i News reports that Theresa May wants both the higher education and the independent school sector to help set up free schools and sponsor academies as part of her social justice agenda and create a “great meritocracy”.
The party’s manifesto outlined plans to make universities to do more to help state as a condition for their charging full tuition fees, while private schools will have to do so in return for keeping their charitable status.
Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading and former Ofsted Chief Inspector of Schools and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, said the picture was “mixed” when it came to universities sponsoring state schools.
“I have always been quite concerned about this,” Sir David said. “I think first of all it’s patronising to the assumption that there is a whole bunch of people running other educational institutions who know how to run schools.”
Professor Becky Francis, Director of the UCL Institute of Education said, “There is an incredibly mixed picture… when you look across the board those relationships haven’t been successful in many other places. For example, the UTC programme has had very many difficulties and like the history of private schools sponsoring state academies has been patchy at best,”
“So the assumption that pushing this forward will increase quality is very dubious and not evidenced based.”
Do you think universities and private schools sponsoring academies and state schools will work? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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