November ~ December 2011 - Independent Schools Magazine

November ~ December 2011 - Independent Schools Magazine

November ~ December 2011

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Our front page pictures

A nice cup of coffee

and a slice of cake!

Staff and pupils from Royal Russell School,

Surrey, shared a cup of coffee and a slice of

cake in their quest to take part in Macmillan’s

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

The event was organised by members of

Reade House at the school who were offering

everyone the chance to unwind for a moment,

whilst helping people affected by cancer.

A healthy £245 was raised in half an hour for

the charity.

Pictured: Head of Languages Anne Mawer.

The wider Curriculum...

Sharing best practice

The first national conference on the value of

co-curricular and extra-curricular activities

in independent schools has been held in

Nottinghamshire. From rock-climbing to

community service – there was much to discuss.

See feature on page 48.

Season’s Greetings

As has become our custom, this is a combined

November~December issue. Kimble, Jeff,

Andrew and the team wish all readers,

advertisers, and advisory board members a

pleasant Christmas and successful New Year.

Thank you for your interest and support during

2011. Our next issue will be out mid-January.


At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, 04

~ we will remember them

Public Benefit ‘liberation’ 05

~ what now for schools?

All change on the inspection express 06

~ chief inspector Christine Ryan provides an update

Losses spell closure 07

~ abrupt end to school founded in 1927

Should schools support Academies? 08 ~ 09

~ guidance for governors; Talking Point

Bribery Act 12

~ what schools need to know

Inspiration from debate 14

~ invitation to join initiative

Diploma in Leadership 18

~ new programme for Years 10 & 11

Four more schools pass Scottish charity test 25

~ success follows two-year implementation

‘My first HMC Conference’ 26

~ refelctions from the new General Secretary

Profile 28 ~ 30

~ in conversation with Mark Eagers

Staff pay survey 31

~ mixed trends in independent school sector

The Wider Curriculum 48 ~ 49

~ ‘sharing best practice’ conference report

Finding the answers to emotional questions 50

~ new service launched


Harnessing IT without the downsides 10

Science news round~up 16 ~ 17

Drama & Music Focus Feature 20 ~ 24

University admissions review welcomed 30

3D lersson content ~ new research 36

ICT Focus Feature 36 ~ 37

Land Use planning & charitable status 38

Marketing Focus Feature 39 ~ 43

Travel Focus Feature 44 ~ 45

Putting surplus cash to work 46

Asbestos ~ 1 in 5 schools have a problem 49

New Products & Services; The Digest 51 ~ 54

Heads Hunted 55

Is Your School Mentioned? ~ See page 55 for a A-Z listing

Contact Us; Editorial Advisory Board; Key Personnel; Subscription Offer ~ see page 55

Independent Schools Magazine 3

Royal connection

A group of CCF cadets from

Aldenham School, Hertfordshire,

along with cadets from nearby Queen’s

School, were asked by History Teacher

and House Tutor at Aldenham Mr

John Lewes, Honorary Member

of the Welsh Guards Association,

to accompany him to Wellington

Barracks for the Remembrance Sunday

Service in the Welsh Guards Chapel.

Before the service, the Colonel of the

Regiment, HRH Prince Charles met

the Welsh cadets. He is pictured here

4 Independent Schools Magazine

with the cadets from Aldenham and

Queen’s School before they and their

officers marched to the Cenotaph

where His Royal Highness presented

the Regimental wreath.

At the same time other members

of the partnership CCF took

part in the annual Remembrance

Day service in Letchmore Heath

where the Aldenham School brass

band provided the music and the

Headmaster laid a wreath on behalf

of the School. The service was led

Special tribute to the fallen

Pupils from Spring Grove School,

Kent, paid a very special tribute

to the fallen of two world wars

by tidying up graves prior to

Remembrance Sunday.

Although the school carried out its

own Act of Remembrance at 11am on

November 11, the pupils’ real tribute

was paid in the preceding days.

Inspired by parent Simon Lord and

Rev Dickie Cleveland of Wye Church,

Spring Grove Headmaster Bill Jones

took Year 6 pupils to the Wye Church

to locate the war graves of those men

from Wye who fought in both wars.

Here, they set to work tidying up the

various military gravestones. Out came

the brushes, rakes, shears and trowels

as the boys and girls worked hard to

pay tribute to those who died in two

world wars.

The students first studied a map of

the churchyard in the Tower Room,

which identified the owners of the

graves, and read the inscription to the

fallen on the Memorial Cross. They

also found the headstone of Thomas

Slaughter who was one of the first

men to die in WW1 in September

by Rev’d Robert Fletcher, Vicar

of St John the Baptist Church in

Aldenham School Chaplain Rev’d

Dan Bond and Srutidharma Das,

the Krishna Temple President from

Bhaktivedanta Manor led the prayers.

Aldenham’s partnership with Queens’

School began in November 2008,

and is one of only six partnerships in

the London area giving cadets from

a state school the opportunity to

participate in CCF activities with a

local independent school.

1914 and learned how whole families

of brothers were killed and how the

village was devastated by the loss of its

young men.

They also found the gravestones of

the airmen of the Royal Flying Corps

who were killed - mostly in training

accidents – at Wye Aerodrome, which

was situated on the farmland next to

Bramble Lane during WW1.

Headmaster Bill Jones said: “This

was clearly an excellent example of

history in action and the children

were visibly moved by coming into

physical contact with the past. They

were shocked at the young age at

which these servicemen lost their

lives far from home in the cause of

war and set about our gardening with

a determination to play our part in

keeping their memories alive. We Will

Remember Them.”

Spring Grove School is situated in a

beautiful, early Georgian house which

was once owned by Captain Halsey

RN MC, also Churchwarden at Wye.

Halsey leased the house to the writer

Joseph Conrad in 1919 and Conrad

is believed to have spent six months at

At the going down

of the sun and in

the morning, we will

remember them

The children of The Froebelian

School gathered around the

school’s flagpole to commemorate

Remembrance Day. The Last Post

was played by Fabian Javed and

Oscar Andrews as the Union Jack

was lowered to half-mast, followed

by the whole school observing a

minute’s silence. They were joined

by veterans, and learnt the origins of

the poppy symbol and sang ‘No wars

will stop us singing’ accompanied by

a slide slow of photographs from war

torn countries.

Spring Grove while writing one of his

novels, ‘The Rescue’.

During their clean-up operation,

the children were especially excited

to discover, half-hidden in the long

grass, a small wooden grave that

turned out to be that of Captain

Halsey’s wife, Blanche.

During Spring Grove’s own Act of

Remembrance, which took place in

front of the school, pupils presented

an assembly about the role of animals

in warfare and two young trumpeters

played the Last Post, supported by Mr

Jones (see picture).

Everyone’s a Winner?

The Upper Tribunal (Tax and

Chancery Chambers) delivered its

judgment on 14 October 2011 on

the Independent Schools Council’s

application for judicial review of the

Charity Commission’s public benefit

guidance as it relates to fee-charging

charities and considered its response to

the Attorney General’s reference.

In the few days following the judgment

both sides claimed victory. The ISC

announced that the Tribunal:

‘Overruled the Charity

Commission’s approach to public

benefit and discredited controversial

parts of the statutory guidance as

‘obscure or wrong’,

The Charity Commission welcomed

the ruling and said it was:

Pleased that in its judgment the

Tribunal agrees with our interpretation

of the law on key issues’.

The reality was in fact more nuanced

and is aptly summarised by the

Tribunal who concluded:

‘Our decision will not, we know, give

the parties the clarity for which they

were hoping.’

