CREDIT: This story was first seen in The Telegraph
Private schools’ contribution to society is “overlooked” and “vulnerable to wide generalisations”, the head of a leading independent school has said as he suggested Theresa May does not know enough about the sector, The Telegraph reports.
Professor Mark Bailey, high master at St Paul’s School in London, suggested the Prime Minister lacked insight on the work private schools do for society.
It’s an area of education that is particularly vulnerable to wide generalisations and a lack of full understanding Professor Mark Bailey, high master at St Paul’s School in London
Earlier this year, Ms May took on private schools when she accused them of being “divorced from normal life” as she warned them they needed to be more proactive in looking after the interests of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Speaking ahead of the Independent Schools Show, which takes place this weekend, Prof Bailey he told the Evening Standard her plans should be “proportionate”.
He said: “I am not convinced that those comments were based upon a detailed knowledge of what independent schools do.
“There is a mass of information out there about the extent of the wider contribution they make to society and that should be properly evaluated and weighed.
“It’s an area of education that is particularly vulnerable to wide generalisations and a lack of full understanding.”
Independent schools, for instance, have increased their outreach programmes and links with local state counterparts.
St Paul’s has also expanded its bursary provision to cover up to 20% of pupils by 2020.
Prof Bailey also said independent schools must make sure their intake is as representative as the wider society as possible.
He said: “There is no doubt that the independent sector in general and St Paul’s have slipped and drifted from the original purpose. It is imperative that we recapture it.”