Edinburgh company opens branch in Australia with expected turnover of £1m

Tom Crombie, founder of My Online Schooling
Tom Crombie, founder of My Online Schooling

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Former Edinburgh teacher, Tom Crombie, founder of My Online Schooling is celebrating the company’s second anniversary with the opening of an office in Australia.

Worldwide enrolment numbers have increased from from 5 to 300, resulting in an expected turnover of £1m this year, thanks to help from various organisations including Business Gateway Edinburgh.

Staff numbers have risen from 2 to 11 in the Edinburgh office, with an additional four in Melbourne to help meet demand for the live lessons in over 30 countries around the world including the Caribbean, Madagascar, Mauritius and Chile.

The service is used by parents travelling with work or children having difficulty in mainstream school.

Tom’s first lessons went live online after three months of research in September 2017 from a £300 laptop in a café in Edinburgh.  Starting with five pupils, he soon began running lessons from his home via a virtual classroom – with the company going from strength to strength ever since.

The lessons, delivered by 40 highly skilled teachers over 22hrs a day, are aimed at children between 8 and 18 years old and based on the English National Curriculum and include Key Stage 2 to A Levels with subjects ranging from Maths, English, Sciences, Humanities and Languages to Art and Design, Drama, Design Technology, Business Studies and Economics.

Business Gateway Edinburgh continues to support My Online Schooling’s successful development and growth in areas including internationalisation, innovation, intellectual assets and funding and Investment.

Tom said:  “Being a teacher in state and private schools in both Scotland and New Zealand 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 compliment different learning styles.

“As a teacher I always wanted to push the boundaries with education and look at new and innovative ways to engage learners. 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.

 “Through word of mouth numbers steadily increased with 40 pupils enrolled at the end of the first academic year and 100% pass rate at GCSE level.

“I never anticipated the business would grow as quickly as it has. It has been and still is an incredible journey we are on with a great team on board driving it forward every day, helped by the invaluable support we’ve received from organisations including Business Gateway Edinburgh who have really helped us along the way.”

The decision to open a second base in Melbourne, Australia was to be able to meet demand from the growing number of parents looking to access online schooling in the Asia Pacific region.

In March 2019 the first lessons went live in Australia at My Online Schooling Asia Pacific, which will also cater for expats looking for an alternative to international schooling in countries including Singapore, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

Tom continued: “Business Gateway Edinburgh has played a major part in the establishment and development of My Online Schooling, providing ongoing support, mentoring and advice from top professionals which has allowed us as a company to grow to where we are today.

“Edinburgh is clearly an entrepreneurial hub, thanks to organisations like this that truly invest in the future of young Scottish businesses. We are incredibly grateful to be working alongside them.”

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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