Independent schools want to do more to boost social mobility

20 December 2017
Posted by HMC Press Office

Politicians have long promoted social mobility initiatives; however it is rarely that simple, with neither the grammar, secondary modern or comprehensive school proving to be the divine solution.

The independent school sector has said that it is willing to provide 10,000 school places for disadvantaged children, at no additional cost to the taxpayer, which begs the question why this offer hasn't been taken up. Independent schools have offered increasingly significant numbers of student bursary places that have made life changing differences, with some schools even offering up to 100 per cent of school fees, meaning students also get a uniform grant, paid-for travel, school meals and help with school trips, arguably making it less expensive to attend an independent school than a state school.

Although this is the case, independent schools cannot be expected to be the whole solution, but they do want to do more. Shaun Fenton, Headmaster of Reigate Grammar School, and Chair-Elect of HMC has said 'Of course independent schools want to do more. Last year we proposed to ministers that we would provide 10,000 school places to children from disadvantaged homes. The places would be part-funded by state funding allocated to that child, with the remainder being made up by the schools themselves through their other fee income or alumni fundraising', with this offer still being on the table.

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