Commenting on the Sutton Trust’s ‘Elitist Britain’ report published on June 25, HMC Executive Director Mike Buchanan said:
Many independent schools are centres of intellectual, artistic and sporting excellence. They have nothing to be ashamed of.
Using school type as a simplistic proxy for privilege is flawed. Access to opportunity is a much deeper societal issue than school type and independent schools are working collaboratively in addressing some of the disparities in opportunity.
This is why we are in favour of more open access to our schools: we have proposed offering 10,000 new places a year, jointly funded by the Government and independent schools so costing parents nothing. We spend well over a million pounds a day offering free and reduced places to children from ordinary homes, offer masterclasses in university applications and keep dying subjects alive as well as much, much more.
Independent schools and the young people educated in them are not the villains here. What’s needed is sufficient funding and the freedom for all state schools to provide a powerfully transforming education and particular focus on the most disadvantaged. Working together we can address these urgent issues.