The Law on Public Benefit

The Tribunal considered detailed

case law which has developed over

centuries. It made clear that public

benefit requirements apply differently

to different types of charitable purposes

and that its decision is applicable to

educational charities only, though it

acknowledged that it would have an

impact for other fee-charging charities.

The Tribunal confirmed the two aspects

of public benefit:

i. the nature of the purpose itself must

be a benefit to the community:

though the Tribunal concluded

that there had never been any

presumption (pre 2006) that

educational purposes were for the

public benefit, it had no difficulty

in finding that the provision by

independent schools of education to

students of school age according to

conventional curricula was a benefit

to the community.

Jo Coleman considers the impact of the recent Tribunal

ruling on public benefit for independent schools.

ii. those who may benefit from the

carrying out of the purpose must be

sufficiently numerous to constitute

what is described as a ‘section of the


the Tribunal confirmed that a trust

which excludes the poor from benefit

cannot be a charity. Whilst accepting

that poor does not have to mean

‘destitute’ the Tribunal was clear that

people who were able to pay the fees

charged by independent schools are

not ‘poor’ in this context, no matter

how many sacrifices they may make in

order to fund the fees. A School which

was established for the purposes of

educating only those who could pay full

fees would not be charitable.

What can be taken into account in

providing public benefit?

The Tribunal then considered the

ways in which a school could provide

benefits – whether direct, indirect or

wider benefits. It confirmed that the

following could all be counted:

The provision of scholarships and

bursaries (including hardship funds);

Inclusion of students from local state

schools in classes and activities;

Sharing of teachers and teaching

facilities with local schools;

Making available (eg via the internet)

other teaching resources to schools;

Making other facilities available e.g.

playing fields, sports halls, swimming

pools to local state schools;

But, it discounted any benefit arising

from the provision of school facilities

to the local community as a whole

(including adults), as this was not

directed at furthering a school’s

educational purposes.

The Decision confirmed that bursaries

are not the only way in which a school

will be able to demonstrate that it is

meeting the public benefit test. Yet

before Governors scrap their planned

bursary provision and seek to rely on

indirect benefits they should heed

the Tribunal’s findings that “When it

comes to considering whether a school

which is a charity is operating for the

public benefit in accordance with its

charitable purposes, the primary focus

Jo Coleman is a Partner in the Charities Team at IBB Solicitors, 08456 381381.

Public Benefit:

What now for independent schools?

must be on the direct benefits which

it provides. Scholarships or other

forms of direct assistance are therefore

important.” Account can be taken of

the other types of listed benefits but

the Tribunal noted ‘it must be very

doubtful whether much weight can be

attached to a benefit which must be

comparatively easy to provide at little

cost and the effect of which seems…


So, when is the public benefit

requirement satisfied?

The Tribunal has made it clear that

some benefit must be provided for the

poor. Those benefits must be more

than de minimis or a token benefit.

Once this ‘low’ threshold is reached it

will be a question for each school to

apply a more fact sensitive assessment

i.e. ‘What provision should be made

in the circumstances of the particular


There will be no one right answer. The

Tribunal found that it is not possible

to be prescriptive, the Governors

have to assess how their obligations

might best be fulfilled in the context

of their own particular circumstances

(i.e. its financial circumstances, the

size of any endowment, the way the

school prioritises expenditure and the

facilities which it provides). This is not

a licence to do nothing. Governors

must take a proper decision on what

is appropriate in the circumstances of

their charity. Once the de minimis

level is reached however, the level of

provision is a matter for the Governors

and not for the Charity Commission

or the Courts.

The Tribunal made a point of referring

to ‘gold-plating’ of provision at the

premium end of the market and made

it clear that schools providing facilities

at the luxury end, will need to examine

stringently how they satisfy the public

benefit requirement.

What next?

The Tribunal has yet to establish

what relief will be given to the ISC

and whether the offending parts

of the Commission Guidance will

be quashed. In the meantime, the

Commission has already begun work

to amend its Guidance. We can expect

the revised Guidance to become less

prescriptive, which will not provide the

clarity that some Governors had been

seeking. There will be no black letter

test to be applied.

Governors will of course need to

consider the new Guidance when

it is published (it is still a statutory

requirement to have regard to it) but

will have to make their own decision

as to the level of provision that is


Finally, whilst Governors are making

their difficult assessments of the

benefits to be provided to the poor,

they can take some comfort from the

fact that the Tribunal has confirmed

that a school will not lose its charitable

status if its fails to meet its obligation to

provide a public benefit. What happens

to a charity that is not meeting the

public benefit requirement? The

Commission previously suggested that

it would be struck off the Register as

it failed to be a charity. The Tribunal,

however, thought the approach would

be that the Commission would remove

the trustees.

ISC’s verdict:

Matthew Burgess, ISC’s General

Counsel, said:

“The ruling takes public

benefit decisions away from the

Commission and hands them back

to school governors, and for that

reason we warmly welcome it.

“The ruling liberates schools

to innovate and be creative in

their charitable provision. The

Commission’s former approach,

now discredited by the Tribunal,

had the effect of reducing the public

benefit of independent schools

to a crude calculation of fees and

bursaries. “Each school is in the best

position to determine what it can

do to fulfil its charitable objectives

in the public benefit, and the ruling

emphasises the independence and

autonomy of each school to take

the best decisions it can, free from

the threat of intervention by the


Independent Schools Magazine 5

All change on the

inspection express?

Independent Schools Inspectorate Chief Executive Christine Ryan outlines the

key developments coming on stream in 2011-12 and looks forward to the new

integrated inspections...

We have become used in recent

years to moving at the speed of

an express rather than a freight

train as changing governments and

priorities have seen off inspections

cycles: the second cycle after four

years because the last government

wanted more frequent inspection

at short notice; the new inspections

set up as a result after just two

years because the coalition wanted

reduced frequency of inspection

for schools deemed to be ‘low

risk’. During much of this period,

the Unified Inspections Project,

the cherished aim to bring

all inspection activity in ISC

Association schools under a single

inspectorate, may have seemed to

have been shunted into a siding.

However, that was never the case

and it remained at the top of the

ISI agenda and these changes will

have significant impact on school


As scheduled, the inspection

of boarding welfare in ISC

Association schools became part of

ISI from 1st September. A small

number of boarding schools will

be included in the pilot integrated

inspections taking place during the

Autumn term, but most will not

see any changes until the full roll

out of integrated inspections in

January 2012.

At the time of writing, the draft

integrated inspections framework

is with DfE for approval, but after

the consultation period over the

summer, ISI gave stakeholders an

indication of what the key features

would be. The model will be

fully integrated, with EYFS and

boarding welfare being inspected

6 Independent Schools Magazine

alongside educational provision.

Schools with boarding will be

subject to checks of National

Minimum Standards [NMS] and

EYFS requirements for registered

settings. The NMS have already,

after consultation with ISI, ISC,

BSA and others been extensively

streamlined and it is likely that

EYFS requirements will also be

reduced before September 2012.

Integrated inspections will consist

of a single four day visit, the

first day of which will involve

lead inspectors only to finalise

inspection arrangements and to

complete, as far as possible, the

checks on regulatory compliance.

Schools will make available

to ISI at all times the policies

required for compliance purposes

so that regulatory checks may

be undertaken before the school

is notified of the inspection.

There will be five days’ notice

and there will continue to be

confidential on-line pupil and

parent questionnaires as required

by DfE, but ISI is working on

improved communication and

other modifications to improve

feedback from parents and

pupils—and, hopefully, staff.

