Responding to erroneous claims in The Telegraph that the presence of Oxbridge academics on 31% of HMC schools’ boards of governors is being used to unfair advantage, the following statements were issued:
Shaun Fenton, Chair of HMC and Head of Reigate Grammar School, said:
“This statistic reveals only that HMC schools have impressive boards of governors who understand education. Oxbridge academics have no influence over who gets into their universities unless they are part of the interviewing or admissions process, and they are bound by strict codes of conduct meaning they would exclude themselves if such a conflict of interest arose.
“State schools also have Oxbridge staff on their boards, as well as staff from independent schools. We all learn from each other and that is how it should be. It is nonsense and disrespectful to the hard work of unpaid governors to suggest malpractice.”
Richard Harman, Chief Executive of AGBIS, which advises independent school governing bodies, said:
“Governors are responsible for strategy, oversight and accountability; university admissions is an operational matter dealt with by management and therefore a specific conflict of interest is unlikely to arise. If it did, governors are fully aware of the need to follow robust procedures for declaring and dealing with these.”