Logo

Camden state school heads speak out in support of local independent schools

PUBLISHED: 13:00 04 December 2014

William Ellis School headteacher Sam White with students on GCSE results day in August. Picture: Polly Hancock

William Ellis School headteacher Sam White with students on GCSE results day in August. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Headteachers at Camden state schools have praised the support offered to them by local independent schools in the wake of damning criticism of the independent sector from the shadow education secretary.

"I know some independent schools definitely live up to their charitable status. Some do offer extensive opportunities for state students"

Sam White, headteacher of William Ellis School

Labour’s Tristram Hunt faced a backlash from the headteacher of his old independent secondary University College School (UCS) last week when he announced his party’s plans to strip independent schools of their current tax breaks if they do not sufficiently support state schools.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard accused Mr Hunt of “offensive bigotry” over his party’s new policy.

This week, headteachers at several Camden state schools have spoken out in support of their independent counterparts locally, which receive business rate relief from the council as charitable organisations.

Sam White, headteacher of William Ellis School, in Highgate Road, said Mr Hunt was right to clampdown on independent schools that fail to support the state sector but insisted many were very supportive, pointing to Highgate School, in North Road, as a shining example.

“I know some independent schools definitely live up to their charitable status,” said Mr White. “Some do offer extensive opportunities for state students.

“They do have better facilities than we do and they offer better staff development opportunities. We value the support from Highgate School, in my experience that’s the only independent school that works with us.

“Sometimes it implies that there are no expertise in the state sector which is not the case but we are not resourced to the same extent.”

Maureen Williams, headteacher of La Sainte Union Catholic School, in Highgate Road, also praised Highgate School’s partnership with La Sainte Union.

She said: “We are very impressed with range of support and collaboration with Highgate School as part of our specialist science provision.”

John Dowd, headteacher of Haverstock School, Labour leader Ed Miliband’s former secondary in Chalk Farm, said the school had no current links with independent schools but would welcome them in the future.

“We have had a number of links with local independent schools during my time as head. I would welcome the opportunity to work in collaboration with local independent schools, as we have in the past.” 

Writing exclusively in today’s Ham&High, Mr Hunt praised King Alfred School, in Golders Green, his former school UCS and Highgate School – describing it as a “national leader” – for their support of local state schools.

He also hit back at Mr Beard’s criticism of his announcement, saying: “Mark Beard might call that ‘offensive bigotry’. I would call it a simple request that all private schools meet their social obligations.”

In a letter written to the Ham&High, Tom Youlden, who taught economics at UCS for nearly 25 years, said: “I did not teach Mr Hunt when he was a student at UCS, but good luck to him.

“The right-wing press will call this class war, I call it an attempt to re-balance the inequality of opportunity for so many of our children in the UK at the present time.”

Latest Hampstead Education News

Three years after a controversial merger saw Torriano Primary School formed, teachers and governors are celebrating a top-of-the-class Ofsted rating that Camden Council’s education chief said “vindicated” the decision to amalgamate the schools.

A Hampstead school has scrapped a pilot project that saw commercial helicopters landing on its playing fields after neighbours complained it was causing “quite a riot”.

Neighbours are in a spin over UCS Hampstead’s unusual decision to allow a commercial helicopter firm to use its playing fields as a landing pad.

The former headteacher of St Aloysius College has been cleared of wrongdoing nine months after he was arrested as part of a £70,000 fraud investigation at the school.

Primrose Hill schoolchildren are desperate for help uncovering the secrets of their local war memorial.

A Muswell Hill mum has shared her anger at parents temporarily moving into the area to jump the queue for school places, as Haringey Council says it is investigating four cases of school application fraud.

The Heath and Hampstead Society has opposed plans to move a free school into the old Hampstead Police Station – even though the applicants have halved the number of pupils they hope to attract.

A budding journalist and a mentoring champion are two of the students being recognised for their high-flying achievements by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

A pair of Greig City Academy students are among a talented crop of Haringey high-achievers vying for an annual award from the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Westminster North MP Karen Buck joined parents and children to protest the sudden closure of Queen’s Park Nursery.

