Writing in The Times last week, Master of Wellington College, Anthony Seldon, argued that private schools should “behave responsibly” and fund academies.
Seldon recommends that senior schools in the private sector should sponsor secondaries and prep schools should sponsor primaries, with the academes carrying the private school’s name so that a bond is formed in perpetuity.
He mentioned in his article that the Labour party had recently announced that they might strip private schools of their charitable status should they return to power and quoted shadow education secretary, Steven Twigg, who called private schools “a major barrier to achieving a more just society.”
In response to Mr Twigg’s comments, Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, deputy general secretary of the Independent Schools Council said: “It is pleasing to see Stephen Twigg recognise the wide variety of ways independent schools support their broader communities.
“He cites Manchester Grammar School where their work with local primaries and the city council exemplifies the strong partnerships which exist between so many private and state schools.
“A general election could be anything up to almost three years away, with the deadline sitting at 7 May 2015, but the comments add to wider discontent on the matter of public benefit.
“Compliance in reporting the public benefit requirement is “very low” according to Lord Hodgson, but a recent survey by Ipsos Mori into public perceptions showed that evidence of impact was very important to 74 per cent of the public,” he added.
And another suggestion for funding bright but disadvantaged children through private schools has come from Conservative MP Dominic Raab, who has outlines a number of ways that “the little guy” could be helped. He also suggested setting up schools in deprived areas staffed by military veterans.
As an accountant, Gill Freeman specialises within academy finances and charity tax.