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Daily News Summary
25 November 2019

image Labour manifesto: Education policies and their impact on independent schools
image The Conservative Party releases its general election manifesto
image The Sunday Times Parent Power tables 2020
image Letters: 'SATs only measure a subset of what education is about'
image Independent school head introduces alternative to GCSEs
image The King's School to offer choral scholarships to girls for the first time
image 'It is part of a school's agenda to teach character education'
image School uniform provider to 'promote its clothes as gender neutral'

Labour manifesto: Education policies and their impact on independent schools

 

David James, a deputy head (academic) of an independent school, argues Labour's plans for independent schools, as outlined in their election manifesto, show "a lack of understanding of the issues it attempted to address". Tes. The article references a quote from Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC.

The Times reports proposals to add VAT to independent school fees will 'send the average private school fees up from £15,000 a year per child to £18,000'. By James Coney and David Byers. The article features a case study about the impact of Labour's tax proposals on a company owner and his two children, who are educated at Ursuline Preparatory School. He says "I do not put my twins through the state sector, saving it £14,000 a year. Being asked to pay tax when I'm saving the government money seems perverse." The paper has launched a readers' poll asking people if they think independent school fees should be subject to VAT. The results are to be published on 1 December.

The Sunday Times features an interview with John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor. When asked about the Labour Party's plans for independent schools, he said "as we integrate the private schools into the education system, they will be properly funded, and I don't think there will be the motivation to go outside of the system." By Decca Aitkenhead.

The Conservative Party releases its general election manifesto

 

The Conservative Party has published its general election manifesto, which includes proposals to increase school funding by £14 billion and raise teachers' starting salaries to £30,000. By John Roberts, Tes.

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Tes

The Sunday Times Parent Power tables 2020

 

The Sunday Times continues its Parent Power tables, based on the combined GCSE and A-level results of independent and state schools. The paper reports three state schools made it to the top 20 list, up from one last year. Independent schools take 17 of the top 20 places. By Alastair McCall and Sian Griffiths. The article mentions St Paul's Girls' School.

The paper names Godolphin and Latymer School as the Independent Secondary School of the Year, and lists St Margaret's School for Girls in Aberdeen as the Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Year. Harris Westminster School is named Sixth Form College of the Year - the article references Harris Westminster's partnership work with Westminster School.

The paper reports parents across the UK are paying a property premium to get their children into the best state schools. Analysis of the house price premiums of 10 top state schools found "it would be cheaper to send two children to private school for seven years, once mortgage costs are factored in". By Jessie Hewitson.

See the Sunday Times' Parent Power schools guide for more information about the highest performing state and independent schools across the country.

Letters: 'SATs only measure a subset of what education is about'

 

The Sunday Times features two letters in response to the use of SATs results in the comparison between state and independent schools. Writing in his role as professor of education at the University of Buckingham, Barnaby Lenon points out few independent schools take SATs, with many preferring the Common Entrance exam. The letter can be found half way down the page.

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The Sunday Times

Independent school head introduces alternative to GCSEs

 

Stephen Jones, the warden of St Edward's School in Oxford, has launched a new two-year course as an alternative to traditional GCSEs. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph. The article mentions several ISC schools, and references quotes from a number of heads and Mike Buchanan, executive director of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, writes in Tes arguing GCSEs appear to be "increasingly irrelevant", adding "it's good that the leaders of some of our longest established independent schools are leading the drive for qualification reform".

The King's School to offer choral scholarships to girls for the first time

 

Gloucester Cathedral and The King's School, Gloucester, are to offer girls choral scholarships for the first time in almost 480 years, starting in 2021. BBC News.

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BBC

'It is part of a school's agenda to teach character education'

 

Julia Harrington, headmistress of Queen Anne's School Caversham, writes in The Telegraph about the role of teachers in developing students' character. The article references a quote from Lisa Kerr, principal of Gordonstoun.

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The Telegraph

School uniform provider to 'promote its clothes as gender neutral'

 

School uniform retailer Stevensons has announced it will remove all gender references from its clothing, in response to changing attitudes from schools. By Will Hazell, iNews.

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iNews

 

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) monitors the national and educational press in order to keep independent schools up-to-date with relevant education news. The DNS is a service primarily for schools in membership of ISC associations, although other interested parties can choose to sign-up. We endeavour to include relevant news and commentary and, wherever possible, notable public letters. Where capacity allows, we may include links to ISC blogs, press statements and information about school or association events. News stories are selected based on their relevance to the independent sector as a whole. Editorial control of the DNS remains solely with the ISC.

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