Independent schools could offer 10,000 free places, ISC says

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) has proposed that independent schools across England could offer 10,000 free places to poorer pupils every year.

The proposal comes as part of the ISC’s response to the ‘Schools that work for everyone’ green paper, which asked independent schools what they can do to ‘support more good school places and help children of all backgrounds to succeed’.

The ISC’s plan would involve joint funding from the government and the independent schools themselves, where the government contributes no more than the cost of a state school place to educate children in existing independent schools.

In addition to this, the ISC has also proposed that independent schools could help set up new state schools, as well as improve existing relationships between the two.

It suggests that independent schools could potentially help co-sponsor new state-funded schools, as well as facilitate a further expansion of the teaching, coaching, university and careers advice, educational events and facilities already provided to an estimated 160,000 state school pupils.

Barnaby Lenon, ISC chairman, said: "In its green paper the government recognised the great strength and success of independent schools and asked what more we could do on top of the contribution our schools already make.

"The proposals we are putting forward go considerably further than some of the ideas the green paper suggested and by helping create more good school places, both in state and independent schools, we would be helping to expand real social mobility in this country."

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