It might be a surprising admission, but John Claughton, Chief Master of King Edward’s School, Birmingham (KES), believes that critics of the independent sector are right to highlight issues of affordability and access. “I believe that independent schools should be straining every sinew to offer their education to those with ability, not just money,” John says. “We must do what we can to reduce the unfairness, even if it is only a reduction, not an elimination.”
This year the Independent Schools Council (ISC) census showed that independent schools provided more than £320m in means-tested bursaries, an increase of 5.6% on 2013. Much of this growth is attributable to fundraising programmes taking place in HMC schools.
In the five years since it was launched, KES’s Development office has raised £7m and is now financing 60 boys in the school. “Those funds have come from some big donations, they have come from over 20 alumni individually sponsoring a boy, they have also come from small scale, regular gifts, often solicited through very successful telephone campaigns,” explains John. “Now our aim is to raise £10m for 100 pupils by 2017.”
See more in issue 3 of Insight (p10)