Self-evaluation will be expected

although the use of a simplified

ISI form will be voluntary. Peer

review will be retained with

the number of inspector days

in school based on a published

tariff depending not just on pupil

numbers, but also staff numbers

and the particular characteristics

of the school. The distinctive

ISI framework of inspection is

retained, taking as its starting point

the aims of the school. In line

with the consultation feedback,

the distinctions between ISI and

Ofsted reports will be made clearer.

So there will be some significant

differences for schools from

January 2012. Boarding schools

will no longer have to deal with

two different inspectorates, often

arriving at different times, and

experience the frustrations which

occurred when education and

boarding welfare inspections

could not be properly aligned.

The inspection of EYFS will also

be fully integrated into the main

school inspection process and

reports. Schools will no longer

have to complete three sets of

documentation for the main

school, for boarding and for EYFS

or prepare for multiple visits.

Checks on documentation will be

completed in advance so freeing

time in the visit for more first hand


As indicated in the minister’s letter

to school proprietors about the

criteria relating to the frequency of

inspection, some schools deemed

to be ‘low risk’ will go longer

between inspections than others

where concerns have been raised.

Much of the change being brought

about has reflected the responses

to the consultation exercise we

undertook in the summer, and

feedback received throughout

the last inspection cycle, and so

we know that much of it will be

welcomed. But it isn’t all about

change: many things will remain

the same. Reporting inspectors

will continue to work with the

school to support improvement.

Peer review will still be at the heart

of an inspection process which

will seek to help schools maintain

high standards of provision and

outcomes (there will be more

professional dialogue than was

possible under the last regime).

And team inspectors will continue

to do just what they have always

done: spend their time seeking to

make judgements based on first

hand evidence of the observation

of lessons and activities, scrutiny

of work and interviews with pupils

and teachers. Reports will continue

to reflect the particular ethos of

each school and there will be no

sense of ‘one size fits all’.

This is the third time in 6 years

that I have had to introduce a new

inspection model to schools. And, as

before, ISI will seek to assist schools

in their preparation. We have kept

them informed of developments this

year through our regular Updates

and the next one will give more

information about the framework.

We shall produce streamlined

documentation designed to be as

user friendly as possible for schools.

We shall hold briefings for schools

on a regional basis and provide

re-training opportunities for team

inspectors who will be able to share

that professional development with

other colleagues in their schools.

While it may appear that change

is coming at breakneck speed,

there is much to embrace about

the integrated inspections and

stakeholders should be reassured that

the best aspects of ISI inspections

will remain constant, and help will

be at hand to ensure that all are

ready for the changes ahead.

More information about the new integrated inspections can be found on the ISI website and schools and inspectors have access to latest developments through regular Updates

which they can access through the ISI portal. ISI welcomes feedback on this article and related issues to

Losses spell closure

Amberfield School, Suffolk, closed at short

notice at the end of last month (October) ‘due to

unsustainable financial losses’. Founded in 1927, it

is now in the hands of the liquidators.

The 157 pupils (girls aged 2 – 16 and boys aged

2 – 7) have found places at other independent

schools in the county, and in the state sector.

Chairman of Governors, Alistair Lang said: “This

is a very sad day which I know will be a body blow

to our pupils, parents and staff. Amberfield is a

small school which has been a real strength for its

many pupils over the years. But its small size and

its particular style in this difficult economic climate

has made it increasingly difficult to keep afloat.

Despite a great deal of effort behind the scenes in

recent weeks we have reluctantly accepted we have

no option but to close the school.”

Amberfield had seen a ‘significant number’ of

pupils leave during 2009/10, and the expected

recovery in numbers failed to happen.

A management statement said: “In June 2011 the

Board considered the prospects for the 2011/12

financial year, the expectations of pupil attraction

and attrition, the willingness of the school’s

New life for bells in

aid of flood victims

Eight old hand bells are being given a new lease of life by children at a Cornish

school and helping raise funds for victims of the St Austell floods of a year ago.

The bells have belonged for many years to Truro Women’s Institute and are

now on “permanent loan” to Polwhele House School where Truro Cathedral’s

choristers are educated.

Deputy Head Nick Hawker, himself a member of the Cathedral Choir and

music specialist, arranged the loan and prepared Year 6 pupils for their part in a

charity concert at the Cathedral earlier this month (November).

With the bells, they added an extra percussive element to the Cathedral Choir’s

performance of “Cloudburst” by Eric Whitaker, which is an international bestseller

and topped the classical charts in 2008.

“The bells had been silent for quite a while,” says Mr Hawker. “Polwhele pupils

have changed all that – as anyone within the vicinity of the school may have

heard recently!”

bankers to continue funding losses and the strong

desire to continue providing the unique style of

education offered by Amberfield. The budget then

prepared illustrated an ability to trade appropriately

until July 2012 and was agreed by the Board, its

own advisors, the school’s auditors and the bank.

The school’s income at the beginning of the current

term did not meet the June 2011 expectations. The

School had made strenuous efforts to attract more

pupils, including offering bursaries. Despite this,

pupil numbers increased only marginally but the

overall level of fee income was reduced by the level

of bursaries awarded. When the bank’s advisors

extrapolated the trend evidenced by the September

management accounts it became clear the funding

available per the June budget would be insufficient

to take the school through to July 2012. At that

point the school had to consider how best to

continue pupils’ education, in particular the GCSE

years. The decision then taken was to close as soon

as possible to allow those pupils the best possible

chance to relocate.”

The largest creditor is believed to be the bank who

had been supporting the school in its efforts to

turn the business round.

New head

Mrs Kate Leiper has been

appointed Head of Berkshire’s

Hurst Lodge School.

Following a successful career as a

professional flautist, Kate entered

the teaching profession and has

since worked in several independent

boarding schools.

She succeeds Ms Victoria Smit, who

remains at Hurst Lodge as Principal

to concentrate on developing the

schools sustainability programme and

its connection with the Eden Project.

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Independent Schools Magazine 7

Independent schools

support for academies

Governors beware

There have been growing calls for the independent school sector to become more involved in

academies. But this is an area in which governors need to be careful, advises lawyer Nick Burrows...

The Schools Minister Nick Gibb,

the Secretary of State for Education,

Michael Gove and Lord Adonis,

the former Schools Minister have

all spoken over the past few months

about this, and what they have said

has had common threads.

Michael Gove said that he

‘welcomed the contribution that

independent schools can play

in supporting or sponsoring

academies’. Nick Gibb told the

Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’

Conference that there should be

an expectation that all successful

fee-paying schools should support

an academy thus ‘providing an

opportunity for the sector to

spread its unique ethos, culture and

thinking…’. And Lord Adonis has

said that he wants the ‘DNA’ of the

independent sector transferred into

state schools, and wants to forge

a new settlement between state

and private education in England.

In his view ‘every successful

private school, and private school

foundation, should sponsor an

academy or academies, in place

of existing underperforming


8 Independent Schools Magazine

Whilst there has been a considerable

involvement in academies from

over two dozen independent

schools, such as Wellington College,

Dulwich and the King Edward VI

Foundation, it is true to say that

there is some disquiet in the sector

(and certainly among some parents)

at these proposals.

Some feel that for an independent

school to be deploying its

resources in assisting or sponsoring

academies means that parents

are, in effect, being asked to pay

three times for education – once

in paying their taxes, the second

in paying the school fees for their

children, and the third by way of a

contribution to the set up and/or

running of an academy.

It has also been pointed out that

in providing support to enable

an academy to raise its academic

standards, independent schools

might find themselves using their

own funds to create or sustain a

competitor which can provide high

quality education and which does

not charge fees. In other words,

might independent schools be

helping to raise standards to a level

where parents who might have

opted for an independent school for

their children choose instead a high

performing academy?

