Recent newspaper articles have focused on the idea that independent pupils are mentally tougher and more resilient. This is not a surprise given our ability to educate the whole person and then support each individual as they deal with failure. This is not meant to be a criticism of our colleagues in the state sector but it is a criticism of successive governments who have believed that the only way to serve young people is to drive exam results up.
A glance at our most successful businesses in the U.K. would tell you that many of them are driven by leaders whose success comes as much from their determination and grit as it is about their academic education. How can you teach a young person about themselves when schools are forced to sell sport pitches, when success is defined by exam results and funding for creative arts continues to be cut?
I went to a state school and one which was rightly proud of its heritage (Prime Minister Edward Heath being an Old Boy of the school) and of its successes. In my year the school cricket and hockey teams got through to national finals – but in my final year all home cricket matches were cancelled because the school was forced to sell its pitch roller to pay for general maintenance. Once I had finished teacher training college it was a simple decision to turn my back on state teaching and join the independent sector because I wanted to educate the person and not furnish the government with exam statistics which do little to allow young people to succeed in tertiary education and beyond.
Ed Burnett, Deputy Head