Schools: Sponsorship

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th August 2019.

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Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education,how many independent schools have become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system since 2017.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Holding answer received on 25 July 2019

As at 23 July 2019, there are six independent schools sponsoring a total of 13 academies. All of these independent schools were approved as sponsors prior to 2017.

Of the free schools we have opened since 2017, the London Academy of Excellence (LAE) in Tottenham was set up by an independent school, Highgate School. LAE Tottenham is supported by Highgate School, as well as eight other leading independent partner schools.

The school’s sister school, LAE Stratford, was set up by Brighton College in 2012. The school reported that in the 2018/19 academic year, 26 students received offers from Oxford or Cambridge. This is an outstanding achievement, especially in a geographic area with relatively low Oxbridge destinations.

The Department has a joint understanding with the Independent Schools Council to encourage more independent schools to work in partnership with state-funded schools across four key areas: governance, teaching, curriculum and targeted school improvement. The Department announced funding for cross-sector partnerships in June and will invite bids in the autumn.

The joint understanding also encourages independent schools to offer a greater number of full bursary places, targeted at children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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