The chair of the Independent Schools Association has said he is concerned about what will happen to children with additional needs if independent schools were to close
25th July 2019
Matthew Adshead, who is also headteacher at Old Vicarage School, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 alongside Labour activist Holly Rigby. Rigby discussed the Labour Against Private Schools campaign, which seeks to integrate all private schools into the state sector.
“The parents at our school spend £8,500, often working double shifts, to be able to choose to send their child to independent school, possibly because their children aren’t fit or happy to be in a mainstream situation,” Adshead said.
“Some of the children that we teach may have nervous dispositions, others need specific help. It’s not always the super elite. Are there funds available for those children? I don’t think they would be covered. Local authorities are very dependent on us educating those with additional needs.”
He also had concerns about what would happen to members of staff. While Rigby said talk of job losses in the independent sector was “scaremongering”, she also said she couldn’t say whether these teachers would be paid the same if moved to the state sector.
“We have over 30 members of staff – some of them teachers, teaching assistants, training to become teachers, cooks and maintenance crew – I’d like to know where they were going because we really care about the staff in our school,” said Adshead.
Pupils sitting the International Baccalaureate will no longer pay extra registration fee
The International Baccalaureate has announced it will eliminate its £172 candidate registration fee in order to ease financial burdens on pupils.
Pupils sitting the International Baccalaureate used to pay a flat fee to register for IB exams in addition to a per-subject fee of £95, or $119.
Colin Bell, chief executive of the Council of British International Schools (Cobis), said: "This move will potentially result in the continued growth and popularity of the qualification."
"The cost [of registering for the IB] has clearly been a barrier, and this will increase interest in the IB."
Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said: "This is a very welcome development because we want to reduce as many obstacles as possible."
"The IB is a high-quality qualification that is respected across the world. If there are barriers [of financial cost] it is good to reduce their height."