Critic of 'privatised education' sends child to independent school
16th July 2019
Councillor Nick Childs, the deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council where he is in charge of the authority’s school policies, has a daughter who attends £40,000-a-year Roedean.
Cllr Childs is fighting plans to force a primary school rated inadequate by Ofsted to become academy because he it would take the failing school out of local authority control and allow it accept private finance.
He accused the Department for Education of having a “fetish for privatisation” and has spoken of his “socialist vision” for education in Brighton and Hove.
Cllr Childs, who chairs the authority’s Children Young People and Schools committee, tweeted: “Privatisation fetish won’t provide our children with good education. Our city will.”
But he has still chosen to send his daughter to Rodean, one of the most expensive and exclusive private girls’ schools in the country.
The president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) has defended independent schools in a Sky News’ debate
Sue Hincks, who is also the head of Bolton School Girls’ Division, spoke up for independent schools and answered questions about whether another Etonian prime minister was appropriate.
“I think the problem is we’re equating independent schools with Eton. Eton is one example of an independent school. Schools like mine in Bolton don’t have the same clientele that they have at Eton,” Hincks said.
“Our students do very well when they leave but we’re not a proxy for some sort of elite society. My school gives away £2.5m a year in bursaries so one in five of my children would be a pupil premium child in another school.
“I think we have to be careful about how we frame this debate. Independent schools are much greater than just Eton. One of reasons why the top jobs are taken by these people who went to independent schools was because back in the day they were direct grant schools, so they were maybe being funded by the government.
“What independent schools want to do is open up the debate to say how can we be part of the solution. We’re not the problem, there’s lots we can do. We can work in partnership with state schools, which the majority of us are now doing, and we can offer bursaries.
“We know that we deliver great character education, we know we’re academically very successful and there’s more we can do to engage in the debate.”