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Daily News Summary
23 September 2019

image Labour passes motion to abolish independent schools
image New poll suggests abolishing private schools is 'a vote loser' for Labour
image Cambridge University considers "pushing up" entry requirements for private school pupils
image 'Expensive house prices are a greater blocker to social mobility than independent schools'
image Union warns against 'discriminatory' two-tier teacher pensions
image School launches lessons in empathy and understanding
image Ministers drop plans to cut university tuition fees to £7,500
image Funding for England's poorest pupils 'cut by £220m in real terms since 2015'

Labour passes motion to abolish independent schools

 

At Labour Party Conference yesterday, a motion was passed to integrate independent schools into the state sector. The Independent Schools Council (ISC) issued a statement on Labour's decision, which can be read here.

BBC News reports on the story, and quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC and Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association (ISA). The article also references the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).

A comment piece in The Times describes plans to redistribute independent schools' assets across the education system as "a chilling threat to expropriate private property". Charles Moore writes in The Telegraph arguing Labour's plans for private schools would 'devastate hundreds of modest independent schools that are not well endowed'. The paper also carries a piece by Rob Wilson, who argues a government "should recognise that private schools have the capacity to make a difference and support social mobility and aspiration". Conversely, in The Independent, Kate Townshend writes "I've benefited directly from the inequality that private schools create - but I still think they should be abolished".

The Sunday Telegraph features a piece on several prominent figures within the Labour Party and their connections to independent schools. By Owen Bennett.

A number of broadcast and radio interviews have also taken place over the last few days. Julie Robinson was interviewed on Sky News last night at 8pm (link not yet available), she was also interviewed on Radio 5 Live last night (00:10:54)– and appeared on LBC this afternoon at 2pm. Sally-Anne Huang, HMC vice-chair, was interviewed on Radio 5 Live this morning (1:29:00) and Mike Buchanan, executive director of the HMC, spoke on LBC at 10pm yesterday. Matthew Adshead, head of Old Vicarage School and former chair of the ISA, appeared on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme this morning. The discussion begins at 1:42:50.

New poll suggests abolishing private schools is 'a vote loser' for Labour

 

According to a ComRes poll commissioned by the ISC, only one in 10 voters would be more likely to support a political party that pledged to abolish independent schools. By Edward Malnick and Camilla Turner, The Telegraph. Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC, is quoted. The article also references a letter in The Sunday Telegraph written by Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, which argues plans to abolish independent schools are "based on political ideology, not the best interests of children". The letter can be found towards the bottom of the page.

Cambridge University considers "pushing up" entry requirements for private school pupils

 

A review of Cambridge University's admissions system is considering asking for more A*s at A-level from applicants who attended an independent school. By Sian Griffiths and Julie Henry, The Sunday Times.

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The Sunday Times

'Expensive house prices are a greater blocker to social mobility than independent schools'

 

Christopher King, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), has said independent school critics who buy a house close to high-performing state schools are 'paying for their child's education, just via a different route'. By Nicola Woolcock, The Times.

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The Times

Union warns against 'discriminatory' two-tier teacher pensions

 

The National Education Union has expressed concern over a proposal to allow independent schools to partially leave the Teachers' Pension Scheme. By Catherine Lough. The article quotes Julie Robinson, chief executive of the ISC, and Christopher King, chief executive of the IAPS.

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Tes

School launches lessons in empathy and understanding

 

Gordonstoun, an independent school in Scotland, is running a three-day event called "Learning to Listen", where children across the country can take part in empathy and understanding workshops. By Camilla Turner, The Telegraph. The article quotes Lisa Kerr, principal of Gordonstoun.

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The Telegraph

Ministers drop plans to cut university tuition fees to £7,500

 

Ministers have dropped plans to reduce university tuition fees to £7,500 per year, amid reports some degrees offer poor value for money. By Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times.

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The Sunday Times

Funding for England's poorest pupils 'cut by £220m in real terms since 2015'

 

Figures suggest the amount of funding available to schools in pupil premium money will have declined by 8.4 per cent in real terms by 2020. By Eleanor Busby, The Independent.

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The Independent

 

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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