private schools

Private schools in UK struggling as coronavirus costs bite | Education

Private schools in the UK are facing a battle for survival in the face of the coronavirus crisis as parents who have lost their income cancel direct debits and overseas pupils who have gone home decide whether to return. As the economic fallout from the pandemic begins to bite, there are fears that a number of smaller independent schools, which are already struggling, will be driven out of business. Many are offering fee discounts of anything from 10% right up…

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Councillor’s ‘oven-ready’ scheme to force private schools to pay their bit | Education

When councillor Libby Lisgo visits one of the most deprived estates in Taunton, in her ward of Priorswood, she can see the fence of Taunton school, one of the area’s famous independent schools. “While we are struggling to raise funds to take local residents on rare day trips, I can see a fleet of minibuses on the other side of that fence, sitting idle,” she says. “And I can’t help thinking: ‘Gosh, if only we could access those from time…

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Last year one Oxford college admitted 96% of its students from state schools. How did they do it? | Education

Erin Minogue has vivid memories of her Oxbridge application process. The words hard and daunting crop up frequently as she describes her journey from a Midlands comprehensive, then sixth-form college, to one of the most elite universities in the world. Oxford has felt “one step removed from me”, she explains. “A friend of a friend had been, but I didn’t have any family reference points so it felt very tough.” Now, about to sit her English finals, Minogue is a…

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Some UK schools looking at unregulated exams to replace GCSEs and A-Levels | Education

Some schools in the UK are investigating the use of unregulated examinations to get around the government’s decision to cancel A-level and GCSEs exams this summer over coronavirus fears, the Guardian has learned. A group of schools have been discussing the possible use of qualifications such as international GCSEs known as iGCSEs, or alternatives to A-levels known as Pre-U or international A-levels, which are offered by examination boards AQA and Cambridge Assessments and are almost exclusively used by independent schools.…

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The expert in social mobility who says education cannot make it happen | Education

‘I want to see social mobility rising once again,” said prime minister Tony Blair in 2004. “We can unleash the biggest wave of social mobility since the second world war,” said prime minister Gordon Brown in 2010. “I want to see a more socially mobile Britain,” said David Cameron in 2013. “I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy,” said Theresa May in 2016. The politicians’ message has been consistent. But so too has been the message from Britain’s…

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Before society can ‘level up’, the ruling Eton-Winchester clique needs levelling down | Fiona Millar | Education

It is hard to know what is most disheartening at this time of global insecurity: the prime minister’s lackadaisical insouciance, his showy advisers, smug ministers, or the invisible opposition? This week’s budget should root us back in the domestic arena, so I am going to add my own bete noire: the overused but underscrutinised phrase “levelling up”. We know more about what Dominic Cummings wears and reads than what he and the prime minister mean by it. In the recent…

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Two-thirds of Boris Johnson’s cabinet went to private schools | Politics

Nearly two-thirds of prime minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet were privately educated, according to research. The proportion of ministers who went to independent schools is twice as high as Theresa May’s 2016 cabinet, at 64% compared to 30% according to the social mobility charity Sutton Trust. In David Cameron’s 2015 cabinet, the rate was 50%. The figures mean that ministers in the prime minister’s cabinet are nine times more likely to have attended a fee-paying school for all or part of…

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Ofsted staff to wear body cameras to visit suspected illegal schools | Education

Ofsted inspectors raiding suspected illegal schools in England are to be given body-worn cameras for the first time to improve efforts to shut them down, the watchdog has announced. Staff belonging to Ofsted’s illegal schools taskforce will wear digital video recorders similar to those used by police officers. The taskforce was set up to investigate groups operating without registering as a school, which may not be following safeguarding or child protection regulations, and lack oversight of teaching and facilities. Ofsted…

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The gross hypocrisy of private school heads | Letters | Education

The complaint by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference that plans to widen access to the most selective universities may “discriminate against young people based on the class they were born into” is almost beyond parody (‘Class bias’ in plan to widen university access, private schools claim, 29 January). What is class if it’s not structural and cultural discrimination against people based on their birth? Unless the HMC believe that poorer people are actually less clever than others, then they must…

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Private schools criticise plans to get more poor students into university | Education

Leading private schools have challenged plans to widen access to the most selective universities in England, warning they could lead to discrimination against young people “on the basis of the class they were born into”. The intervention by the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents many of the country’s most expensive independent schools, reflects members’ concerns that new measures to improve access for the most disadvantaged students could lead to discrimination against students from elite private schools. The HMC…

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‘Easier’ exams offered by private schools smooth pupils’ entry to top universities | Education

Top universities are giving privately educated children an unfair advantage by not differentiating between the rigorous GCSEs compulsory in the state system and less demanding exams taken in many fee-paying schools, MPs and educationists have said. Just days after GCSE results day last Thursday, Freedom of Information (FoI) requests by Labour MP Lucy Powell show that almost all Russell Group universities treat the two types of exam – the regulated GCSEs used in the state system, and IGCSEs, which the…

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Private schools defend refusal of £1m donation to help poor white boys | Education

Two of the country’s leading private schools have defended their decision to turn down a £1m scholarship donation for white boys from impoverished families. Dulwich College in south London and Winchester College in Hampshire turned down the gift from the philanthropist Sir Bryan Thwaites over fears that it would break equality laws. Thwaites, 96, who attended both schools and intended to leave the money in his will, wanted the scholarship to help white boys from disadvantaged backgrounds because they perform…

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GUEST POST: How Charter Schools Trick Parents into Thinking They are Private Schools – Education Article

Because, it’s FREE.     So, what if I offered you the chance to send your child to private school, for free? You’d likely jump at the chance, right? After all, our perception is that private schools are exclusive. Private schools are much better than public schools, right?     You must pay for private schools, which puts them out of reach for many families. So, the chance to attend one for free? Sure!     But much like you…

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Vulture Voucher Bill Latest in Mike Turzai’s Quest to Please Betsy DeVos in PA – Education Article

 The best way to help a struggling public school is to cannibalize it.     At least that’s what Betsy DeVos thinks – and so does her Pennsylvania puppet Mike Turzai.     The Republican Speaker of the state House is expected to propose a school voucher bill Monday that will treat Harrisburg Schools as nothing more than carrion fit for plunder by school privatization vultures.     Sure the district is in state receivership after decades of neglect and…

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How to stop teachers heading for the exit | Letters | Education

Sally Weale’s article (‘I’d burn in hell before teaching in England again’, G2, 13 November) reports that UK-trained teachers are moving to private schools abroad: “Often exhausted by their experiences in the UK, they complain of excessive workload, stress, a lack of work-life balance, funding cuts, a dread of Ofsted, an obsession with paperwork, accountability measures, poor behaviour, children bringing weapons to school, high staff turnover … the list goes on.” This is not a recent phenomenon. I was a…

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‘I would burn in hell before returning’ – why British teachers are fleeing overseas | Education

Perched high on a hill above the historic Swiss city of St Gallen, set in 25 acres of private parkland, sits one of the most expensive boarding schools in Europe. Costing up to £100,000 for an academic year, the Institut auf dem Rosenberg is more than twice as expensive as Eton college and educates the offspring of some of the wealthiest people in the world. Most of whom, it turns out, will be taught by teachers who trained in the…

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