Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'It's a Myth We've Got Lots of Money'

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'It's a Myth We've Got Lots of Money'

Article excerpt

Private schools can't afford state partnerships, argues ISC chair

Forcing private schools to work with their neighbours in the state sector would result in their relationships being "tarnished", a leading figure in the independent sector has warned.

Tristram Hunt's insistence that private schools should be forced to break down the "corrosive divide of privilege" by working with state schools came in for fierce criticism from the independent sector last year.

Now the chair of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) has insisted that many independent schools "don't have much money", and would need government funding if they were to reach out to support their neighbours in the state sector.

"Encouragement is a good idea, and some government funding is frankly quite a good idea because it all costs money and a lot of independent schools don't have much," Barnaby Lenon, former headmaster of Harrow School, told TES.

"The notion that independent schools have lots of staff sitting around with long enough to go off and teach at other schools, and that they've got lots of money sitting around which can fund all these things, is just, of course, a myth."

Mr Lenon said fee-paying schools should not be "forced" into partnerships with the state sector.

"My own view as someone who was a headmaster for many years and did independent-state school partnerships on a big scale, is that being told to do things by the Charity Commission or by the government is not the most effective way of persuading people to work together. …

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