7th December 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
Independent school pupils are seven times more likely to go to Oxbridge, according to new research
Eight "top schools" sent more pupils to Oxbridge over three years than another 2,894 schools in England put together, a report published today reveals.
The report finds that pupils from independent schools are more than twice as likely to attend a Russell Group university than their peers at comprehensives – and seven times more likely to get into Oxbridge.
While just 7 per cent of the general population attended a private school, and independent school pupils make up 18 per cent of those taking A-levels, a third (34 per cent) of applications to Oxbridge came from pupils at independent schools – and they won 42 per cent of places.
Our institutions can be glue for our broken society, argues the man who represents Britain's top independent schools
Mike Buchanan, executive director of the HMC says the schools run by HMC heads are an integral, valued part of the education landscape, one of Britain’s most influential exports and a huge contributor to national and local income.
It is often forgotten that many serve ordinary, middle-class communities where hard-working parents together earn above the mean family income and who choose to spend some of that taxed income buying a different form of education for their children which, they judge, is not available from the state. It’s a huge investment.
None of the schools I represent makes a profit for shareholders; most run on extremely tight margins; all are not-for-profit charities with the aim of providing a great education.
Yet, great education is an expensive business, as the government has discovered. During the last decade or so, the funding to state schools has risen by about 100 per cent (excluding capital funding) and is now falling in real terms. The average fee increase in independent schools during a similar period was about 50 per cent (including capital funding) and fees are stable or falling. The financial pressure is on for both independent and state schools.
Independent schools cannot solve the problem of equity in our society just as schools more generally cannot, but we can all help. To be accessible means ensuring fees are kept as low as feasible given other demands.
Secondly, and equally important, is genuine, mutually beneficial collaboration and partnership between schools to share expertise for the benefit of all children and young people. Both will continue to move independent schools to the centre ground of our society, which is their natural, historic place.
The great schools led by my members have always served as a mirror for people to look into to see what might be possible. I have no doubt this will continue. Perhaps they can increasingly act as some of the glue holding our polarised society together.
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7th December 2018
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