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Private schools to support academies?

5 November 2012

Private schools are being urged to review their charitable duties and when doing so, to consider supporting the government’s academies programme.

This approach stems from a landmark legal case in 2011 which concluded that it is for the trustees of independent schools to decide what constitutes a ‘wider public benefit’ and ‘providing charitable values’. The private school sector has received criticism that they are failing to fulfil their original charitable purpose and that they need to do more to meet the needs of those who do not pay fees.

Lord Adonis believes they need to contribute more to state education and simply offering bursaries is insufficient. Instead, it is now suggested that private schools should become the driving force behind sponsoring state schools through greater collaboration.

Whilst this may sound a radical idea, Trustees and Governors of independent schools need to look carefully at their charitable values as a matter of duty and should consider bridging the private school/state school divide.

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