Jonathan Harris makes brief return to HK to explore business plans following his departure after just six months in the job Jonathan Harris, the former chief executive of the English Schools Foundation, has returned to Hong Kong to bid farewell to former colleagues and explore the potential of setting up a new group of international schools in Hong Kong and the region. But he refused to elaborate on why he suddenly resigned at the end of last term after spending just six months in the post. 'Your report in June was accurate. It was for personal reasons and I don't want to say anything else,' he said. 'That would not do anyone any good.' His departure gave rise to plenty of rumours as to why he left. 'I have been amused by some of the stories I have heard since I have been back here,' he said. 'I have not had a nervous breakdown - I'm feeling remarkably positive. I did not have a row with anyone in ESF - I think we all behaved professionally - and I was not told to leave Hong Kong and put on to a plane. I do not know where these tales come from, they are all untrue.' During the interview, offered on condition that the ESF was not discussed, it became clear that the personal reasons did not relate to his wife and daughter, who had been due to arrive in Hong Kong for the start of this academic year. 'They weren't the reasons,' he said. They had been looking forward to moving here, he added. Since leaving the ESF Mr Harris has set up a consultancy, Innovative Public Sector Solutions, run from his Cornish home in Britain. 'I have been talking with the Department for Education and Skills and a number of other consultancy groups within the UK on school improvement matters there,' he said. He was also building business contacts in the UK and Hong Kong to develop new English-medium schools in Asia. 'I shall be developing proposals on how an education administration company could provide the sort of 'head office' functions which good local authorities or school boards offer, including school improvement support and inspection,' he said. 'The core of the model would be to leave principals more space to concentrate on the key issue of school improvement, and to provide more information to parents so that they can help support the school and their childrens' education. The final aspect is the development of the international curriculum and the management of change necessary to deliver it.' While taking tea in the Mandarin Oriental in Central, he said: 'You could have half-a-dozen schools linked together over a wide geographic area. The Mandarin is the model. They should all be of similar quality. Hotel chains are good models for a lot of things.' Asked if he had any message to convey to the ESF community, he said: 'I wish the ESF and all of its students and staff the very best for the future. I wish them well. I saw some outstanding work in the ESF. And just before I left I saw the best year-end production I have ever seen, at Kennedy School.'