Indian businessman Sunny Varkey is looking to set up a £200m property fund in the next six months in order to build 15 low-fee private schools.
Varkey's company, Global Education Management Systems, is talking to several institutions about the fund, which would finance its plan to acquire 200 private schools on greenfield sites in the next five years.

Schools have not been used as an asset in property funds before, and Varkey admitted that this made some potential backers cautious.

He said: "Financial institutions have not seen the likes of our business, so they are not too bullish about greenfield schools. The institutions need a change of mind, as the continuous need for schools makes the project virtually recession-proof."

GEMS is looking at sites across the country for the brand, and recently bought one in Sheffield.

The company has also signed a contract with a party in Afghanistan to manage schools as part of the country's reconstruction.