Aspris & Waterland

Following the acquisition of Priory Group by Median, it was soon clear that the childcare & specialist education division was non-core to the enlarged Median group. However, we identified that the childcare & specialist education sector was undergoing both significant growth but also capacity undersupply. A plan was agreed with some of the outgoing Priory management team to carve out the specialist education & childcare division from the rest of the group, setting up a focused, high quality operator that is now a top five player within the UK.

An investment theme filled with opportunity

Increased societal awareness of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders (EBD) and Autism in children along with a significant increase in Educational, Health and Care Plans (EHC), has driven growing demand for specialist education settings that cater for their needs. Such settings ensure children can reach their full potential. This surging demand is undersupplied by the existing and fragmented capacity, which in many cases is also dated, under-invested and not fit-for-purpose.

That explains why Trevor Torrington, CEO of Aspris, noticed that there was an opportunity (and a need) in the market for a focused, high-quality operator with a modern estate and highly specialised provision. The business also aims to deliver a proven and robust new site roll-out process, to help redress the supply / demand imbalance. With Waterland support, Trevor and his team were up for the challenge of carving out the existing Priory division, then creating the branding, group strategy and back office infrastructure from scratch. It also allowed the team to introduce a bespoke state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to support all aspects of the business.

“Waterland’s entrepreneurial and highly supportive approach is helping deliver increased sector capacity and creating a true market-leader when it comes to modern, high quality provision”

Trevor Torrington, CEO of Aspris

Buy-and-build strategy

Aspris’ core ethos is that every young person can play a positive role in society and is focused on building a business where quality is at the forefront of all decisions. To maximise Aspris’ contribution to society, the strategy is to acquire or build new settings that best facilitate positive outcomes. This ethos underpins the businesses hub-and-spoke model of specialist education settings, complemented by local residential care homes. This allows Aspris to maintain continuity of care and develop career pathways for all its pupils and young people in their care.

Acquisitions, greenfield developments, and site expansions/re-tooling are a few of the ways that Aspris is growing the business. Not only do these investments bring scale to the business, but they also ensure that sites are fit-for-purpose to ensure that children have the best education and care facilities available to achieve their full potential and play a meaningful role in society.

A team at your disposal

A Waterland growth strategy can take many different routes. We support the business with a team that has experience of driving growth. This is complemented by the financial firepower we can provide to allow management teams to pursue the growth strategy that best suits each business. For Aspris, this includes growth through acquisition and greenfield development. That team is always available to assist entrepreneurs and leadership teams such as Trevor and his management team.

The result so far

Priory Education was re-branded Aspris, a leading provider of specialist education and residential care with 37 schools and colleges, and 132 residential homes in the UK, and a school, vocational college and 3 Wellbeing Centers in the Middle East.

Aspris provides care to over 1800 young people in the UK and 2800 adults and 260 young people in the Middle East. Outstanding outcomes for pupils who graduate to university or apprenticeships, or young people who elevate themselves out of the care system underpins the success of this investment.
Today, Aspris is one of the top 3 leading providers of specialist education and residential care in the UK, and is at the forefront of specialist education and behavioral health treatment in the Middle East.

Get in touch!

Do you have similar ambitions to the ones Trevor had in 2021? Does your ambition stretch beyond that? Or would you like to know more about the way we work? Whatever your questions may be, contact us. We would be happy to help you on your way to sustainable success!