Kip McGrath Derby South’s 1,000th student

by | Nov 17, 2022

Kip McGrath – the beginning.

When Sue & Dave began with Kip McGrath in 2011, they didn’t set out with grand plans to help 1,000 or more students to do better in school. Being able to help some local children realise their true potential was a sufficiently worthy positive contribution to the local community. Fast forward 11 years, and, wow, celebrating enrolling their 1,000 student is an incredible moment! This just demonstrates how determined the parents in Derby are, for their children to have the best possible start in life, and to build brighter futures for themselves.

This Kip McGrath story starts in summer 2011. Having decided to look for an opportunity to work together, Sue & Dave investigated a number of education-based businesses in Derby. They subsequentally chose the Kip McGrath franchise, as the platform that provided the most benefits for students. Even from the beginning Sue & Dave recognised the importance of focusing on each child. Searching for suitable premises led to several viewings. In July 2011, Sue & Dave viewed an upstairs premises in Allenton. It looked ideal, though required some tidying up to transform it into Kip McGrath Education Centre Derby South. The location felt right; it was accessible from a number of locations, and was at the heart of local community. 3 months of cleaning, decorating and kitting out, the Centre to open on 30th October 2011. We were underway! The right environment now existed to inspire students. Definitely not school – it’s deliberately different.

Kip McGrath – the middle.

For the first 2 months, 2 students attended lessons. It felt both exciting and apprehensive in equal measure. Slowly, over time, more students enrolled; Sue & Dave could really see the positive difference that Kip makes to each student. They had started to build relationships with students and parents. Early in 2012, we employed our second teacher; bringing SEN speciality to Kip. In February 2012, Kip McGrath Education Centre Derby South registered with Ofsted, allowing parents to make use of childcare benefits for the first time. Over the last 11 years, there have been a number of Ofsted visits, which Sue always handles professionally and efficiently, based on her experience in Derbyshire schools.

Over the past 11 years, Kip McGrath Education Centre Derby South has evolved and flexed to meet a multitude of unique needs. Students have enrolled, improved their academic performance, built their confidence, and realised their true potential in the process. Some students stay for a short time; others stay for longer. Sue & Dave experience mixed emotions, when long-standing students leave, having achieved their milestone GCSE goals. In the last 3 years, these GCSE students have been sent on their way with a special farewell to mark the occasion. Seeing students grow is the biggest satisfaction Sue & Dave get from Kip McGrath. Finding ways of helping them individually is what matters most to us. Our teachers are the consistent key component. The skill of experienced, passionate and enthusiastic teachers can never be underestimated. Sue & Dave are blessed to be associated with such a brilliant team of teachers.

Kip McGrath – the ending?

How do we summarise our 1,000th student and the past 11 years? Every day continues to be a school day; Sue & Dave learn new things every single day, which we anticipate being able to use for the benefit of students in Derby. We remain grateful for the trust and commitment shown by parents, throughout their attendance at Kip McGrath Derby South. We’ve laughed (a lot), cried (a little), celebrated (a lot) and commiserated (a little). There are incalculable times parents have recommended us to their friends and family. Sue & Dave continue to be truly humbled and grateful. We’re very proud of all of the 1,000 Kip McGrath Derby South students. The journey continues …………… this is not the real end of this story.

Dave & Sue Priestley

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