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Who We Are

Founded in 2019 by CEO John Forsyth, Forfar Education is a company that specialises in the education of children.

Forfar is named after the area in Scotland where his family come from. We have a family ethos business: honest, transparent, hardworking, and the kind that puts the needs of the child first. 

Our aim is to create inspiring schools that teach self-belief and deliver academic excellence. We own, and manage schools in the UK and across the world.

We believe that competition is a good thing, and that resilience, kindness, and leadership are key life skills for all today’s young.

“Forfar’s schools produce children who are confident, creative, healthy team players who are interested and interesting. They regularly place pupils with scholarships into the top state grammar and private schools including Harrow, Eton and Winchester. At the same time they produce Olympians, singers, writers, actors and entrepreneurs” John Forsyth - CEO

Forfar’s schools equip children with the confidence and resourcefulness that prepares them to grow, thrive and find success in an ever-changing world.

What We Believe

Forfar Education’s approach ensures that we put the needs of each child at the heart of our schools to create friendly, welcoming communities that empower children with the tools to be successful. 

  • We like to create environments where staff, parents and the wider community are proud of their school and feel part of it
  • We want to provide solutions for busy parents, and we expect them to abide by the same values that we teach their children
  • We know that a critical key to unlocking the potential in every child is having inspiring, brilliant, well-resourced teachers every step of the way
  • We are a ‘down to earth’ transparent organisation that treats everyone the same
  • We will not compromise on keeping your child safe or on our teaching quality
  • We want every child to achieve more than they may have thought possible through our focus on providing an outstanding education tailored to each child
  • We are generous and patient with families and staff that face unforeseen difficulties

We encourage independent learning, a community spirit, and we empower students to embrace responsibility and learn to celebrate diversity in a spirit of understanding and tolerance that helps them become better global citizens.

The Team at Forfar Education is made up of dedicated individuals with decades of experience in educating children. They have built and managed schools from Mongolia to Portugal, Hong Kong to New York, Bournemouth to Sunderland and have a significant track record of success at every level.

John Forsyth – Founder and CEO



Post a career in the British Army as Captain, John worked for Mars Ltd making Maltesers and Minstrels in the UK. In 2010 John joined the Chandler Corporation(now the Clermont Corporation) in Singapore and Vietnam. His role was to buy, build and lead education, real estate, finance and healthcare businesses across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He became the first CEO of the corporation in 2011. In 2013 John co-founded Rising Tide Asia, an education and healthcare investment platform, based out of Singapore.               

In 2016, John then founded Forfar Education with a view to buying and managing great schools across the World. John has been the Chairman, Director or CEO of over 40 schools.

Kate Farrell – HR Director

Kate is a highly experienced and commercial HR Professional with significant International experience gained in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Kate started her career with Hudson Global Resources, an internationally based, NASDAQ-listed HR consultancy. Kate spent 7 years in London developing her expertise in providing HR before relocating to Dubai where she successfully established their presence in the Middle East.

Following this, Kate moved to Singapore where she worked for both the Chandler Corporation and then Rising Tide Asia when the Nobel Education Network was acquired, a rapidly expanding international school business. Kate was responsible for shaping the HR strategy and ensuring the delivery of a high-performance HR function to the Group.

Kate then worked as HR Director for the global finance function at International SOS, the world’s leading medical assistance company specialising in organisational design, leadership development, CFO recruitment and retention. She relocated back to London in 2019 as HR Director for their Government services business line.

Kate joined Forfar Education in 2020 as HR Director, where she is now responsible for partnering and advising schools on all matters relating to people and performance, with a particular focus on organisational design and leadership recruitment and development. She is passionate about attracting, retaining and developing talent across Forfar’s schools.

Alex Eiranova – CFO




Alex has been a corporate finance and investment banking professional for 10 years. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Alex moved to Shanghai in 2009 where he tutored local students on preparing for the entrance exam for American universities.

In 2011, he began his career in investment banking in Hong Kong as an Assistant Manager (M&A) at Somerley Group (SEHK:8439) where he spent five years and was promoted to Manager (M&A) in 2014. At Somerley Alex worked on M&A and fundraising advisory transactions across Asia Pacific in the Agriculture, Education, Environmental, Healthcare, Natural Resources and Technology sectors.

In 2016, Alex worked as M&A Manager for a leading F&B group in Singapore and joined Forfar Capital in January 2017 as CFO. He was also a founding Partner of MAR Capital Partners, a Singapore based private direct investment and M&A advisory business. At MAR Capital, Alex worked on and completed M&A, fundraising advisory and investments into transactions in range of sectors.

Christine Pouncett – Head of UK Finance & Operations


Christine joined Forfar in 2021, having previously worked at Thomas’s London Day Schools and in a number of senior commercial, operations and finance roles.

She provides the team with a wealth of knowledge and invaluable first-hand experience of the detailed operations of independent schools.

With a collaborative solution-oriented approach, Christine supports a number of areas across the Forfar team, focusing on Finance & Operations.

Al Butler – IT Director

Al Butler joined Forfar Education as IT Director in 2021. He has worked for 14 years within information technology starting in financial services then moving to outsourced, best practice aligned, managed IT services. Formerly Director of a managed IT service provider, providing services to various sectors, including education for the past 10 years. 

Al is enthusiastic about the use of modern innovative technology within education, giving children the opportunities to explore the areas of information technology they enjoy so that they can be inspired to be the world’s future tech leaders and innovators.

Sarah Pittam – Projects Director

Sarah is an education sector specialist with expertise in governance, operations, finance, recruitment, stakeholder management and capital projects. She has set up new schools under the Department for Education's Free Schools Programme, managing the process from the submission of a proposal to the school's opening and first Ofsted inspection and has also been a DfE external expert and adviser. She has worked as a consultant to academy trusts and local authorities.

Her governance experience includes being on the board of a large multi-academy trust Bourne Education Trust, and chairing the audit and risk committee. She has also been Vice Chair of an Interim Executive Board, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in Hammersmith and Fulham, councillor and member of Local Authority Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee.

Sarah is a Civil Service Commissioner and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures. 

Jo Storey – Education and Compliance Director



An accomplished former European Director of Education and Head, with over 20 years in Senior Leadership, Jo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the group.  Time spent in industry, research, statistical advisory, Senior Lecturing in Maths and Statistics, and being involved in the development of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for Cambridge University students, all led to her being accredited with 'Fellowship' status by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) for teaching and learning in 2007.  

An appointed safeguarding lead for many years, Jo is well known for her ability to ‘grow a school’, and her impressively thorough understanding of compliance and regulation, ensures that no stone is left unturned.  A previous ‘Headteacher of the Year’ nominee and qualified ISI inspector, Jo is devoted to offering an holistic education, which will equip each young person for the challenges of an ever-changing world.

Vicki McErlean - Marketing and Admissions Director



Vicki is a CIM qualified professional with a wealth of commercial marketing experience gained from sectors including hospitality, retail and leisure, as well as 12 years in marketing and admissions in independent education.

With a passion for innovation and dedication to excellence, Vicki is committed to supporting schools with impactful marketing initiatives that create lead generation and support retention.

Vicki’s use of data-driven insights, practical advice and industry experience plays a pivotal role in supporting marketing and admissions efforts across all Forfar schools