HMC is committed to the idea of education as an engine for social mobility which is why our schools work hard to be inclusive and widen access to provide opportunities for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. 100% of HMC schools are involved in partnerships with maintained schools and their local communities and this is done in a variety of ways best suited to the needs of the local community.
The Perse school shares its resources and expertise with a growing number of primary schools either through the primary partnership visits or via subject-specific programmes. These include a very successful maths coaching programme, with Perse Sixth Form students acting as maths mentors for Year 6 pupils in Cambridge primary schools.
Ed Elliott, Headmaster, The Perse School
Partnership activities take a variety of forms from shared governance initiatives, summer schools, joint teacher training and professional development ventures, collaborative work in STEM subjects, help with university applications and regular and highly valued meetings between leaders in the two sectors. In addition, the sharing of facilities such as playing fields, sports centres and theatres with community groups and maintained schools give children who are not pupils at independent schools an opportunity to benefit from the schools' educational resources.
Academy and Free School Sponsorship
Another way in which our schools are forging partnerships with maintained schools is through the sponsorship and co-sponsorship of the Government's academies and free schools programme in England. The following list names those HMC schools currently sponsoring or planning to sponsor either an academy or free school.
- Canford School (The Bourne Academy)
- Eton College (Holyport College)
- Foundation of the Schools of King Edward’s, Birmingham (King Edward Sheldon Heath Academy)
- Haileybury (Haileybury Turnford)
- Wellington College (The Wellington Academy)
- Westminster School (Harris Westminster Sixth Form Academy)
- Bedford School (via Harper Trust) (Bedford Academy)
- Bedford Modern School (via Harper Trust) (Bedford Academy)
- Berkhamsted School (Wren Academy)
- Bryanston School (Sarum Academy)
- Gresham’s School (Ormiston Venture Academy)
- Highgate School (Crest Academy)
- The King’s School, Canterbury (Folkestone Academy)
- Lancing College (Sir Robert Woodard Academy)
- Marlborough College (Swindon Academy)
- Merchant Taylors’ School (Harefield Academy)
- Norwich School (City Academy Norwich)
- Queen’s College, Taunton (The Taunton Academy)
- St Paul’s School Foundation (Hammersmith Academy)
- Sevenoaks School (Knole Academy, Sevenoaks)
- Tonbridge School (Marsh Academy)
Free School Sponsors
- Brighton College (London Academy of Excellence)
- Caterham School (London Academy of Excellence)
- City of London Boys’ School (London Academy of Excellence)
- Eton College (London Academy of Excellence)
- Forest School (London Academy of Excellence)
- Highgate School (London Academy of Excellence)
- Manchester Grammar School (New Islington Free School)
- Woodbridge School
Several HMC schools have included details of their current projects and partnerships with state maintained schools or community groups on the Schools Together website which is supported and maintained by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) in collaboration with the Department for Education and the Independent/State Schools Partnership (ISSP).
Schools Together also includes a selection of case studies which give more details about specific types of existing projects and partnerships for anyone interested in setting up similar collaboration activities.
As well as the extensive partnership activities that take place across our schools, fee assistance is growing to provide opportunities for pupils from less affluent backgrounds. In 2020/21, 34% of pupils in HMC schools across the UK received help with their fees, that's over 84,700 pupils receiving help with fees, including over 23,400 pupils receiving means-tested bursaries. To find out more about fees and the forms of financial assistance on offer, please click here.