14th September 2017
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
Ministers row back on private school threat
Theresa May has been forced into another U-turn after she was made to back down over plans to strongarm the private school sector into helping state schools.
Ministers have rowed back on their threats to scrap private schools’ charitable status if they do not work with nearby state schools, despite it being a central policy in the Conservative manifesto. The document, along with an earlier Government green paper, set out plans to force private schools to sponsor an academy, forge formal partnerships with state schools or offer bursaries to pupils.
Failure to do so would lead to private schools being stripped of their charitable status, which provides the sector with significant tax breaks, the Government had warned. But in a far more conciliatory tone, Education Secretary Justine Greening said she wanted to celebrate the work already taking place between fee-paying and state schools, adding that much of this is “hidden under a bushel”.
“The benefits of partnership cut both ways,” she said. “The word you will hear a lot of today is partnership. We have to do it working together. We as a government also recognise that different independent schools will be able to bring different things to working in partnership and that we shouldn’t necessarily expect the same from all schools.” This she said could mean independent schools becoming sponsors, but could also lead to sharing governance or other leadership roles.
Partnership is key to creating more good school places
Education Secretary Justine Greening calls for closer working between independent and state schools to create more good school places.
The Secretary of State spoke at the Celebrating Partnerships event hosted by the Independent Schools Council (13 September) to showcase the success of the existing partnerships between the independent and state school sectors.
The Department for Education is working in collaboration with the Independent Schools Council to support more joint working between the independent and state school sectors. Support will include drawing on the experience and the expertise of independent schools in leadership, teacher training, curriculum support, school improvement and sponsorship, or setting up a free school.
Ms Greening reiterated the importance of sharing knowledge and spreading expertise so that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, could go on to fulfil their potential.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said:
“We want every child, regardless of their background or where they live, to have access to a good school place.
Many independent schools are already undertaking partnership activities with state schools, helping raise attainment across the wider school system.
We want to continue to harness the resources and expertise of leading independent schools through more partnership activities, sponsorships or setting up new free schools, so more young people have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential.”
The Independent Schools Council highlighted thousands of existing partnerships including academic, sporting or musical support, which are estimated to benefit around 10,000 state schools and 175,000 pupils.
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