Stop shaming private school parents, says HMC chair

According to The Telegraph, the chair of the HMC has stated that people should “lay off” parents who choose to send their children to private schools

Shaun Fenton, chair of the Headmasters’ and Headmistress’ Conference (HMC), has hit out at people who shame parents for sending their children to private schools.

He has stated that these parents are criticised harshly by “virtue flagging” colleagues, friends and family.

Fenton leads the £18,720-per-year Reigate Grammar School as well as chairing the HMC – an organisation which represents 292 of the country’s most prestigious schools.

He said parents who utilise private schools shouldn’t be made to feel selfish for their choices, as they are “doing the best for their children”.

Fenton stated that, no matter the gathering, people should “lay off” those who have chosen to have their children privately educated, and to “stop criticising good parenting”.

“Parents who are making good decisions on behalf of their children should be commended because that what good parenting is supposed to be about,” he said.

“If the alternative is that you sacrifice the interests of your children’s education for some kind of political ideology or some kind of virtue flagging, that doesn’t seem to be authentic parenting.”

He also pointed out that a private school education isn’t only for the wealthy, and that many parents “sacrifice and save” in order to pay the fees.

“[Parents] work hard they choose wisely, they make a rational decision, a rational choice that any parent should be allowed to do,” he said.

“They want to decide how to spend their after tax income and they decide they want to invest in their children’s future and then they choose our schools.

“Good parents should do their best for their children – and so I ask that we lay off independent school parents and stop criticising good parenting.”

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Fenton went on to say that private schools are “rich with moral purpose” and that its alumni leave school wanting to “make the world a better place”.

He added that bursaries are one of “the most important” things independent schools do.

“Every individual bursary matters and we should be proud of the work we do,” said Fenton.

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