Martin Reader, headmaster of Wellington School, has made national media headlines by claiming that he’d experienced state schools reject offers of help from the independent sector because they were “politically opposed” to private education.
Mr Reader was reacting to a speech at the annual Headmasters & Headmistresses Conference by Ofsted’s chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, who delivered a blistering attack on private schools – telling them they had to offer neighbouring state schools more than just “crumbs off your table”.
In his speech earlier this week to the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference – which represents 250 of the country’s leading private schools, Wilshaw said the country faced a “Lord Kitchener moment” where private school heads had to offer help to the nation’s state schools and dispel the perception they “do not care about the educational world beyond their cloisters and quads.
“Your country needs you, the state sector needs you,” Sir Michael added. .Less than three per cent of private schools sponsored state-funded academies and five per cent loaned teaching staff to state schools, according to the Independent Schools Council – which represents the majority of private schools.
“That is commendable,” Wilshaw said, “but for the vast majority of independent schools, the commitment and resource is far less – a bit of coaching for A-level students the occasional loan of a playing field…”
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