16th July 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
Independent education supports Scottish local economies and state schools
A letter to parents from the chairman of governors on Tuesday confirmed that Beaconhurst School in Bridge of Allan, a good independent school and an important local employer for 100 years, has “reluctantly” taken PwC’s advice to enter administration.
The closure highlights the fragility of a sector whose contribution to Scotland’s economy, to international connectivity, and to our faltering attainment statistics, is easily demonstrable.
This has not stopped Scottish officialdom from seeking to undermine independent schooling. A significant part of the Scottish government’s support base considers spending on education to be ideologically undesirable.
However much independent schools clearly feature in the demonology of some Scottish politicians, even MSPs must face the reality that there are pockets of Scotland where private schools’ contribution to local economies would be hard to replace.
Dorothy MacGinty, headmistress at Kilgraston School near Perth, is one of those increasingly prepared to challenge what she sees as an officially endorsed “threat” to independent schools and to draw attention to its “serious implications” for local economies. She has highlighted the fact that Perth and Kinross council area’s independent schools are one of the biggest direct and independent employers and visitor attractions. However, schools such as Kilgraston also provide support, by the teaching of music, art and drama in local state schools and the loan of facilities, along with the provision of exam subjects lacking at the higher end of the state system. All this is threatened by the whim of the Barclay review.
Along with other Perthshire schools, Kilgraston is commissioning research to update previous research by Abertay University that detailed the importance of the sector and its 850 jobs, especially to rural areas where schools generated nearly a quarter of all employment.
Top head’s summer SOS: make your children do seven tasks a day before going online
Children should be required to do seven activities every day before they are allowed to switch on their iPads or mobile phones this summer, according to a leading head teacher.
Shaun Fenton, headmaster of Reigate Grammar School, Surrey, has drawn up a “Super Seven” summer activities that he says “children should do each day before they’re allowed to disappear into their bedrooms to resume their social media love-in or reach for the games console”.
Fenton, the son of 1970s rock star Alvin Stardust, advises parents to ask children to tick the activities off from a list stuck on the fridge before they are allowed to go online.
The activities are:
1 Getting up, washed and fully dressed without being reminded
2 Making, eating and clearing away breakfast
3 Taking the dog for a walk (your own or a neighbour’s)
4 Getting some exercise: a swim, bike ride or jog
5 Playing a board game
6 Doing a household chore such as stacking the dishwasher or collecting the dry cleaning
7 Reading a book.
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