Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Framlingham: College headmaster calls for the Government to “improve” state schools to rival independents

09:03 07 July 2014

Paul Taylor, headmaster at Framlingham College

Paul Taylor, headmaster at Framlingham College

The headteacher of a top public college has called on the education secretary to focus on improving state schools so that they become “genuine, viable alternatives” to independents.

shares

Paul Taylor, headmaster at Framlingham College, was speaking at Speech Day on Saturday when he made the comments.

“There are those out there at the moment – it seems on all sides of the political and social spectrum – that seem determined to undermine the excellence that is represented by so many schools in the independent sector,” he said.

“And before I go on let me stress that no one, by the way, is suggesting that such excellence is the exclusive preserve of the independent sector.

“However, cheap jibes are the currency of the current political marketplace, and schools such as ours are the easy target, with such attacks in my view also threatening by implication so many of the principles of the free, open society that we all celebrate.”

His view could be seen as a response to the secretary of state for education, Michael Gove’s, call for independent schools to be inspected by Ofsted, the current state regulator. Private schools are reviewed by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Mr Taylor said: “I for one, however, will refuse to apologise for pursuing excellence, diversity and breadth in education, or for the emphasis that we place on the values that underpin a decent community and society.

“Surely the aim should be to level up, not down, and I just can’t fathom any policy that deliberately erodes known areas of excellence in order to ensure perceived – and often superficial – equality (and we can all think of national regimes that have tried just this in living memory: it doesn’t work).

“A better route, surely, is for any education secretary to improve the critical mass of schools in the maintained sector to the extent that they become genuine, viable alternatives to independent schools: that is what choice (a critical word here) is all about.”

State schools are currently given an overall rating on a four-point scale – outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.

Headteachers can be sacked and schools converted to into independent academies under new leadership if inspectors find failings. ISI, in comparison, does not provide a single overall judgment but instead assigns scores to all elements of school life such as the quality of leadership and management and teaching.

shares

1 comment

  • I don't suppose that there is anyone who would not like to see Maintained schools perform as well as, or better than, Private schools. However, I see that the basic per pupil Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) for Suffolk for 2014-2015 is £4241.49. On the other hand, Framlingham's website gives the annual fees for 2013-4 as £17,372 for day pupils, and £27,029 for boarders i.e. the day fee is more than 4 times the DSG. This may in part explain the problems (not always insuperable) in matching the performance of these 2 types of school. Although not directly relevant to this discussion, there are some remarkable differences in DSG in different LAs across the country; London, of course, gets the lion's share.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Monday, July 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Aerial shot of Ixworth.

Four vehicles collided at a roundabout on the A1088 in Ixworth.

Have you seen any of the livev TV debates ahead of the General Election?

It’s nearly time to cast your vote and with just a week to go before the country goes to the polls, we want to know your current views on several key issues.

Blackburn v Ipswich

Ipswich Town have sold almost 2,000 tickets so far for Saturday’s crucial away trip to Blackburn Rovers, and there are still some remaining.

Police are investigating the incident

Two women have been arrested in connection with the theft of a woman’s purse in Colchester.

Aerial shot of Harwich, Essex.

Business and home owners are urged to be vigilant following a spate of burglaries in north Essex.

Concern over decrease in police officers

Fears for the future of Suffolk policing and officer welfare have been raised again after it emerged the county lost nearly 7% of its officers last year.

Aerial shot of Felixstowe.

A safe containing cash and jewellery was stolen from a caravan in Felixstowe.

Rosehill Library, which is now 110 years old.

Ipswich was one of the first towns in the country to open a public library, following the 1850 Public Libraries Ac, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire.

A devastated family on the Suffolk/Essex border believe they will not be able to return home for a year after a fire ripped through their thatched cottage on Friday night.

Suffolk police release Efit of a man wanted in connection with a stalking

Police have released an Efit image of a man connected with the stalking of a teenage girl in Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages