Headteachers of Eton and Harrow summoned to Downing Street

The Telegraph is reporting that the headteachers of Eton College and Harrow School have been summoned to Downing Street and told to explain how they will share more resources with state schools.

Leaders of some of the country’s leading private schools will attend the summit, including Highgate, a day school in north-London which charges parents £20,000-a-year, and Dulwich College which costs £42,000-a-year for boarders.

Three quarters of independent schools in England are registered as charities, earning them favourable business rates and VAT exemptions on fees.

To qualify as a charity they must demonstrate that they provide “public benefit” to a reasonably wide section of the public, rather than to a narrow group of wealthy individuals.

Number 10 officials and the Education Secretary Damian Hinds will attend the summit today where headteachers will describe the partnership initiatives they have already set up, as well as explore how they can increase their efforts to assist state schools.

Lord Agnew, an education minister, said he was impressed by Eton College’s efforts to collaborate with a local girls’ free school in Slough, where Eton College’s A-level Maths students mentor some of the brightest girls studying Maths GCSE. 

Speaking at a conference on Tuesday, he said: “The results are already evident in the additional progress these girls are making. It had bought two dramatically different cultures together for mutual benefit.  

A schools green paper and the Conservative election manifesto said that independent schools would be required to sponsor academies, forge formal partnerships with state schools or offer a significant number of bursaries to poorer children to retain their tax status.

However, the plan has been quietly dropped and the Department for Education (DfE)has since set up a new unit to facilitate partnerships between state and private schools.   

Read more Headteachers of Eton and Harrow summoned to Downing Street

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  1. What a cheek – the DofE needs to be explaining how they spend other people’s money, not checking out how private schools spend their own money.

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