Staff, parents and children at Chaston Nursery in Chalk Farm celebrated as 10 children graduate and move on to primary school.

There were broad smiles and hearty congratulations all round as the Channing pupils received their GCSE results.

Hornsey School for Girls students have excelled once again, despite reforms to GCSE exams this year.

The “resilience and determination” of Parliament Hill School GCSE students has been praised.

North Bridge House Senior Hampstead students have bagged the ‘best GCSE results in the school’s history’, with an impressive 55per cent of all grades at Grade 7 or above.

There were happy faces at Highgate Wood School as students collected their GCSE results.

Students across Camden achieved a strong set of results in the new-style GCSEs, according to the council.

There were some happy faces at Greig City Academy today as 17 students, approximately 10per cent of the year group, achieved a new top Grade 9 GCSE in one or more of their subjects.

Rising to the challenge of tougher new GCSEs, South Hampstead pupils and staff were celebrating another year of “exceptional results” across the board this morning – and the school’s second best ever percentage of top grades (A*/9/8s).

Heartlands High School’s head of school said she is “delighted” with their set of GCSE results.

The phenomenal achievements of Fortismere School students have been championed on GCSE results day.

A 16-year-old Highgate School student who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April has bagged straight A*s in his GCSE results this morning.

One Henrietta Barnett student nearly 6000 miles to get her GCSE results this morning, and was rewarded with 10 grade 9s.

A set of twins were among the girls celebrating their GCSE results at Henrietta Barnett, as they got the top grades in the majority of their exams.

Didn’t get the exam results you were lookinng in your GCSE results today, or A-levels last week, but want to be a sports journalist? Then don’t despair, Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif says it’s not the end of the world, just look at the example of his intern Toby Miles.

The headteacher of University College School Hampstead has championed his students’ achievements in the creative arts on a record-breaking GCSE results day.

The headteacher of Highgate School has lauded his students’ ability to cope with ‘tougher, fatter GCSEs’ on a record-breaking results day.

No coursework, two years of study, a clutch of Bs and a handful of threes - it’s a tricky time to be a GCSE student.

Paddington Academy students are celebrating achieving the best A-level results in the school’s 11-year history.

Hornsey Sixth Form College A-level results were ‘significantly above national average’, according to the headteacher of the Crouch End school.

The principal of Westminster Kingsway College has champions the achievements of students in their A-level results.

UCL Academy students who received their A-level results yesterday are ‘equipped to be global citizens’, according to the school’s co-principal.

A-level results day at Greig City Academy revealed an array of talent, with Oxbridge bound students in a variety of disciplines.

The headteacher of Channing School has championed the ability of her students to combat tougher exams on A-level results day.

A-level results day started early at Highgate School - some students opened their envelopes at 6AM - as yet another year group smashed records to achieve the best results in the school’s history.

A record-breaking year at Fortismere School has seen students confirm places at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge on A-level results day.

A “fabulous range” of A-level results at LaSWAP Sixth Form Centre has seen students meet offers from universities as diverse as Falmouth and SOAS.

UCS Hampstead bursary students have been singled out for praise on the day the school received its second best A-level results ever.

The headteacher of Henrietta Barnett School has championed her ‘inspirational’ sixth formers on A-level results day.

Westminster Academy has achieved a host of top scores in its International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Students from William Ellis School and LaSWAP sixth form centre were given the chance to highlight the health concerns that mattered to them in a video campaign produced with the help of Healthwatch Camden.

When A-level results come out on August 16, more than three quarters of students who want to go to university are likely to get into their first choice.

In the dying days of feudal Japan, 14 student samurai from the southern Japanese province of Satsuma (now Kagoshima) came to Camden to study at UCL. Four others went to colleges around the country.

Mouse droppings found in a box of potatoes and around the kitchens were behind William Ellis School’s one-star food hygiene rating, the Ham&High can reveal.

Most Read