Episode show notes

Open Study College began life in a garage 16 years ago, long before remote learning was rife, which makes their multi-million pound growth that much more staggering.

Co-Founder Samantha Rutter-Bryant now bears the torch, working closely with sister and Director, Shawna Baker, a dream team whose family spirit manifests throughout the business. 

The duo join us on It Runs In The Family to share their complementary dynamic, and the caring educational community they’re creating. 

This episode covers:

  • Samantha taking the reins from her father through tumultuous times
  • Ensuring 2020’s challenges, both global and personal
  • The sisters’ passion for creating opportunities for all
  • All that Samantha and Shawna have learned about each other, both good and bad
A graphic with Robin, Judy and Ollie.

Episode highlights

“We don’t always agree on things. Obviously, we have our disagreements, but also in other elements, we work really well together. It probably is because we’re sisters, because we understand each other and we have that kind of bond.” – 4:00 – Samantha Rutter-Bryant 

“You really know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. There might be things where Sam’ll go, ‘You don’t really feel comfortable doing that, do you?’ and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, not really’. I suppose it’s that we’re more comfortable with each other.” – 7:00 – Shawna Baker

“There was a second lockdown in 2020. I remember because we couldn’t see dad when he had his diagnosis, and it was really difficult. Then our brother passed away.” – 11:50 – Samantha Rutter-Bryant 

“The main goal of the tech is to make sure that, although students are learning from a distance, actually they feel like they’re a part of something. That’s the whole idea behind our tech projects. It’s to make sure that we can reach them in better ways.” – 23:20 – Shawna Baker

“I think as a collective the best moment was hitting 100,000 learners. That was something that really kind of crept up on us in those COVID times as well. We were going through all the really tough family times.” – 38:30 – Samantha Rutter-Bryant 

“You’ve got to look after the people who work with you and for you, and I think that’s the main thing – it’s that mutual respect for each other.” – 49:30 – Shawna Baker

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