Private schools to set up college for poor pupils


Ten of the country's leading independent schools have joined forces to sponsor a "free" sixth-form college which will aid bright pupils from poor backgrounds in east London.

Brighton College is to spearhead the formation of the college. Under the deal, which is set to be given the go ahead by Education Secretary Michael Gove later today, Eton will take responsibility for English teaching at the sixth-form college, Highgate School for mathematics and City of London school for PE at the London Academy of Excellence in Newham. Sponsors of the project say the new sixth-form college will teach traditional subjects which are likely to gain pupils entry into Russell Group universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

The plan for the college is one of 55 to be approved by Mr Gove this week that aim to open up their doors for pupils for the first time next September. The college will be financed under the Government's free schools programme.

The project comes at a time when independent schools are seeking to prove to the Prime Minister that there is no "apartheid" between them and the state sector.