Janice Turner (Public schools must learn the meaning of charity, September 20) is substantially behind the curve. Her anecdotal experience may have merit but there is no doubt at all that independent schools do an enormous amount to encourage community involvement.
City day schools in particular routinely organise many local partnerships and share facilities. We would love to do so much more in addition to the £300m independent schools spend on bursaries each year. However, and rather ironically in the light of the rather misinformed opinions expressed by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the real issue for many in state primary and secondary schools is the relentless pressure from OFSTED to focus on ever increasing achievement targets in core areas of learning.
Many state schools would relish the chance to be more involved with our schools at a wider level but really struggle to justify the time within a crowded curriculum to develop deeper relationships unless everything they do can be neatly served up to an inspection team on a platter of measurability. To paraphrase a past HMC Head: “OFSTED seem to believe that you can fatten a pig just by weighing it!”
Julian Thould MA,
King Edward VI School,
Southampton SO15 5UQ,
Past Chair of the Forum for Independent Day Schools