7th March 2017
Independent schools are already working to help disadvantaged students - we don't need Government supervision
The government's Green Paper, 'Schools that Work for Everyone', encourages the creation of new, good school places and Julie Robinson, general secretary of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), knows that independent schools can be part of the solution to a national capacity problem.
“Most of our schools are small (on average, an ISC school has 405 pupils) and do not have the means to sponsor state schools. They cannot all open free schools-and they might not be successful even if they tried-but as employers and citizens, those who work in independent schools want to be part of the community. This is a genuine offer of help.
The proposal to create up to 10,000 free places a year is a sign of our commitment to continue to put into education far more than we take out. We wish to continue to be a force for good, part of the solution, and to help as many children as we realistically can.
A practical way to offer more excellent school places to children
Sally-Anne Huang, Head of James Allen’s Girls’ School in London, backs the ISC 's proposal to create 10,000 extra school places and outlines the sector's bursary schemes as well as the varied partnership work many schools are involved with.
“We are interested in the Independent Schools Council's proposal to create 10,000 extra places, working with the government. In this proposal, the school in question would receive the same funding allocated for a state school place and would make up any shortfall themselves to provide all the opportunities and established resources in their institution to pupils on this scheme. The expertise available in both sectors would work together in this collaboration. Much as some may sneer at working with the vilified independent sector, the simple truth is that this would be a practical way to offer more excellent school places to children who might otherwise miss out and there is a crucial agreement that it would target low-income families.”
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