Crimson Education launches independent online high school
Teens will soon be able to enrol in a high school that lets them study entirely online, as Crimson Education launches its online school.
The school will offer direct teaching through digital seminars and one-to-one tuition.
Crimson Global Academy (CGA) is set to open in 2020. It is registered as an independent high school – and that comes with the private school price tag.
Fees for full-time students will be between $15,000 and $20,000, while part-time students will be looking at paying $2000 to $5000, depending on what courses they study.
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CGA will also take its cue from exclusive private schools in its admissions process, with full-time students expected to be aiming for As and A*s in Cambridge exams.
The "rigorous interview process" will take into account students' communication skills and ability to concentrate, Crimson chief executive and co-founder Jamie Beaton said.
Students would also be able to study part-time through CGA while attending another school, with lower enrolment requirements for those courses.
As a tutoring business, Crimson Education has been aimed at getting students into top universities around the world since it launched in 2013.
It claims in six years it has helped students get nearly 200 offers to Ivy League colleges like Harvard and Yale.
Beaton said Crimson was hoping to expand the school to a global market after getting established in New Zealand.
CGA would start by offering courses for Years 11 to 13 before expanding to Years 9 and 10.
Former prime minister Sir John Key has joined CGA's board as an advisory member and will also be involved in the school's leadership programme.
He said the rate of change in New Zealand education was "fundamentally ... going too slowly for what we want", saying the system was letting down some students.
Crimson has been criticised in recent months for what have been termed "weighty contracts" that lock families in, even if a student decides not to apply to an overseas school.
A sales playbook was also leaked which advised Crimson reps not to pursue clients unlikely to spend under $30,000 with the firm.
Speaking to Stuff earlier this month, Beaton defended his company's record and said Crimson students got into overseas schools at about four times the normal rate.
He said Crimson was "very clear" with families that university admission in the United States was a rigorous, four-year process that required a lot of effort.
A previous version of this story stated that unlike Te Kura, CGA will offer direct teaching. Te Kura offers face-to-face teaching and one-to-one tuition. The copy has been amended to reflect this.