private schools

Coronavirus closes prep school attended by Boris Johnson | Education

A prep school once attended by Boris Johnson is to shut down as a result of the impact of the coronavirus. Ashdown House preparatory school in East Sussex, established 180 years ago, will close its doors at the end of the academic year after a ruinous downturn in pupil numbers. The independent schools sector in the UK has been severely affected by the coronavirus, which has seen many parents lose income and a significant drop in interest from overseas pupils. As a result,…

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Thousands return to school in England but many parents still wary | Education

Thousands of children returned to schools across England for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, but many others remained at home because of parental concerns and warnings from some councils that it is still too early to reopen more widely. This week marks the start of the government’s phased reopening of schools in England, with pupils in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 returning to classes from 1 June, but a survey of school leaders…

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Good News: Harrisburg is Not Cutting Education Funding! Bad News: Handouts for the Rich & Charter Schools – Education Article

  If you live in Pennsylvania, you can breathe a sigh of relief now that the legislature has passed a stopgap budget that does not cut education funding.   But you can let out that breath in a cry of disgust when you see where much of that money is going and how many underprivileged kids will be left wanting.   GOOD NEWS   With the economy in tatters due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the state legislature never-the-less passed a…

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Smaller class sizes should become the new normal in state schools | Schools

L ooking beyond the present closure of schools to a “new normal”, and addressing the issue of disadvantage (Letters, 18 May), the obvious answer is to give those children who have fallen further behind during this crisis the advantage that has benefited so many in private education: smaller class sizes. The current government guidance of class sizes of 15, if extended beyond the lockdown, as opposed to the state-school norm of up to 30 children, would hugely benefit all pupils.…

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Coronavirus crisis no excuse for price-fixing, private schools warned | Education

The competitions watchdog has issued a strongly worded warning to private schools in the UK, threatening hefty fines if they are found to be price-fixing during the coronavirus crisis. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had been made aware that a number of independent schools “may be engaging in discussions with each other about the level of discounts and/or refunds on school fees”. A letter from the CMA to the Independent Schools Council and other bodies representing the…

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Abolish Eton: Labour groups aim to strip elite schools of privileges | Education

Labour activists are aiming to capitalise on Boris Johnson’s likely election as Conservative leader with an aggressive campaign against his old school, Eton, and other elite private schools in England. The group, Labour Against Private Schools, is circulating a motion for the party’s conference in September that would commit a Labour government to stripping fee-paying schools of their privileges and integrating them into the state system. The campaign is to be publicly launched on Tuesday using the @AbolishEton Twitter handle,…

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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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