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Aldenham Education Group Announces its Newest School in Partnership with KAFD

by Eddie Rayner

Aldenham Education Group (AEG) is to build a new K-12 school campus in King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) for children aged 3-18 years old. The announcement follows extensive discussions and due diligence between AEG and King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), resulting in the signing of a Letter of Intent between the two companies expressing their full agreement to build a new, world-class international school in this vibrant district of Riyadh. 

KAFD DMC chose AEG to develop the only school to reside in the world-renowned business district due to Aldenham’s exceptional heritage, its unique all-round and forward-thinking approach, and its synergy with Vision 2030’s ambition to raise the quality of education, transform youth mindsets, and strengthen the economy. The signing heralds the start of the first stage of design and construction for the new AEG school to be named Aldenham Riyadh.

Prestigious new international school in King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) located in the heart of Riyadh.

It is anticipated that Aldenham Riyadh will be completed to accept students for the academic year beginning Autumn 2026. The school will be truly iconic: employing cutting-edge design that marries the education of tomorrow aptly with Aldenham’s 425-year history as a pioneer of progressive, all-round, and holistic education which has continued until today.

Aldenham Riyadh is uncommonly positioned as a genuine branch campus of a notable UK independent school not only in KSA but also among other schools in the wider GCC region. This is a direct result of AEG’s proprietary owner-operated model which ensures that all students receive continuity of experience, curriculum, and academic standards straight from the mother school in the UK. 

The very first Aldenham school was established in 1597 in North London during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I

This innovative model starts by infusing Aldenham’s culture by sending the existing heads of its UK schools to act as the founding principals of the newly established campuses overseas. It continues by having the UK education team actively implement and adapt their UK curriculum in each new school. Finally, it is manifested by having its UK academic team involved in every interview of all pupils and teachers. These are just a few distinguishing examples of AEG’s unique methodology.

The very first Aldenham school was established in 1597 in North London during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The school’s centuries-long pursuit of academic excellence, embodying the best of timeless traditions, universal values, and a forward-thinking culture, has always differentiated it from its peers. 

The new school will be AEG’s second school in Riyadh: Aldenham Prep Riyadh opened in 2022

Now, over four hundred years later, Aldenham retains those early values with an approach that views education as a continual, lifelong pursuit and journey of personal growth, extending far beyond the attainment of degrees.

The new school will be AEG’s second school in Riyadh: Aldenham Prep Riyadh opened in 2022. AEG has chosen KAFD, the largest Platinum LEED-certified mixed-use business district globally, to be its second home. Set right at the heart of the Saudi capital, KAFD is an attractive destination for local and expatriate families and parents who will welcome the high-quality education that Aldenham Riyadh will be well equipped to provide. The school will also make a significant and positive contribution to the district’s residential, business, and social communities. 

Welcoming Aldenham Riyadh to KAFD, Gautam Sashittal, CEO of KAFD DMC, commented: “Widespread and quality education is the foundation of all societal growth and prosperity. Fulfilling the educational transformation objectives of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia invests heavily in the sector, having committed approximately 20% of the national budget in 2022 to education. We’re absolutely thrilled to play a role in this and to welcome Aldenham Riyadh which will bring premium international education to local and international communities in KAFD.”

The Kingdom is currently embarking on an ambitious reform agenda with Riyadh positioned to become one of the world’s most competitive and livable cities by 2030, putting education at the center stage of its Vision 2030. 

Acknowledging this, Shahram Hashemi, Managing Partner, Aldenham Education Group, said: “We are honored to be part of KAFD and the PIF family and look forward to building on this valued relationship through the provision of a world-beating education for current and future generations and helping make Vision 2030 a reality.  We are proud of the nation’s tremendous growth and are delighted to be able to play a part in this and help create a sustainable future.

Alec Nejad, Managing Partner, Aldenham Education Group, concluded: “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to both the Royal Commission of Riyadh City (RCRC) and the Ministry of Investment (MISA) for inviting us to collaborate in the enlightened reform programs in the K-12 sector. Aldenham Education Group believes deeply that we have a responsibility to not only operate our own schools at the highest possible standards but to also be leading partners with RCRC, MISA, the Ministry of Education, as well as the private sector in the overall growth of the educational provision in the Kingdom.”