Governors may well feel, however,

that providing assistance to an

academy is a way in which a school

can demonstrate a clear provision of

benefit to the public, and one which

may benefit more children than the

provision of bursaries.

A further important point which

needs to be addressed is the extent

to which an independent school can

use its funds for assisting academies.

Governors will need to be aware of

what the current constitution of the

school says (and this will probably

be contained in the memorandum

and articles of association).

Often a memorandum will state

a ‘main object’ which may be

the setting up and running of

a particular school (and quite

often in a particular place).

There will then be other clauses

in the memorandum which

Nick Burrows is a partner at law firm Blandy & Blandy and heads up the Charity, Education and Third Sector service. 0118 951 6800

Boarding facilities opened

Godolphin School, Wiltshire,

celebrated the launch of their new

boarding programme in style last

month (October). The school recently

restructured their boarding to include

girls from Godolphin Prep School

and now offer boarding to girls aged

9 – 18 in three distinct phases: junior,

senior and Sixth Form.

As part of the restructure, the girls

in the boarding houses were asked

to suggest names for the new houses

and they decided that it would be a

good idea to honour three Godolphin

“old girls” who have succeeded in

the literary world: Dorothy L Sayers,

Minette Walters and Jilly Cooper.

Walters House is the home of Junior

Boarding and accommodates girls

aged 9 – 12 in delightfully bright and

colourful rooms. When being shown

around the house after the opening

on Sunday, Mrs Minette Walters was

heard to say “it makes me wish I was

10 again”.

Sayers and Cooper Houses are for the

senior girls, aged 13 – 16, and were

opened by Mr Christopher Dean,

Chairman of the D L Sayers Society,

and Mrs Jilly Cooper respectively. Pictured: Minette Walters and Jilly Cooper with pupils


include wide powers to carry out

a range of activities. However,

and importantly, those additional

powers will be limited – the

memorandum will state that they

can only be used in furtherance

of the main object of the charity.

In other words, the ability to,

for instance, set up other schools

(which is a relatively common

clause in such a document) can

only be exercised to the extent

that it furthers the main object

of the school. To what extent

can it necessarily be said that

the investment in an academy is

‘incidental or conducive to the

attainment of’ the main objects of

the charity?

Where a school is proposing to

sponsor, set up, provide assistance

to or help in the running of an

academy, Governors will need to

look carefully at the wording of

the governance documents of the

school to ensure that the necessary

powers are provided, and if they

are not, then to make appropriate


Talking point

Quadruple whammy on parents?

‘Must independent school parents pay four

times over for education? Once through

the tax system for state education their

children don’t use. Once for independent

school fees – often substantial and

demanding considerable sacrifice. Again

to support bursaries and scholarships and

other provisions advocated by the Charity

Commission (even though watered down by

the recent judicial review). And now Michael

Gove and other enthusiasts are expecting

them to countenance the outflow of staff time

and/or money to help out academies.’

In this latest in our occasional series of

‘Talking Points’ we asked a head and a

former school governor to comment:

Dr. John Newton, head, Taunton School, Somerset:

This is scandalous. Another

example of the squeezed middle.

It appears that both Labour and

Conservative policy is not to ban

fee charging education, but exploit

it to compensate for their own

mismanagement of both education

(for the last 60 years) and the


I would also suggest that both

parties have lost sight of the

founding principles of the welfare

state and the jewel in the education

crown which is the private sector.

The welfare state was never meant

to be an all encompassing comfort

blanket, but a genuine support

when all else had failed. Paying

for one’s own pension, simple

medical needs and education for the

majority should be second nature.

More schools should be feecharging

– not to make a profit

but a surplus. HM Gov should

recycle taxes to all parents through a

voucher scheme and simply ensure

quality through proper inspection.

Schools then need to compete for a

real education pound. And crucially

parents are more directly involved

creating far more engagement from

them as schools will be able to ask

for top ups. This engagement from

and with parents will generate both

social and educational change.

The current academy/free schools

policy still keeps schools shackled

to central government while

losing local control. Yet central

government has been the one

constant factor in our educational


Reforms to the way we think

about our relationship with the

state is the elephant in the room

as economic realities – both short

and long term – indicate that

overambition on the state’s part is

bringing in bills we cannot pay for

generations. Pensions and PFI are

just two examples.

Instead of charging hard working

parents more, the Government

needs to expect more from those

who can afford fees but do not

pay them because they happen

to live near a good state school.

Such parents are cashing in on free

education and stable/increasing

house values.

The state can then focus on the

genuinely needy. I would more

happily pay taxes for that because

that is my social responsibility.

It is time for a grown up

conversation on all these matters

before economic circumstances

overwhelm us.

Henry Briggs, accountant and former Worcestershire

independent school governor:

Despite paying several times over

for education, private school parents

receive no tax relief at all. It is

understandable that they feel they are

being taken for granted.

The initiatives for Independent

schools giving additional help

usually come from a combination

of political pressure, the governors

and benefactors of the school and

the Heads. Fee paying parents are

rarely consulted. With the recent

Judicial review on public benefit,

the ruling has effectively removed

one point of pressure.

The sacrifice of paying school fees

is certainly biting; although overall

numbers in Independent schools

are holding up well in the present

environment, there are indications

that they are falling at entry levels

and boarding places are being filled

by an increase in overseas pupils. The

UK parent who is also paying for the

state system should never be taken

for granted and no school can be


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improve bursary provision from


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income should consider their

policy. A voluntary approach where

donations attract gift aid (rather than

high fees which do not) will appeal

because the tax man is contributing.

Those schools that are already well

endowed should be able to be more

price competitive.

The trickle of applications for schools

to become Academies has now become

a river. What is interesting, though, is

that failing private schools with falling

pupil numbers are not joining the

queue; largely because parents have

acted to prevent it. The Academies

will undoubtedly have mixed success,

but the program will eventually

challenge some independent schools in

certain catchment areas. Committing

resources from an independent school

to a nearby potential competitor seems

short sighted in lean times.

Private schools embarking on social

schemes that are going to be paid

for by their fee paying parents

should consider doing so on a costed

voluntary basis with the taxman’s

help and show they are reducing the

four times multiple.

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Independent Schools Magazine 9

Harnessing IT benefits

~ without the downsides

A leading scientist addressing a Dorset independent school warned of the addictive effect of online

gaming on young minds ~ whilst stressing the importance of proper use of IT and of “feeling the

grass under your feet and the sun on your face” .

At the opening of Sherborne Girls’

new £2.5 million science centre,

eminent neuroscientist Baroness

Susan Greenfield CBE warned of

the effects of online gaming and

social networking sites such as

Facebook on young minds.

In a speech to students at the

Dorset school, entitled Future of

the Brain and Brain of the Future,

Baroness Greenfield pointed

out that between a child’s tenth

and eleventh birthday almost

2,000 hours were spent looking

at a screen, and said that for

young people especially, “screen

technologies cause high arousal,

which in turn activates the brain

system’s underlying addiction and

reward, resulting in the attraction

of yet more screen-based activity”.

Although keen to stress the

importance of harnessing

information technology “to enable

the next generation to develop

understanding, insight and

creativity”, Baroness Greenfield

warned that “the brain’s neuronal

connections can be temporarily

disabled by activities with a strong

10 Independent Schools Magazine

sensory content – ‘blowing the

mind’ - or they can be inactivated

permanently by degeneration, ie,

‘dementia’. In both cases the mind

then recapitulates early childhood


Baroness Greenfield also

highlighted the alarming trend of

“trolling” among young people

– the practice of being “spiteful”

online and “persecuting others to

get themselves noticed” as well

as the increasing need for young

people to live their lives out on

social networking sites such as

Facebook. “What does it say about

their identity if they are defining

themselves by how others see

them?” asked Baroness Greenfield.

“The idea that if you don’t look at

me, how do you know I exist?”

She implored young people to live

life not in two dimensions but

“to be outside, to climb trees and

feel the grass under your feet and

the sun on your face” and warned

that, like the unknown dangers of

smoking in the Fifties, there was

a need to be aware of the negative

effects of prolonged gaming

Girls inspired by engineering courses

Farnborough Hill girls have

been inspired by the Smallpeice

Engineering courses. No less than

thirteen girls attended six different

four-day residential courses across

the country during 2011. Girls from

Years 9 to 12 enjoyed these taster

sessions designed to encourage them

to consider a career applying their

science in the many different areas of

engineering. The Smallpeice Trust not

only organises and runs these courses,

often in universities, but subsidises

them by paying half of the cost. The

girls also qualify for a Bronze Crest

Award from the British Association for

the Advancement of Science.

Gill Chapman, Head of Physics

at the Hampshire school, said: ‘I

am delighted and very excited that

our girls are being so inspired as

these courses give a very realistic

insight into applied science. It is so

important for them to appreciate

how interesting and rewarding

engineering can be and that

girls, in particular, are needed to

work in all areas of engineering.

The Smallpeice Trust has done a

superb job of encouraging students

to consider careers in the all

important STEM subjects (Science,

Technology, Engineering and


on young minds – fragmented

attention, increased recklessness

and shorter attention spans.

Sherborne Girls’ headmistress Jenny

Dwyer said: “We pay close attention

to the amount of time girls spend

in front of computer screens – for

example there are restrictions on

Facebook and computer games.

Some of Baroness Greenfield’s

views are controversial, which is

a great thing for future classroom

discussions. Not only do we get

to welcome a senior female role

model to the school, we also know

that her thoughts on how modern

technology is changing the way we

think and feel are going to provoke

some lively debate among the staff

and girls. It’s just what we need to

encourage girls to embrace science

as a very real part of their lives.”

Courses booking now

Educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust is

a highly respected charity that has encouraged

thousands of students to take up successful careers

in science, design, technology and engineering.

They have recently launched their

2012 residential course timetable

for students in Years 9 to 12. All

Smallpeice courses complement

GCSE, A-Level and degree

subjects and represent excellent

preparation for examinations and

further education. Courses take

place at leading universities across

the country, around the school


The residential courses are

interactive, educational and fun

and provide students with an

invaluable insight into a host

of exciting careers. Subjects are

varied and include Electronics,

Engineering Construction, Marine

Technology, Mining and Minerals,

Naval Architecture and Railway

Engineering. Students gain real

work experience that accelerates

their own personal development

and their potential for greater

academic achievement. They

also develop their team working,

problem solving, creativity and

financial management skills and

enhance their CVs and UCAS


Students can apply for a course

online at www.smallpeicetrust. Places are allocated on

a first come, first served basis so

students should be encouraged to

submit their applications as soon as


To request a free teacher infopack and classroom poster call 01926 333200,

email or visit


Educational charity The Smallpeice Trust runs

in-school STEM (science, technology, engineering,

mathematics) activity days designed to enhance

Year 6 to 11 students’ aptitude for problem-solving,

creativity, design and engineering.

Benefi ts to teachers:

Easy to organise, teachers can choose full or half day

workshops that complement the national curriculum

and fit nicely into the school day. There is a choice

of ‘design and make’ projects offering students the

chance to break away from their usual routine to work

on exciting projects that really stretch the imagination!

Groups of 50 pupils work together in small teams on

‘design and make’ activities.

Cost £595 plus

travel expenses

agreed at time

of booking.

Call 01926 333200

to book your day.

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Independent Schools Magazine 11

Bribery Act ~

checklist for schools

Last month a court clerk became the first person in the UK

to be convicted under the Bribery Act 2010, which came

into force earlier this year. This serves as a timely reminder

for schools which have yet to review their business practices

in light of the new legislation. Lawyer Louise Smyth suggests

some actions to be considered...

At first blush, one could be

forgiven for assuming the business

of a school is not caught within the

scope of the Act. However, there

are some areas of schools’ (and

particularly independent schools’)

operations which may face a real

bribery risk.

Offences under the Act

Under the Act it is an offence to:

• offer, promise or give a bribe;

• request, agree to receive or

accept a bribe;

• bribe a foreign public official to

obtain or retain business;

• for a “relevant commercial

organisation” (schools which are

incorporated as companies, royal

charter bodies or incorporated

by acts of parliament fall within

this definition) to fail to prevent

bribery. This is often referred to

as the “Corporate Offence”.

An individual guilty of an offence

under the Bribery Act may be

jailed for up to 10 years and/

or receive an unlimited fine.

Schools found guilty of the

Corporate Offence may receive

unlimited fines.

There is however, a defence to the

Corporate Offence if a school can

show it had implemented adequate

procedures designed to prevent the

bribery. This potential defence,

coupled with the adverse publicity

facing any independent school

charged with bribery offences,

ensures that all governors and

senior leadership teams should

be strongly incentivised to ensure

12 Independent Schools Magazine

they have appropriate preventative

measures in place.

Risk Scenarios for Schools

The first step for any school is to

identify the potential risk areas. By

way of example, it is not difficult

to imagine scenarios whereby:

1. a member of staff is offered

payment or donations for the

school in return for securing a

place for a particular child, or

the appointment of a particular

child to a position within the


2. a member of the senior

leadership team is offered a

charitable donation from a

business which is tendering for a

contract with the school;

3. a member of staff is offered a

lavish gift or gifts by a pupil or

parent with a view to securing

preferential treatment for a

particular child;

4. a supplier invites a member

of staff to a hospitality event,

with the intention of using that

hospitality to inappropriately

influence the tender process;

5. a senior member of staff at a

feeder school asks the school

to provide a free or subsidised

place for their child in return for

promoting the school within the

feeder school.

Contrary to what has been

reported in the media, genuine

hospitality and the giving

or receiving of gifts is not

prohibited by the Act. Provided

any hospitality and/or gifts

are proportionate, justifiable

and not intended to secure an

improper advantage, the practice

remains permissible. Parents and

pupils often choose to provide

heads, teachers and other staff

with small gifts to mark special

occasions such as the end of

the academic year or Christmas

and, despite the potential risk

discussed above, these are

unlikely to be of any concern

under the Act unless their value

is significant. However, as set

out below, schools would be well

advised to keep a record of any

such gifts. Schools may also wish

to consider whether they will

accept more generous donations

from a child’s parents or wider

family while that child is still a

pupil at the school.

Anti-Bribery Measures

In order to protect their position,

all schools should consider

implementing comprehensive

anti-bribery procedures. Steps to

consider include:

• carrying out a risk assessment

covering bribery risks across the


• appointing a senior individual

to be responsible for enforcing

anti-bribery procedures;

• developing a clear anti-bribery

policy and training to make the

parameters of what is acceptable

clear to all staff;

• demonstrating governing body

commitment to keeping the

school free from the taint of

Louise Smyth is a solicitor in the Education Group at law firm Field Seymour Parkes. The Group is headed by Julia Mactear – 0118 951 6200

bribery and corruption e.g.

issuing a statement of values;

• maintaining a register of

hospitality provided and

received, as well as a register of

gifts and donations received by

the school and members of staff;

• considering what measures

can be taken to reduce the

risk of bribery in relation to

tendering for contracts for goods

and services – e.g. ensuring a

minimum number of quotes

are obtained for any tender and

that contracts are re-tendered at

regular intervals;

• undertaking due diligence of

suppliers, potential business

partners and even parents –

however, schools must ensure

that they treat all suppliers,

potential business partners and

parents equally to avoid the

risk of falling foul of the anti-

discrimination legislation;

• ensuring there are procedures

in place for staff members to

report and/or for the school to

investigate any allegations of

bribery and corruption.

