Headmasters’ warning against public-private sector ‘forced marriage’

The BBC is reporting that Independent schools cannot deliver effective help to state schools in England with “a gun pointing at our heads”, a leading headmaster will say.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) represents 282 of the UK’s top independent schools. As part of its proposals for secondary schools in England, the government has said independent schools will only be able to maintain their charitable status and tax breaks if they set up or sponsor a local state school. 

Smaller private schools will be expected to send teachers to take lessons in state schools and the independent sector must offer more scholarships and bursaries to pupils who cannot afford fees. 

Speaking at the HMC’s annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, Mr Mike Buchanan, headmaster at Ashford School in Kent, will say: “Independent and state schools cannot make our relationships work with a gun pointing at our heads.

“We hope the prime minister understands that – after all, she had the good sense to outlaw forced marriages as home secretary.

“She must know, then, that all good partnerships are based on mutual desire, understanding, respect and co-operation. They work best when the parties have a good deal in common.”

More at: Headmasters’ warning against public-private sector ‘forced marriage’

Do you think that making independent schools sponsor state schools is a good idea? Or is it destined to fail? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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Categories: Private Schools.


  1. MikesuziNZ

    SchoolsImprove two completely different systems, 1 with mandatory tests, deprivation, pp, eal etc the other with …..

  2. AynieLR

    SchoolsImprove a disgraceful comparison.
    A state school might appreciate use of public schl facilities but their staff?! Prob not.

  3. Nairb1

    And as for offering bursaries and scholarships to more pupils I wonder how many will go to less academic pupils. After all if private school teachers are so good that they can offer help to state school teachers then surely they can get their usual results with a normal mix of pupils.

  4. May’s plans for mandatory co-operation between state and independent schools is based on the assumption that state is inferior to private.  This is not true.  Private schools apparent advantage is due to their intake.   That’s not to say private and state shouldn’t co-operate if they want to but it should be mutually beneficial and based on mutual respect.  Private schools shouldn’t be forced to give and state schools should not be forced to receive.

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