and board member of the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize.


Kevin has experience of school leadership in New Zealand; the Middle East and the UK. Kevin’s experience of international inspections and contextualizing curriculum to a local context is extensive.

Catherine Mc b&w.jpg

Catherine McKinley

Catherine has worked across various sectors, most recently in international education as the founder and director of her own international school where she focused primarily on the school's strategic development.


Catherine has a background working with international development agencies and NGOs in the field of governance, helping them plan and implement support to governments in Southeast Asia. Prior to that, she was a journalist covering stock markets and macroeconomics in China and Vietnam. She holds an MSc in Public Policy and Management, a PG Dip in Media and Governance, and a BA (Hons) in Mandarin. She also speaks Vietnamese.


Jonathan Carroll

An experienced former UK Headmaster with extensive senior leadership and Governor experience in a wide variety of schools. He has worked overseas and in the UK in many settings.

Jonathan's strengths are in educational leadership and developing school improvement initiatives including change management, curriculum development, coaching and mentoring senior leaders, Inspection preparation, and evolving new teaching and learning strategies to maximise pupil outcomes.

"Alex and his team have worked tirelessly to try and match opportunities to our requirements, and to ensure that they understand our objectives. Castlegate is a highly professional and ethical consultancy."

Shahram Hashemi  Managing Partner | Aldenham Education Group, UAE

Clients & Partners

We're extremely proud of the relationships that we've established, and maintained, with our esteemed clients and partners across the globe.



Suite 6, Landmark Business Centre, Burnley, BB11 1UF, UK

Tel: +44 7707 308438.

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