Any school looking at expanding

and developing links abroad

would be well advised to

consider the implications of their

employees becoming involved

in locally acceptable practices

which may nonetheless constitute

offences under UK legislation.

Clear guidance as to what is

acceptable both at home and

away is vital.

Director of Music is

Christmas Carol winner

Stuart Thompson, Director of Music

at Caterham School, Surrey, is a

joint winner of The Times inaugural

Christmas Carol competition.

He wrote a new score for the

traditional carol The Holly and the

Ivy which impressed the judges so

much that they found it impossible

to separate it from the composition

by Pippa Cleary. So they awarded

First Prize to both entrants.

There were 710 entries and

the three judges were; Richard

Morrison (Chief Music Critic at

The Times), David Hill (Musical

Director of the Bach Choir) and

Andrew Riley (writer and editor of

The Register section of The Times).

It is be performed by the BBC

Singers this month (November)

at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge. The

recording will be broadcast on

Radio 3 on December 23. The Bach

Choir will sing it in a concert at

the Cadogan Hall on December 8

which is in aid of the charity Action

Medical Research.

Rugby team sponsorship

Christ College, Powys, school’s

rugby activities are being sponsored

by Welsh insurance broking-tofinancial

services company Thomas,

Carroll Group PLC

Wales and British Lions rugby

great Robert Jones MBE, now a

broker with the firm, visited the

school and met with Head Mrs

Emma Taylor and members of

the 1st XV squad and was able to

see the design of the 2011/12 1st

XV shirts. The company’s heraldic

Pendragon emblem and name will

appear on the front of College rugby

shirts and as well as funding kit,

Stuart also composed the Caterham

School bicentenary anthem which was

performed at Speech Day in July and

at the bicentenary commemorative

service at Westminster Abbey last

month (October).

Stuart Thompson said: ‘It’s lovely

to get recognition. I’ve always felt

the tune to The Holly and the Ivy

was one of those Christmas carol

melodies that, whilst being popular

and very well known, could be

looked at again.’

the sponsorship package also helps

in the purchase of updated rugby

equipment as required by the school.

Rob also presented the 1st XV

with their commemorative shirts

ahead of the annual fixture against

Llandovery College. With the

presentation over, he took time

out to talk to the players about

his experiences on various tours

with the British Lions, as well as

talking about other rugby-related

matters including his take on the

now infamous red-carding of Sam

Warburton during the recent Rugby

World Cup.

Captain of the 1st XV Ed Davidson with Wales and British Lions rugby great Robert Jones MBE.

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Independent Schools Magazine 13


from debating

The London Junior Debating League, founded and led by Julian

Bell, inspires Year 7 and 8 pupils at independent and state schools

to think and speak quickly and effectively. Here, Mr Bell – Head

of English at Godolphin and Latymer School, explains more

about the League and why he invites other schools to join in.

Debating teaches children so much:

confidence in public speaking; clarity

of thought; independent research

skills; how to analyse an argument;

the ability to present complex ideas

crisply and concisely. And there are

also less obvious things. Team work;

engagement with the world, and

an interest in it; and, most counterintuitively

of all, humility. A good

debater is above all a good listener,

who must be able to put aside her

own prejudices and fully understand

and enter into the way of seeing the

world of someone who is not her. In

this respect, debating is more akin to

a creative discipline like writing or

acting. Michael Caine said once that

he knew he’d succeeded as an actor

when there was no more Michael

Caine left in his performance.

Debating (where at least half the time,

you’re arguing for the precise opposite

of what you believe) can offer that

possibility of self-transcendence. So

14 Independent Schools Magazine

debating, although it arises out of the

competitive clash of arguments and

ideas, can actually be a profoundly

collaborative and co-operative

endeavour; young people striving

together to understand their world.

For all these reasons, I’ve long

believed passionately in the value of

debating, and wanted to spread the

opportunity to practise it as widely as

possible amongst my own students

at Godolphin and Latymer, and

amongst those at other schools. It

was for this reason that I set up the

London Junior Debating League. The

English Speaking Union (the MCC

of debating) does great work running

the Mace and Public Speaking

competitions, and there are many

long established competitions run

by university undergraduates; but

these are all targeted at students in

Year 9 and above. There has always

been huge enthusiasm for debating

at Godolphin – we have debates

four times a week in our domestic

competitions – but students in Years 7

and 8 had, until now, no opportunity

to compete against students at other

schools. It struck me that there was a

gap in the market for a competition

specifically for Years 7 and 8.

I started small, recruiting three

other local independent schools for

the 2010-11 season. I ran it as a

combination of league and knockout,

rather like the World Cup Finals.

This meant that we gathered at each

others’ schools, taking turns to host,

for four evenings over the Autumn

and Spring terms, culminating in

a Finals Night in March, where

the winners were presented with

their trophies. By the end of the

competition every school had debated

against every other school twice, once

on a pre-announced motion, and

once on a motion they had only thirty

minutes to prepare, with no assistance

from teachers or coaches. Judging

was undertaken by sixth formers

from participating schools, who also

took responsibility for coaching the

junior teams. They took an immense

managerial pride in training and

motivating the younger students, and

learnt many leadership skills in the

process. Barriers were broken down

and bonds were formed between

students from different schools.

This year, we’re expanding. We’ve

doubled in size, now running two

groups of four, and have consciously

made an effort to recruit schools

from the maintained sector, who have

responded with great enthusiasm.

The inclusion of maintained schools

broadens pupils’ views and illustrates

the benefit of community. Our

students, and their students, are

learning that all of them are just

young people who are curious about

the world and want to be able to

articulate their understanding of it

with other young people.

Julian Bell (pictured) would love to hear from any schools in London who are interested in joining the London Junior Debating League, or from colleagues from outside London who are

interested in setting up something similar in their area. You can reach him on

Taking part this year were The Godolphin and Latymer School, St Paul’s Girls’ School, Latymer Upper School, Burlington Danes Academy, West London Free School, Harrodian School, Twyford High

School and Colet Court.

Photograph (left to right) Gareth Doodes, Headmaster; James Barnes, Chairman of

Governors; Tony Jenkins and Mark Vincent both from Amiri Construction.

Construction underway

for new boarding houses

Construction to build three new boarding houses at Milton Abbey School, Dorset,

has been started with the first turf cut, marking the beginning of a £4million five

year investment programme, which will see new boarding accommodation for

every pupil, upgraded classrooms and improved teaching facilities.

The forty-five week build programme is the most significant development in

Milton Abbey’s sixty year history. The turf cutting ceremony was attended by

James Barnes, the Chairman of Governors, Gareth Doodes, the Headmaster, long

serving members of staff and Fareham based Amiri Construction.

Each boarding house will accommodate up to sixty pupils supervised by a

Resident Housemaster, Resident Assistant Housemaster, and Resident Tutor

who will be supported by a team of tutors and matrons. Each house will have

individual study bedrooms for all sixth form pupils, common rooms, boot room,

kitchen facilities and social areas. All will be available from September 2012 as

Milton Abbey moves to full co-education.


