HMC Chairman and High Master of the Manchester Grammar School, Dr Christoper Ray, responds to calls from Lord Adonis for Independent schools to back academies:
There is no 'Berlin Wall' as Lord Adonis puts it. Independent schools are involved in constructive partnerships with state-maintained schools previously acknowledged by the Prime Minister as being immensely. Many independent schools are sceptical about the current preferred approach: the sponsorship of academies - remembering that during fifteen years governments of the day have changed direction several times concerning what they believe the independent sector should do to support their specific political aims for education. HMC understands the frustration that this and previous governments must feel that their own approaches to correcting the problems inherent in the state system have not been entirely successful and are sympathetic to calls for our continuing assistance. However, it is entirely a matter for each school to determine precisely how it should maximise its own benefit to the public, whether this be through local partnerships, the provision of means-tested bursaries, the establishment of free schools, the sponsorship of or strong partnerships with academies, the sharing of expertise and facilities, or the many other proven ways of developing further the education of children in this country.