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Independent schools are not to blame for social segregation, the leader of an organisation representing more than 1,200 schools in the sector has said.

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Private schools boss condemns ‘anti-privilege mood’

Independent schools are not to blame for social segregation, the leader of an organisation representing more than 1,200 schools in the sector has said.

Julie Robinson, general secretary of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), also criticised what she described as an "anti-privilege mood", saying this was unhelpful to schools trying to work together to improve education.

She told Tes that tackling the “lazy caricature” of independent schools as “old-fashioned and full of one type of child” was a challenge for the ISC.

“We’ve got some small schools that share the local academy’s swimming pool because they don’t have one – it works both ways,” she said.

Former education secretary Justine Greening recently suggested that employers should discriminate against old Etonians in favour of job candidates with the same grades from under-performing schools.

But, in an interview with Tes, Ms Robinson said: “School type is not a proxy for social advantage."

She pointed to Sutton Trust research showing that social segregation exists in many comprehensives.

Ms Robinson, who went to a Sussex comprehensive, added that some parents “spend more on their house [to get into the catchment area of an ‘outstanding’ state school] than they would on fees at some of the schools".

She said: "That’s the segregation, [it’s] not caused by our little sector, so it’s a shame".

Read more: https://www.tes.com/news/exclusive-private-schools-boss-condemns-anti-privilege-mood

Ampleforth failing on safeguarding, inspectors find

A private Catholic boarding school is failing to meet national minimum standards for the safeguarding of its pupils and suitability of its staff, a new inspection report has found.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate has found that Ampleforth College does not check “with sufficient rigour” whether staff have been barred from teaching or management when recruiting them.

It also found that the governance and leadership of the £34,000-a-year school in North Yorkshire have not ensured systems are in place to monitor safeguarding procedures at the school to keep children safe.

The new ISI report has found that arrangements to safeguard the pupils are not all secure or well managed.

The report says the school does not fully implement its own safeguarding policy for making referrals to statutory bodies; training staff; recording safeguarding issues or the safe recruitment of staff.

ISI has told the school it must ensure that the safeguarding policy is implanted effectively in these areas.

An Ampleforth College spokeswoman said: "Ampleforth College is already working with the ISI and the Department for Education to ensure that all standards are met in order for the school to be re-inspected in due course.

Read more: https://www.tes.com/news/ampleforth-failing-safeguarding-inspectors-find