Richard Biggs letter to the Telegraph: charitable status

In a letter to The Telegraph, 27/11/14, HMC member, Richard Biggs, Headmaster of King’s College Taunton debunks the myth that all independent schools are full of privileged students. 

SIR – Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, wants to use the threat of higher tax rates to force independent schools into a closer partnership with the state sector. I invite him to visit my school to explain how we could add to our already extensive support for local schools – through shared teaching, coaching and facilities.

He clearly believes that all independent schools are awash with the children and cash of oligarchs. We are not (the headmaster of King’s in Wimbledon is welcome to send me an oligarch or two). Our fees are high because they reflect the (rising) cost of running a good school.

Of necessity, and because we believe it is the right thing to do, we offer bursaries to many families who otherwise could not afford our fees.

Our parents already pay two school bills – for state education through their taxes, and the fees at this school. I would find it hard to explain to them why we should divert more teacher time and more of our resources away from their children.

Richard Biggs
Headmaster, King’s College Taunton

© The Telegraph