The Telegraph, 03.08.16, HMC member Shaun Fenton, Head of leading independent Reigate Grammar School on why post-Brexit the UK should recognise its strengths and promote independent schools whilst making them accessible to even more young people.
In the UK, we excel at self-deprecation. We wish things were better, fairer and more efficient. However, post-Brexit, our world standing and prosperity also relies upon us recognising and expanding our strengths.
Just as we promote our history, our cultural heritage, our countryside, the City of London, Cambridge's Silicon Valley – to name a few - we should also promote our independent schools. We must get behind all that’s great in Britain, including independent sector schools, and ensure that they’re accessible to even more young people.
You may recently have read about a 'crisis' in the independent schools sector. Let’s be clear: there are more pupils in independent schools than ever before.
Those schools have an unbeatable track record on exam results. Last year, research by Cambridge Assessment found that independent sector pupils were four times more likely to achieve an A* at A-level than pupils from state schools.
Our students also achieve disproportionate success at university entry. In 2014, the Government published figures showing that independently educated children were two and a half times more likely to gain a degree from a Russel Group university.