With cinemas back open and film sets busier than ever, solving education problems for out-of-the-ordinary, on-the-move families is a welcome return to action for Laura Reynolds, head of the elite London-based international education company, Minerva Global.
Act Different, Do Different
It’s 10PM in West Hollywood and 6AM in London. Laura Reynolds, head of London-based Minerva Global, a luxury lifestyle concierge and private education company that operates all over the world, receives an email from a distressed personal assistant.
‘Hello … I look after two children aged 12 and 14 and I’ve just found out they’re being pulled out of school to join their parents who are working abroad for 6 months. I think we need a tutor to teach them privately. Is this possible? Can you help?’
Having previously worked as a PA for clients in the international jet-set, Laura knows the job can be stressful and highly-demanding. Her reply was quick and simple.
‘Hi, if the children are facing time out of school we will supply tutors to carry it on overseas and I will manage everything from our London HQ. Would you like to set up a call?’
Minerva Global provides a unique service for families and PAs who need a certain kind of specialised help. It offers the very best tutors and homeschooling teachers from prestigious British universities to teach children between the ages of 5-18 any subject that they would like to learn: from Mandarin to A Level Economics to etiquette and table manners. Minerva’s lifestyle concierge arm takes care of rest: supplying nannies, chefs, private security personnel, and more, to make it simple for PAs and families to deal with one company for all their private staffing needs.
Operating as the high end arm of Minerva Tutors – one of the UK’s leading providers of award-winning private homeschooling and tutoring – Laura manages an exclusive client-list, some of whom are starting to push the boundaries of what’s considered ‘normal’.
Recently, the organisation has been asked to meet the needs of families in the media and arts-oriented profession, by providing adaptable, full-time education that travels with them, wherever they go.
Blossoming Career: Bespoke Education
‘We find ourselves in 2022,’ says Laura from her office at HQ in London. ‘The world is opening up again, for work and otherwise. We’re seeing a big rise in the number of families who are suddenly making bold life decisions – doing things like sailing around the world or investing in their child’s ambitions of becoming a Formula 1 driver. Before, there was always a risk: what about my child’s education? And what if I’m travelling for work – can they come with me? Well, it’s all possible, either with online schooling or sending a tutor with them. We want to give them the confidence they can do these things, to go and make bold and exciting decisions. I’m so glad people are finding us and getting in touch. I think that Minerva Global is a parent’s prayer, answered: usually you think something has to be sacrificed: either career or education. But it just doesn’t have to be that way, and we’re doing something about that.’
‘The media and arts industry is a real area of growth: we’ve helped so many actors – both children and parents – and directors whose filming schedule has meant a sudden upheaval in their everyday routine, especially as the world was opening up after Covid and there has been a big rush in Hollywood to get everything filmed. We’ve worked with tennis stars and F1 prodigies as well as high-level diplomats and celebrities, too. They’re all united by the desire to not have to sacrifice education for a career. You get these talented kids, blessed with amazing skills and opportunities, faced with a confusing and heart-wrenching decision. That’s where we come in.’
How Does It Work?
In the case of Laura’s new LA-based client, a high-profile British TV actor who moved at short notice to California for 6 months of filming, the parents wanted zero interruption to the education of their children who were previously enrolled at school in the UK.
Laura and her team of world-class tutors, in conjunction with the PA, created a bespoke timetable for the children, fitting it around their new life in the US without them missing a beat of homework. The tutor flew out to live alongside the family and delivered the British Curriculum at their home, holding lessons, setting homework, and organising trips out to local educational attractions.
‘Some families are different,’ said Laura, ‘but in this case we decided it was best if our tutor lived separately. These are highly professional and discreet individuals, who are a pleasure to have around the house – but more and more we’re seeing that independence and flexibility is preferred from both sides. I also think families really value the British education system. You’ve got your Oxfords, Cambridges, Etons, etc. Our tutors have graduated from these institutions. They are experts in their fields and have first-hand knowledge of the British exams and syllabi. And they’re also supported by rigorous Minerva teacher training.’
‘It completely takes the sting out of the situation,’ Laura explains, commenting on how her tutors are experienced at teaching on a one-to-one basis and adapting entirely around the rigours and demands of a family on the move. ‘It can often become a bit of a battle, with parents facing pressure from agents or managers and then angst from their kids, all of whom want the focus to rest on the career and training, practising, etc. This just doesn’t work around mainstream schooling, and parents risk looking like the bad guys, because they want to keep their kids educated and with options. All careers, no matter how great, have their own lifespan, and the parents understand this!’
When she’s not crafting bespoke timetables for talented kids, Laura is managing the many other facets of Minerva Global, sourcing top quality concierge, nannying, private security and even PAs for clients. ‘This part of the business grew naturally and quickly. And it’s much more relaxed for everyone involved,’ she says. ‘You’re safe in the knowledge that there’s one person, one team, that’s across everything, and it stops the stress being passed around and building up.’
One thing Laura is particularly proud of is the stress she’s saving these kids from. ‘School-age kids are often put on a plane at pretty short notice, taken away from their school, their syllabus and friends to pursue either their or their parents’ career. This is obviously exciting, but if it’s for, say, a four-month shoot: that’s four months of missed school, with the kid plunged into, for example, a US school and curriculum that means nothing to them, and then plucked back out again. Being thrown into a classroom of twenty to thirty strangers for a few months can make children timid, retracted. It can go against the whole flow of the project.’
Laura explains the benefits of Minerva Global passionately: ‘Our tutors use the travelling aspect as part of the adventure – just as it should be! – incorporating local aspects of history, geography and literature into the curriculum. They work closely with the schools the pupil has just come from to stitch up the syllabus seamlessly, and they’re getting one-to-one teaching, so they can actually catch up better than if they were at school, with the tutor identifying and working on weak spots and problems. It really works wonders.’
The range of services Minerva Global provides includes:
- tutoring for talented Academy footballers
- homeschooling for TikTok and Youtube stars
- educational mentoring and etiquette for young members of international Royal families
- finding spaces at top British schools for families who are relocating to the UK
- online homeschooling for children of expat families who have left the UK to travel the world
- nannying and concierge services for celebrities and high net worth’s
For more information, or to request a brochure of Minerva Global’s services, contact Laura Reynolds on 0208 819 3276 or at email@example.com