Letter in Independent – 27 January 2014
You report Lord Adonis’s assertion that up to 100 independent schools are poised to join the state sector (23 January). However, this was a throw-away comment at the Social Market Foundation and reflects the noble Lord’s political aspirations rather than any sense of reality.
Of the 15 private schools that have used the 2010 Act to convert to a free school or academy, most were struggling for numbers and a few used the opportunity to return to their direct-grant roots. All are now finding that the constraints of the state education sector, notably in funding, are eroding any sense of independence, with larger class sizes and reduction in extra-curricular activities among the many consequences.
Lord Adonis is quite wrong in suggesting that independent schools are queuing up to join the state sector, and the few exploring such a route only see it as a last resort.
Chief Executive Officer, The Independent Schools Association, Saffron Walden, Essex