Following the extensive media coverage this morning, the Boarding Schools' Association on behalf of our state and independent boarding schools "fully supports" the ISC and the joint association response to the government's 'Schools that work for everyone' green paper consultation.
Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the BSA said of the proposal: "The boarding sector is fully committed to the ISC's proposal on behalf of the sector to create up to 10,000 free independent school places every year for children from limited incomes families. Many BSA member schools are already playing their part to widen access to our schools and this is a fantastic pledge supported by both our independent and state school members."
The key themes of the proposal are:
- The creation of up to 10,000 free places in independent schools, every year, for families who would not be able to afford fees.
This jointly-funded proposal would see government contributing no more than the cost of a state school place to educate children in existing independent schools. The places would be available across age groups and schools and there would be a range of assessment criteria. The plan is designed to meet the government goal of more good school places and would target children from families with low income.
- Independent schools to help set up new state schools to create more good state school places.
This proposal would see independent schools use their strengths and expertise to work voluntarily with ministers, regional schools commissioners and others in putting together consortia of suitable and willing independent schools to help co-sponsor new state-funded schools. These would be in partnership with a state school or Multi-Academy Trust lead, could focus on one or more of the six DfE-identified opportunity areas ('cold spots') and could provide thousands of new school places across areas of greatest need.
- Growth of existing relationships and mutually beneficial collaborative work between independent and state schools
This proposal would see a further expansion of the teaching, coaching, university and careers advice, educational events and sharing of facilities already provided to an estimated 160,000 state school pupils from a variety of backgrounds through Independent/State School Partnerships (ISSPs). Collaborative partnership work has been taking place between state and independent schools for decades and targets specific, local needs.
These proposals will be considered by government at the next stage of the consultation process.