Independence from the state is why we turn out high achievers, argues Kenneth Durham

Independence from the state is why we turn out high achievers, argues Kenneth Durham, Headmaster of University College School, London and Chairman of HMC, in an article in the TES, 05/06/12

So why are independent schools so successful? It is because we have two huge advantages. The first is that all of our students, and all of their families, believe that education is genuinely and hugely important. They all believe that a good education can transform lives. So we have a level of support - personal, emotional and intellectual - that is vital to us, our teachers and our students.

And the other mystery ingredient? It is our independence, which means we decide the ethos and values of our schools. We design our own curricula and we plan our own co-curricular lives. We employ and reward and develop our own teachers. We work with our own students to deliver the education that best suits them. We raise our own money and we choose how that money is spent. We take responsibility for our own leadership. It is not easy or comfortable, but it is worth it.

Click here to read the article © TES