The Independent reports that the sector has enough on its plate without the distracting battle about state versus independent education. The conversation needs to be how to deliver the best ways of teaching and learning, and in order to do this, collaboration is key.
The Government is showing itself more willing to work with independent schools, and to understand what we offer. In turn, we are ready to assist with the Labour Party’s plans for a National Education Service. But the needs of the children should be driving reform, not the false promises of political fervour.
There is no question that independent schools do more for education, and indeed social mobility, than our critics suggest. They have been doing this for many years; all too often politicians and commentators ignore it, preferring to fuel the perception that the independent sector only cares about its own.
The amount spent on means-tested assistance is £380m a year, and there are around 10,000 different projects between cross-sector schools, benefiting 175,000 state school pupils. In doing this, we provide sanctuary for subjects that would otherwise disappear: degree courses in Latin, Greek, music, and religious studies would struggle without our support.
It is the quality of our own schools that power our public benefit activities. The case for greater resources for state schools is all the more compelling when it becomes clear that important aspects of their pupils’ education are being provided solely by their neighbouring independent school.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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