Master Brain Academy

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Master Brain Academy is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Mr and Mrs Antony at the
Master Brain’s AwardsNite for
Share and Care
charity event
Founded in 2004, Master Brain Academy works to provide
the children of Essex with high-quality educational support.
Originally an abacus educator, the first of its kind in the UK,
the organisation has since moved towards preparing children
for their entry into grammar schools. Director Jay Antony tells
TheParliamentary Review
more about the key aspects of the
service and expands on the key values and lessons it looks to
pass on.
The abacus style of education trains children from year 1 to perform maths faster
than a calculator. Children are able to add 20 numbers in ten seconds and can add
up to 50 numbers immediately. This style of education achieved acclaim from those
in parliament, among others, and our efforts were recognised by countless awards
and trophies.
Our experience teaching children to learn through the abacus model reinforced
the importance of education in our minds, and we noticed a gap in the provision
of training for children applying to grammar schools. When my own daughter was
preparing for the 11-plus examination, we noted that there was a break in the
system, with teachers tutoring children at home. We felt this could be scaled up to
great success.
I took time off work to prepare my daughter for her grammar school examination
and to work on a business proposal, focusing on the grammar school education
system. Our results speak for themselves and prove our convictions were correct.
We now work with numerous children year on year and prepare them well for an
education that suits them.
»Director: Jay Antony
»Established in 2004
»Based in Ilford, Essex
»Services: Education
»No. of employees: 6
Master Brain
Highlighting best practice
Valuing values
Our role is not only educational but
also about looking to ensure a sense
of community among the individuals
that we serve. We run a “Share and
Care” charity campaign every summer.
Through this, we offer a number of
free classes, where all that we ask is
that children drop a £1 coin into a
“charity glass jar”. We then double
this and donate it to a local charity or
support the Redbridge Mayor’s charity
appeal. We want to teach our children
about the importance of charity, much
in the same way we teach them about
the importance of obtaining a high-
quality education.
We have written a book to support
and further develop language
skills, and I was recognised as Tamil
Businesswoman of the Year in
2016, looking at the importance
of entrepreneurship and women.
This demonstrates how we exhibit
Lifting people up
To ensure our teaching is as accessible
as possible, we provide special rates for
those who require them. We believe
it is our responsibility as part of a
community to do as much as we can
for as many as we can.
A considerable number of our children
are first-generation citizens in the
United Kingdom, and their parents
invest a great deal in their success. The
belief that a grammar school is the
best possible education a child can get
fuels these parents to seek our help.
There are currently some 180
grammar school places at our local
school, with over 3,000 children
applying. Some children are being
sent to over four different tutors
in order to best prepare them for
the 11-plus. Children strive through
all odds and compete, giving
their best for the limited spaces in
Book launch at the
Houses of Parliament
We want to
teach our
children about
the importance
of charity,
much in the
same way we
teach them
about the
importance of
obtaining a
Our work, therefore, is to prepare
children not only for grammar school
but for the stress they face in getting
there. We encourage them to learn for
life, not just for the exam. Our style of
education translates well to the 11-
plus, and we have been achieving the
highest scores in exams across London.
Confronting challenges
Like other businesses similar to
our own, we struggle with staff
recruitment. In the past, international
students who volunteered to work
with us brought with them skills and
a broader international experience
with a willingness to learn through
work. However, we have seen a
considerable dip in this of late. Having
students on board was an essential
part of our success – they were always
switched on and passionate about the
importance of education, as coming
to the UK was key to furthering
The importance of job security has
been highlighted in recent years, and
the issue has been compounded by
the political climate of late. We are
hopeful things will improve, and with
technology becoming more prevalent
within education we are confident that
we are able to adapt.
Opening up
In the future we hope to open up a
greater number of centres in prime
locations. We also hope to ensure our
teachers can take classes in a way that
suits them and their pupils. Through
opening a couple of centres, we will
be able to franchise, and eventually
even have plans to extend into
We are also exploring online
education, allowing us to prepare
a greater number of children for
the demands of education from the
comfort of their own homes. This
would also extend our reach across
the world. We will continue to nurture
our abacus education system, in
addition to furthering our grammar
school preparation system. The future
for Master Brain is bright, and we
look forward to continuing on the
journey that we started more than
We encourage
them to learn
for life, not
just for the
Awarded ‘Tamil
Businesswoman of the
Year 2016’

This article was sponsored by Master Brain Academy. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy