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The 'open acess' debate

03 April 2012

There have been a series of articles in the media over the last few months about increasing state funding for independent schools.  Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, wrote in The Telegraph last week that "Opening up these schools would result in over 30,000 children attending them based on merit who now cannot afford to do so" which would "transform social mobility at the top." You can read the article here.  

Research conducted by the Sutton Trust showed that 70% of independent day schools were mainly state-funded by the direct grant system until 1976. King Edward's was the highest beneficiary of state funding, with 80% of places at the school funded by the state. Sir Peter is lobbying Government to reintroduce state-funding to these schools so that they are in effect "open access".

A recent seven-year trial by the Sutton Trust at Belvedere School in Liverpool increased the number of free places to 30% with 40% receiving partial support.  Academic standards soared as a result and the school was a "happy" place with a much more diverse social mix.

King Edward's has been campaigning about the importance of increasing accessibility for some time now.  John Claughton, the Chief Master, gave his support to the campaign in the Birmingham Mail last week.  You can read this article here.

King Edward's launched its own 'Assisted Places Campaign' in 2010 to increase the number of free and partially assisted places in the School.  Currently approximately 20% of boys in the school receive some form of financial support, the long-term aim is to double this number. To find out more about the assisted places campaign click here.