Gove has overlooked positive impact of independent schools, says Ipswich head
7th March 2019
The head of Ipswich High School has spoken out against an interview recently given by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where he admitted he wanted the independent school sector to end.
Oona Carlin has expressed her disappointment in the interview and made a case for independent schools’ positive impact on local communities and the UK economy.
Gove said: “I would have hoped we would have been able to make sending your children to a private school, as it is in Europe, an increasingly eccentric choice.”
When asked if he wanted to end the independent sector by stealth, he replied: “Well, yes.”
Carlin argued: “I just don’t see how the British state school system could cope if some parents didn’t choose to send their children to an independent school.”
“In the article Mr Gove has overlooked the positive impact of independent schools on local communities and the UK economy. Independent schools are large employers in their local communities; they employ not only teaching staff but also employ support and services staff. The recent report by Oxford Economics, ‘The impact of independent schools on the UK economy’, shows that independent schools directly contribute £6.05bn to the UK GDP and they support over 147,000 jobs.”
An Essex independent school has announced it will be reducing its fees to allow “greater flexibility” for new and existing families
Holmwood House in Lexden, Colchester, which caters for children aged from three months to 13 years, has revealed it is lowering fees to better support existing families, as well as those considering private schooling for the first time.
Termly tuition costs will be reduced across the board, in some cases by up to 30%, in what headteacher Alexander Mitchell describes as “a more affordable and flexible fee structure”.
Speaking about the school’s decision to lower its fees, Mr Mitchell said: “As a school, we are fully aware of the financial and time pressures faced by our families and we have worked hard to explore ways in which we can improve our support.