End ‘hostilities’ against independent schools, urges HMC chair

The Tes reports that hostilities against independent schools must end to ensure time is not wasted on “needless battles”, a leading headteacher will say today.

Chris King, head of Leicester Grammar and the new chair of HMC, will call for a “less aggressive approach” to state school and independent school partnerships at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) in Belfast.

His comments follow threats, contained in the DfE’s Green Paper last year and the Conservative election manifesto, that independent schools could lose the tax breaks that come with charitable status unless they work with state schools.

In a speech to some of the country’s most prestigious independent school headteachers, Mr King will say today: “To help young people cope, we need to move on from sterile arguments about types of school and league tables to a much more important conversation about how to teach and how to learn in the 21st century.

“We stand ready to contribute even more – but can only do so with a willingness to engage from all involved. This is not, therefore, the time to descend into dogma and division. Instead let’s allow the needs of pupils, not politics to drive educational reform.

Mr King will add: “Again, our critics should think carefully about what this means. Britain, at a time of severe post-Brexit uncertainty, is experiencing growing trade in international education. To which independent schools – in no small part HMC schools – contribute well over £600 million every year.

“At the same time, our overseas campuses are providing a pipeline of over 8,000 international students to UK colleges and universities. And this happens because independent schools are free to make long-term strategic plans that our colleagues in the state sector can only dream of.”

Read more End ‘hostilities’ against independent schools, urges HMC chair

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