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KES and the Sutton Trust call for return to Direct Grant era

23 January 2012

There have been a series of articles in the media in the last week about increasing state funding for independent schools.  Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, wrote in The Times last week that the \"ability to think must trump the ability to pay\".  You can read the article here.  Sir Peter also spoke about this issue on The Today programme.  You can listen to this here

Recent research by the Sutton Trust has shown that 70% of leading day independent schools were principally state funded before 1976 by the Direct Grant system.  Sir Peter is lobbying Government to reintroduce state-funding to these schools so that they are in effect \"open access\".  A recent 7 year trial at Belverdere School by the Sutton Trust increased the number of free places to 30% with 40% receiving partial support.  Academics standards rose as a result and the school was a \"happy\" school where the children did not care if their fathers were \"barristers or bartenders\".

King Edward\'s has been campaigning about the importance of increasing accessibility for some time now.  John Claughton, the Chief Master, was also feature in an article about this in the Birmingham Post last week.  You can read this article here

The Sutton Trust research showed that, during the Direct Grant era, King Edward\'s was actually the highest beneficiary of state funding, with 80% of places at the school funded by the state.   King Edward\'s launched it\'s Assisted Places Campaign last year with the aim of increasing the number of free and partial Assisted Places in the school.  Currently about 20% of boys in the school receive some form of financial support.  The long-term aim of the Campaign is to double this number.