Brief History of Whitesands School

In the late 1990s, Lagos lacked a boys’ school capable of providing top-tier secondary school education with a family-centered approach. The most prominent educational institutions were remnants of government-nationalized schools, originally established by missionaries.

To fill this void, a group of dedicated parents and educators came together to establish the Ikota Educational Foundation (IEF). Their mission was to promote schools of exceptional quality, following the successful model of parents-promoted educational institutions found worldwide. These schools are guided by the fundamental principle of “Parents First, Teachers Second, and Students in the Third Place.” This principle prioritises the primary role of parents in the task of education.  It draws inspiration from the educational philosophy of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, who profoundly influenced the founders of IEF.

Whitesands School is the maiden project of the Ikota Educational Foundation, a non-profit NGO registered in Nigeria. In 1996, IEF acquired a two-hectare plot in Lekki, a burgeoning urban area in Lagos.

The first Whitesands School structure was built in 2000, thanks to generous donations from corporate organizations and individuals who believed in the project’s potential to raise educational standards in Nigeria. The first cohort of 75 students began classes on October 2, 2000, and the inaugural class graduated in July 2006.

Since then, Whitesands has consistently achieved remarkable academic success, a trend that endures to this day. Their students consistently excel in external examinations and secure admission to prestigious universities worldwide.  The construction of additional buildings continued until 2012, funded by the school’s operational surplus, underscoring Whitesands’ status as a genuinely non-profit initiative of IEF.

Whitesands School has had eighteen graduating classes with over a thousand graduates over the years. The vast majority of these graduates pursue higher education abroad, most notably in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, at prestigious institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Imperial College, Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Toronto, for undergraduate studies, and postgraduate degrees. Notably, our alumni who have graduated from these universities as well as Nigerian universities have made significant contributions in a variety of fields.