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Independent Schools Magazine 15

Focus on science... Focus on science... Focus on science... Focus on science...

Careers motivation

Top scientists, engineers and business

leaders have offered advice about

further education and careers to more

than 300 female students from across

the East of England.

The day, hosted by St Mary’s School,

Cambridge on behalf of the Girls’

Schools Association (GSA), was

opened by Dr Julian Huppert, MP

for Cambridge and the Research

Councils UK Academic Fellow in

Computational Biology. The day’s

varied programme was designed to

inspire students to consider a career as

a scientist, engineer or mathematician.

Charlotte Avery, Headmistress of St

Mary’s School, commented: “There

is a concern regarding the number of

girls – as well as boys – who choose to

read STEM subjects at university and,

even more importantly, the number

who then go on to have a career as a

scientist, engineer or mathematician.

In order to keep the country

competing viably we desperately

need good scientists, mathematicians

and engineers – and bearing in mind

our audience of today’s event – we

desperately need good female scientists,

mathematicians and engineers!

Detectives of the future

A team from the City of London

Freemens School, Surrey, have won

first prize in the Salters’ Challenge

held at the Salters’ festival at Brighton

University. The pupils, all in Year 8,

competed against 22 other schools

and had to solve a forensic science

riddle involving a murder using

chemistry. They were given a salt

found on the murdered victim and

had to compare it with white powders

16 Independent Schools Magazine

“We are facing a great challenge in

Britain to generate future scientists.

There are signs of rekindling interest;

this year the number of A-level maths

and science students has soared. I

hope that in some small way that

today’s event might inspire some of

our attendees to take their maths and

science studies yet more seriously

and help continue the impetus we

need to set Britain back on track to

the top bench of mathematical and

scientific excellence.”

Attendees were privy to handson

workshops on STEM careers,

nanotechnology and advice on

university applications. Inspirational

speakers from the top of their

respective fields spoke about their

own education and careers. The

speakers included Professor Valerie

Gibson, Professor in High Energy

Physics at Cambridge University and

Professor Elizabeth Morris OBE,

Fellow of the Scott Polar Research

Institute & Visiting Professor at the

Environmental Systems Science Centre

at the University of Reading.

The event was attended by 18 schools

from across the Eastern region.

found on several victims using flame

and precipitate tests. In order to win

they had to work together well as a

team, sharing out tasks and write a

report at the end of it. Their teacher,

Karen Standish, was very impressed

with the way the four students

worked cooperatively using not

only the analysis results but also less

obvious deductions to come up with

the right answer.

Association with the Royal Society

Loretto School in Edinburgh has

been successful in its application to

become an Associate School of the

Royal Society.

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of

the world’s most eminent scientists

and is the oldest scientific academy

in continuous existence, whose

goal is to invigorate science and

mathematics education. The Royal

Society’s Associate Schools and

Colleges make up a UK network

of enthusiastic teachers who

share their experience and help

promote excellence in science and

mathematics teaching.

Loretto School’s application was

submitted by Dr Michael Topping,

Director of Academic Progress and

Head of Biology. He said, “We

Launch of new-look laboratories

Schools minister Nick Gibb MP has

visited Wisbech Grammar School to

open three state-of-the-art science

laboratories following a complete


The minister was joined at the ribbon

cutting ceremony by North East

Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay

before going on to tour the senior

school with head boy Joshua York

and head girl Alice Wong and then

attending a remembrance assembly

with pupils at the preparatory school,

Magdalene House.

The high-spec laboratories, which

have been designed to the school’s

specification, include a visualiser,

a mobile fume cupboard and data

projectors in every room.

Headmaster Mr Nicholas Hammond

said: “Last year ten per cent of the

sixth form went on to study medicine

and we have a commitment as a school

are delighted that Loretto School

has the opportunity to make a

national contribution in the areas

of Mathematics and Science. Being

an Associate School will allow the

Loretto staff to use their enthusiasm

and expertise to support the work

and research of the Royal Society”.

Loretto will be an Associate School

for at least two years, and will engage

with the Royal Society in areas

including national education policy

and the promotion of excellence in

teaching mathematics and science.

Loretto’s Headmaster, Mr Peter

Hogan added, “Loretto has

a traditional of excellence in

Mathematics and Science and this

association with the Royal Society

will enhance our pupils’ learning.”

to studying subjects which are vital to

the national interest, including science

and modern foreign languages.

“This is a complete refurbishment of

three laboratories, which demonstrates

our investment in study in science and

gives us facilities which rival those of

higher education establishments and

the health service.

“We are concentrating on the

classroom, on good quality teaching

space. This is proof positive that we

put our money where our mouth is in

terms of academic pursuits.”

Pictured: sixth form student Callum Gurbutt explaining volumetric analysis of an

ammonium compound to Nick Gibb during a chemistry lesson.



The Cheltenham Ladies’ College, in

association with Bristol ChemLabS,

University of Bristol, hosted the first

ever Royal Society of Chemistry

event in Gloucestershire with

students from schools across the

whole county attending. The event

was held to engage students from the

age of 8 to 18 in Science, support

their curriculum learning and raise

their awareness of Chemistry as

a future subject choice and as a

potential career.

The morning featured three lectures

for 330 AS Level students. The

University of Bristol’s Tim Harrison

started the day with a bang as he

gave a demonstration of chemical

explosions. Andy Chapman, also

from the University of Bristol,

followed with a talk on the Science of

Chocolate and the morning concluded

with renowned Science writer Dr John

Emsley’s ‘Molecules of Murder’, a talk

on poisoning and forensics.

The afternoon featured ‘A Chemical

Delight’, a workshop given by Tim

Harrison for 350 children from

five local primary schools. Tim

said, “Bristol ChemLabS and the

Cheltenham Ladies’ College are

greatly looking forward to working

together again next year and hope

Pictured: (L-R) Kellyann Burlage (The Cheltenham Ladies’ College), Manifah Debono

(The Cheltenham Ladies’ College), James Rowland (The Crypt School), Aaron Jones (The Crypt

School), Tim Harrison (Speaker from Bristol ChemLabS, University of Bristol), Dr John Emsley

(Speaker), Kieron Hall (Ribston Hall High School), Jess Weston (Ribston Hall High School),

Elli Gilje (The Cheltenham Ladies’ College), Annabel Clark (The Cheltenham Ladies’ College).

Quiz winners

Four pupils from Thomas’s Preparatory

School, London, have won the 2011

Year 5 Science Inter-School Quiz

Championship 2011.

The Championship involved pupils

from 800 schools from across the

country competing in a high-tech

and challenging science quiz. School

teams comprised 4 players from Year

5 (aged 9/10).

The Championship started at school

level, with schools running quizzes

in the classroom to select their team.

More than 20,000 children took

part in these qualifier quizzes from

the participating schools. Once

their team was in place, schools

participated in a local Area Heat,

competing against up to 11 other

primary school teams for a place at

the Semi Finals. The winning team

from each Area Heat was invited to

take part in one of 12 Semi Finals

across the country, competing against

11 other teams for a place at the

National Finals which were held at

the world leading Culham Centre for

Fusion Energy in Abingdon.

to make this an annual event.

We look forward to involving

even more students next year and

would like to thank the RSC for

sponsoring the event.”

Schools attending: Airthrie

School, Berkhampstead School,

The Cheltenham Ladies’ College,

The Cotswold School, The Crypt

School, Filton College, Fitzharrys

School, Gardners Lane Primary

School, John Cabot Academy,

Malvern College, Ribston Hall

High School, St Edward’s Junior

School, The Richard Pate School,

The Ridgeway School.

