Dr Joe Spence letter to the Observer: A school model that works

The Observer, 07/12/14, HMC member Dr Joe Spence, Master of Dulwich College writes in response to Sam Freedman's recent article “State schools don’t need private sector advice”.

Sam Freedman makes valuable points in “State schools don’t need private sector advice”, (Comment). He is right that where the advice offered patronises it is of little value and can do harm. He may also be right that some independent schools found themselves involved in the support of academies without knowing the extent of the challenge. However, one statement in his article must be corrected.

Dulwich college has not pulled out of the Isle of Sheppey. Having been instrumental in the setting up of its academy, in improving academic standards and in ensuring the openings of its new buildings, between 2009 and 2013, Dulwich relinquished the role of lead sponsor to Oasis Community Learning, but continues as an educational partner. We are proud to support Oasis’s mission to effect a social transformation, through its schools, on the Isle of Sheppey, work we did not have the resources to undertake. I sit on the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey’s council and explore means by which staff and pupils at Dulwich and on Sheppey can benefit from shared experiences.  We have set a model others should follow; we have the same relationship with E-ACT’s City Heights Academy in Lambeth.

Dr JAF Spence , The Master, Dulwich College