Eton backs plan for state boarding schools

 

Eton College is backing plans to increase the number of state boarding school places in the UK.

The boys-only private school has been involved in talks with at least two state schools about the prospect of opening up new boarding houses for their pupils.

Tony Little, headmaster of Eton, told The Independent that the number of state boarding schools will grow as a result of the stampede to take up academy status. "As they develop specialisms in areas such as sports and music, the likelihood is that they will be attracting students from further afield– for whom boarding could have a positive impact."

Mr Little rejected the idea, pioneered by Andrew Adonis in the last Labour government, that state boarding places should just be for vulnerable children from broken homes or where parents were on the verge of splitting. Mr Little said they should offer the opportunity to young people from a range of backgrounds. He added: "The old image of boarding as fagging and beating and not walking down certain corridors, that's pretty well long gone."

Instead, today's 1,300 pupils at Eton all have their own boarding room rather than being crammed into dormitories.

The drive towards opening up more boarding school places in the state sector is among several initiatives being planned by Eton to improve links with the state sector.

The college is to increase the number of pupils on scholarships and bursaries from its present level of 20 per cent to 33 per cent. In addition, it wants at least 70 of its pupils to have free places.

And the college will be among 10 independent schools helping to set up a free school for bright but disadvantaged pupils in the East End of London. Eton will be responsible for English teaching at the London Academy of Excellence.

As from this September, it is also offering mentoring by its sixth-formers to students taking A-level maths at neighbouring Slough and Eton Church of England College.

This flurry of initiatives, Mr Little insists, is nothing to do with any fear of the Charity Commissioners scrutinising whether it still deserves its charitable status. "We have had links with the state sector for years," he said. He rejected David Cameron's claims – made in his party conference speech – that there was an "apartheid" between the state and private sector. At a meeting with independent school heads at Downing Street, Mr Cameron exhorted his alma mater to become an academy sponsor itself. Mr Little said: "I don't doubt that some of our teachers would be excellent [at dealing with the problems of pupils at inner-city schools] but it would be wrong to assume that a school like mine has the expertise to deal with some of the problems that arise."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Foundation Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Early Years and Foundation stage Prim...

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers needed for ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone