The Telegraph is reporting that private schools have been told to share teachers with local state schools, amid mounting pressure on them to justify their charitable status.
The Department for Education (DfE) published new guidance on ways in which fee-paying schools should collaborate with their neighbouring state schools.
Independent schools could allow state educated pupils to join their classes in subjects such as languages and Classics, it suggests. Private schools could also share facilities such as science laboratories with nearby state schools, it adds, while teachers from fee-paying institutions could share lesson plans and resources.
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.
Just over half of private schools already share their facilities with other schools, as well as some offering coaches to local primary schools.
Lord Agnew, the schools minister, said: “When organisations across the education sector work together the positive impact on pupils can be huge – raising aspirations and unlocking young people’s potential. So much good work already goes on but I want to see more of it.”
Ministers have backed down on proposals to scrap the charitable status of private schools that do not help out their state-school neighbours.
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