Boarding schools planned for troubled pupils

Troubled teenagers will be sent to a prestigious new breed of state-sponsored boarding schools under government plans to rescue inner-city education.

Troubled teenagers will be sent to a prestigious new breed of state-sponsored boarding schools under government plans to rescue inner-city education.

Official proposals for new academies, the flagship city schools which have the personal backing of Tony Blair, include setting up boarding houses that could cater for children from broken homes or in council care.

Boarding academies fit in with Mr Blair's vision of offering parents who are fed up with state schooling the type of provision they could expect in the independent sector.

The proposals are revealed today in a government advert asking wealthy donors to step forward and sponsor new academies - which operate as independent schools but at the taxpayer's expense.

Sir Cyril Taylor, a senior government adviser, said one potential sponsor had already expressed interest in setting up a boarding establishment.

This could be a small boarding school providing places for students with emotional, behavioural or social difficulties. Another option for sponsors would be to integrate a small number of youngsters with behavioural problems into an academy taking mainstream pupils.

The move would help to tackle the growing discipline problem in schools identified by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, which reported last month that the number of secondary schools where behaviour was good had fallen from 75 per cent to two-thirds. However, Sir Cyril said care would have to be taken to avoid congregating large numbers of disruptive children in one institution.

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