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Rodean head Frances King walks out with broadside at Britain's attitude to private schools

Headmistress to work at Swiss college

The headmistress of a top independent girls’ school spoke out against the hostile climate towards private schools yesterday as she announced she was quitting to run a school abroad.

Frances King, headmistress of Roedean in Brighton - one of the leading girls’ schools in the country, said:  “It is quite hard work to continue to be always on the negative side of public opinion.”

Mrs King will leave in the summer to become director of the College Alpin Beau Soleil school in Switzerland. She said her decision was a career move which would help her get to grips with a different model of education after being head of two independent girls’ boarding schools in the UK.

“I the UK the independent sector has gone through quite a bruising time and I can’t quite see that changing,” she said.

“The Government cannot afford to be supportive: the media, when it likes to, commends what the independent schools are doing but more likely is looking at the wider context of education.

“We are putting our heart, soul and effort into this provision. We are making sure we have got a good amount of money into bursaries and, as much as we can, we are trying to ensure we are widening access.” However, she said it was “hard work” feeling that this was not something that the nation approved of.

Her comment echo those of Vicky tuck, the former headmistress of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, who left in 2011 to run an international school in Geneva, saying she had been made to feel that running a private school in England was “slightly immoral”.