17th April 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
Barnaby Lenon: Independent schools have much to offer the state sector, and stand ready to help
Barnaby Lenon is chairman of the Independent Schools Council and chairman of governors of the London Academy of Excellence, a state school in East London sponsored by independent schools. He was headmaster of Harrow and has taught at Eton.
With the current focus on social mobility, critics will likely claim that independent schools are part of the problem rather than the solution. However, this ignores the significant work these schools are
Virtually all independent schools are now fully committed to independent-state school partnerships. Not only do all of the young people involved benefit, so too do the staff and teachers taking part – who themselves are the focus of partnerships which support training opportunities.
Our schools very much want to play a more active role in tackling the issues around teacher recruitment and retention. We firmly believe we could do more.
Within the past couple of years, we have seen the green shoots of progress, having partnered with our colleagues in the state sector to help develop pioneering training schemes in shortage subject areas. We’re confident that both the National Maths and Physics school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and the National Modern Foreign Languages SCITT will grow, and believe – given the opportunity – independent schools could do more to encourage new talent to join the teaching profession.
Every school, regardless of sector, wants to do all it can to help young people learn and develop. By bringing independent and state school leaders to the table with politicians in order to sustain an open dialogue about how to raise education standards, we all stand to learn, and crucially, our children and young people stand to gain.
Parents going to 'extraordinary lengths' to secure first-choice primary school, poll finds
Almost a fifth of parents are upping their housing costs just to be closer to the primary school of their choice, according to a Mumsnet survey.
The extreme lengths that parents go to ensure their child gets into their preferred school is laid bare ahead of National Offer Day on Monday, when parents discover which primary school their child will attend.
Mumsnet surveyed 1,072 of its users and found that London parents were less likely to get their first choice of school – 21 per cent, compared with 13 per cent nationally. They were also most prone to going to “extraordinary lengths" to secure that first choice place. A third of those living in the capital also reported finding the process difficult, compared with 19 per cent of parents nationwide.
Suburban parents were almost 34 per cent more likely than average to go the extra mile, the poll also found.
The most common measure taken by parents to get their first choice school includes spending extra on a house purchase or rent in order to be in the right area before applications open - a step taken by 18 per cent of those surveyed.
Others (4 per cent) suddenly started going to church, or to "make other religious observance", while some (3 per cent) lived close to the school prior to their older child being accepted by a school, before moving away once they were settled in.
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