Martin Stephen paints a bleak and inaccurate picture of the independent sector. Far from being overpriced, uninspiring institutions, many of our public schools are setting the educational pace. My own school of Rugby has taken the lead in extending bursaries to underprivileged pupils through its Arnold Foundation access scheme, and has made a decisive contribution to qualification reform through pioneering the Extended Project. At the same time, a number of our counterparts are pursuing radical engagement with academies, working in partnership with the state sector. A narrative of decline and fall simply does not square with all that we are doing today.
Patrick Derham, Headmaster, Rugby School.