The Guardian is reporting that the founder of the Good Schools Guide has suggested state schools have improved “massively” and are threatening to drive weaker private schools out of business.
Ralph Lucas, editor-in-chief of the guide regarded as the bible for middle-class school choice, said that as results and behaviour improved even those families who could afford private school fees were increasingly choosing the state sector.
“We are getting parents approaching us saying: ‘We want to know more, we’re really taking state schools seriously, don’t just tell us about independent schools,’” Lord Lucas said, adding that the number of private schools was likely to shrink as a result.
“You are seeing a pattern in the country as a whole – outside London – of independent schools becoming free schools or academies, or closing, and I think that will continue.”
…Lucas – an Eton-educated hereditary peer – based his remarks on responses from parents who find schools through the guide’s service. While the first edition of the Good Schools Guide in 1986 listed just 10 state schools – 4% of the total – the 2016 edition features more than 300, a quarter of the 1,200 named…
Lucas named Tom Sherrington, the headteacher of Highbury Grove secondary school in Islington, as an example of the new model head in the state sector who expected high standards of discipline in their schools and had high ambitions for their pupils.
A source close to the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “These comments are a ringing endorsement of our efforts to raise standards, restore rigour and tackle the soft bigotry of low expectations…
Lucas said… “If I had my time again, I’m sure my children would go through the state system in London…”
I think the issue for private schools is that they are clearly separating into two groups – those with global brand recognition who will thrive on demand from wealthy overseas parents and the rest who will have to fight tooth and nail to keep going (or perhaps become taken over as annexes of the big brands).
Do you accept the comments Lord Lucas makes about state schools though? Have they become so much better that they are i themselves a threat to the independent sector?
Please give us your thoughts and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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