Sir Anthony Seldon: private schools ‘overly focused on league tables’

May 21, 2015 by

A fellow headmaster, who politely declined to be named, said of Sir Anthony Seldon, pictured: ‘Anthony is entitled to his views. After all, he has so many.’

Departing head of Wellington College draws ire for charge that UK independent schools cower in the face of government, parents and universities

The sleek urbanity of the UK’s fee-paying schools has been ruffled after a retiring public school headmaster has launched a broadside at his colleagues, blaming the pursuit of “exam-focused parents from Britain and abroad” for creating identikit private schools scrambling for league table positions.

Sir Anthony Seldon, the head of Wellington College in Berkshire, is to use an address on Saturday to bemoan the state of the independent sector as cowering in the face of government, aggressive parents and universities.

“The crushing burdens of state requirements, league tables and inspection regimes have squeezed the lifeblood and originality out of much of the sector,” Seldon is to say, in remarks that would not sound out of place at a National Union of Teachers fringe meeting.

“One independent school now looks much like another, for all the attempts to portray themselves as different,” according to Seldon, who has been head of Wellington College, which charges £34,000 a year for boarding pupils, since 2006.

But Seldon’s remarks attracted a swift denial from the Independent Schools Council, which represents the established echelon of the private sector.

Source: Sir Anthony Seldon: private schools ‘overly focused on league tables’ | Education | The Guardian

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