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Abolishing private schools would not improve education argues the chairman of the Independent Schools Council

A Labour campaign group is calling for the abolition of independent schools. Well, let’s be clear at the outset: abolishing private schools would not improve provision for state pupils. In fact, state resources would be further stretched, with higher costs and bigger class sizes. Almost 580,000 children would be transferred into the state’s hands, leaving the Department for Education to foot the bill.

Fundamentally, you do not improve education by tearing down excellent schools, nor is education a zero-sum game in which outcomes in one school improve because another one disappears.

Independent schools provide excellence, capacity and innovation. They support science and arts subjects, which are vital to productivity; foreign languages as we enter a post-Brexit world; qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, which provide a rounded curriculum; and through their focus on sport, 43 per cent of our new cricketing world champions.

The criticism is that independent school pupils have more spent on them. But will abolishing these schools level the playing field? Inequality exists even within the state system and explains why the house price premium next to a school rated outstanding by Ofsted can be more than £100,000. This would only get worse with more competition for good state school places.

Read more at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abolishing-private-schools-would-not-improve-education-ww2rhdzj8

Education publisher Pearson to phase out print textbooks

The world's largest education publisher has taken the first step towards phasing out print books by making all its learning resources "digital first".

Pearson said students would only be able to rent physical textbooks from now on, and they would be updated much less frequently.

The British firm hopes the move will make more students buy its e-textbooks which are updated continually.

"We are now over the digital tipping point," boss John Fallon told the BBC.

"Over half our annual revenues come from digital sales, so we've decided a little bit like in other industries like newspapers or music or in broadcast that it is time to flick the switch in how we primarily make and create our products."

Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48998789