The TES is reporting that independent schools are being advised that they should capitalise on the financial difficulties of their state school rivals to attract more parents.
With state education facing swingeing cuts, there will “never be a better time” for private schools to seize the opportunity and cut their fees, according to Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council.
His comments came as Tony Foot, director of the Department for Education’s Education Funding Group, acknowledged that “the next few years are going to be highly challenging” for state schools.
Mr Lenon believes that the independent sector should take advantage. “Now is the time to reduce your fees,” he said in a speech offering advice to private school heads.
“Inflation is essentially zero and state schools are having their budgets cut over the course of this Parliament by between 8 and 15 per cent. So, your rival state schools are definitely going to be cutting back on teachers and staff,” he said.
Mr Lenon, who was head master of Harrow School for 12 years, said that the cuts will also prevent state schools from investing in new buildings that could make them more attractive to parents. That, he said, offered the feepaying sector an opportunity, particularly in less affluent areas.
“If you’re a school that is worried about your local grammar school, let’s say, you can be pretty sure that they’re not about to embark on some grand building project. They’re not about to start offering lots of minority subjects,” Mr Lenon said…
See more in the 29 January edition of TES
How do you feel about the independent sector seeing cuts in the state sector as an opportunity?
Fair enough from their perspective?
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