HMC chair Shaun Fenton says too much additional tuition may be harmful and time would be better spent ‘climbing trees’
11th April 2019
The chair of The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) says that parents should be wary of introducing too much extra tuition into their child’s life.
Shaun Fenton, who is also head of Reigate Grammar School, said in an interview with Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London: “Tutoring isn’t always bad, tutoring can be helpful. A little focus on catch-up work or keep up work on literacy or numeracy can help.
“As my gran used to say, everything in moderation.”
Fenton said parents would do better to “help their children to climb trees and make believe, there is so much more to a great education than what they learn at school”.
“Children don’t need, at a time when we are worried about mental health, their parents to get anxious and competitive and pass on that worry,” he continued.
Fenton, who has teenage children, described himself as “in the trenches when it comes to this”, but said parents do have an important role in helping their children to succeed at school.
“Parents can help. They can provide a place to work and set a routine so homework becomes a habit and does not become a chore, they can manage phones and access to social media,” he said.
“Fundamentally children need parents to be present, to give time, to care, to be loving,” he told Feltz.
The ISC has issued a statement following the Government consultation response over planned changes to the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS)
The Government's response, 'Funding increases to teachers’ pensions employer contributions', has been covered by The Telegraph, which quotes the ISC. The full statement from ISC chief executive, Julie Robinson, reads:
“Independent schools are committed to supporting their dedicated teaching staff, and this includes ensuring high quality pension provision. The first preference for schools would be to remain in the TPS where possible and if affordable.
“However, schools are facing significant cost increases under planned changes to the TPS and in our response to the Government’s consultation, the ISC – supported by the ISBA and our other member associations – suggested a ‘mixed economy’ proposal to help mitigate against the financial impact. This would give schools another option other than being ‘all in’ or ‘all out’ of the TPS, and would mean more teachers are able to remain in the scheme. We therefore welcome the Department for Education’s commitment to consider this proposal in further detail as a way to support teacher recruitment and retention.”