Independent Schools Magazine 17

Leadership Diploma proves compelling

Malvern College, Gloucestershire,

has launched a diploma in


Around 25 per cent of 13 and

14-year-olds at the school have

already signed up to the two-year

non-compulsory initiative to help

Year 10 and 11 pupils develop selfknowledge

and integrity.

Headmaster Antony Clark said of

the Malvern College Leadership

Phillip Schofield opens

Sixth Form House

TV personality, Phillip Schofield has

officially opened a new state-ofthe-art

Sixth Form House at Queen

Anne’s School, Berkshire. Phillip

celebrated the opening of ‘Holmes

House’ with Queen Anne’s pupils,

parents, staff, governors and The

Right Worshipful The Mayor of

Reading, Cllr Debbie Edwards.

Following the opening Phillip, The

Mayor and other local VIPs were

invited to a champagne reception in

Holmes with a guided tour of the

new building.

Holmes House is a new dedicated

house for day and boarding students

in the lower sixth form at the all-girls

school. The House is part of the Sixth

Form package offered at Queen Anne’s,

which is designed to aid the transition

between school and university life.

Headmistress, Mrs Julia Harrington

said: “Holmes is a fantastic facility

and will not only aid the education

development of our students but also

aid the transition between school and

university life.”

Holmes House is home to 73 day

and boarding students. The facilities

18 Independent Schools Magazine

Diploma: “We want to nurture and

encourage the attribute of leadership

in every Malvernian at an age where

there are relatively few opportunities

for leadership in comparison with

later years – we believe it’s important

to bridge the gap between those

opportunities available at the end of

prep school and in sixth form. It’s

meant to complement and enhance

what pupils already do, providing

include en-suite twin and single

bedrooms, dedicated study rooms, an

IT workroom, a large sitting room

for socialising and a large kitchen to

enable the students to cook their meals,

further preparing for life at university.

The origins of Queen Anne’s

School go back to 1698 when eight

merchants founded the Grey Coat

Hospital, a Christian foundation, in

Westminster. In 1706 Queen Anne

granted the Grey Coat Hospital a

royal charter. By 1874 Parliament

had begun to recognise that girls

deserved an education and the Grey

Coat Hospital became a girls’ school.

The Grey Coat Hospital Foundation

bought the present site in Caversham,

and this became Queen Anne’s School

on Ascension Day in 1894. Since

that time Queen Anne’s has grown

and prospered and become a well

known and well-loved independent

school. The school remains part of

the Grey Coat Hospital Foundation

and values its connection with the

other Foundation Schools: Grey Coat

Hospital, Emanuel, Sutton Valence

and Westminster City School.

a specific focus on all-round

strengths. It aims to develop their

character, confidence and integrity,

encouraging even the shyest to see

themselves as potential leaders.”

He added: “It’s always important

to encourage self-esteem and

awareness of leadership: it’s actually

about serving others and playing

a positive role in whatever it is

they do. We’re hoping to implant

in them a long-term goal of being

able to serve others.”

The diploma involves completing

10 sections, three of which are

compulsory: a residential course,

leadership seminars by leaders in their

fields, and presentations by pupils

on what they have learned. They will

then be scored and awarded either

Gold, Silver or Bronze awards at the

end of two years.

Students take part

in study into obesity

Sixth form students are being

taught research skills so they can

help to gather and analyse data

as part of a major study into

childhood obesity. The study is

being funded by children’s charity

Action Medical Research.

The sixth form students are being

taught the skills as part of a three year

study looking at the links between

obesity in teenagers and sleep

deprivation, academic performance

and the use of electronic gadgets such

as games consoles.

Once the sixth formers have been

trained, they will be tasked with

supervising the study –- involving

800 11-12 year olds from their own

schools for one year. A new cohort of

sixth formers will be trained each year.

The younger children will complete a

7-day sleep diary and questionnaires

about their sleeping patterns and their

use of technology, once a year, for the

three years.

They will also wear watch-like

devices on their wrists for oneweek

periods which monitor sleep

patterns by detecting movement.

The children’s height and weight

will also be measured and

information on their academic

performance will be collected.

Project Leader, Dr Taheri, from the

Diabetes Centre at Birmingham

Heartlands Hospital, said: “I run

the UK’s largest obesity clinic at the

hospital so it’s really important to me

to be able to contribute to trying to

prevent this condition in children.

My clinic mainly sees adult patients

but we are getting more and more

children coming in with diabetes,

obstructed breathing and wanting

surgery at just 15 or 16.

“In the Midlands one quarter of Year

6 children are obese and around 70%

of those will grow into obese adults.

We are hoping our research will lead

to an intervention that could help

teenagers to sleep better and reduce

their risk of obesity.”

The project team, who are based

at the Diabetes Centre, Heart of

England NHS Foundation Trust,

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

and University of Birmingham, have

been awarded the grant of £138,762

from Action Medical Research to

run the study.

They will spend the next few months

running training programmes with

the sixth formers at all the schools so

they are fully equipped to supervise

the study, go through the ethics

process, and then gather and analyse

the data. The sixth formers will

then carry out the research during

February, March and April next year.

Dr Taheri, said: “The sixth form

students benefit from this as they

gain key scientific and analytical skills

which they can use in their studies.

Also, they can put on their CVs that

they have taken part in a national

research programme which might help

them secure a place at university in

the future.”

Among the Schools taking part in the

research project:

• Solihull School, West Midlands

• Foremarke Hall School, Derbyshire

• Repton School, Derbyshire

• Bablake School, Warwickshire

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Independent Schools Magazine 19

Sight Reading Simplified!

… particularly for Piano/Keyboard

teachers and their students.

The SightRead4Piano App trains the

brain and the eye to achieve


THE WESSAR APP does what no book

can possibly do: it doesn’t just tell you to

“keep going”, it makes sure you do!

The SightRead4Piano App contains over

1,000 pieces of piano music suitable for

all standards, from the beginner to the

professional level student and includes

sample examination tests from leading

boards such as the ABRSM, Yamaha and

Rock School.

The complete answer to Piano sight

reading problems, direct to your iPad!

Watch here for details of the launch or visit:

20 Drama & Music

Knights, dragons and time-travel

Children in Year 1 at Newton Prep

School, London, have been learning

about the history of castles and

knights. When they arrived at school

one morning recently a knight was

waiting for them... ‘Sir Teachalot’,

as he is commonly known, took

the children on a journey back into

the medieval era where they built a

castle, explored its features and then

demolished the castle using a catapult.

The children had the chance to adopt

the role of a knight, trying on heavy

armour, and engaging in jousting and

battles using shields as protection.

Girls and Governor on stage

There was a marked Royal School,

Surrey, presence in the Haslemere

Players’ magical production of

Disney’s musical Beauty and the Beast

last month (October). Several senior

girls were involved including Jemima

and Maddy Barr who were performing

alongside their grandfather, Hamish

Picture: Hamish Donaldson with Jemima and Maddy Barr


Donaldson, a longstanding member

of the players and Chairman of

The Royal School Governors. The

other girls in the junior ensemble

were Isabel McMichael and Alice

Simmonds and Mr Godfree, Music

Teacher at the Junior School, played

keyboard in the band.

Over 140 people attended the recital by acclaimed Russian virtuoso pianist

Professor Alexander Ardakov organised by Box Hill School, Surrey, which

featured a recital of works by Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Liszt. The

evening ended with a standing ovation.

Earlier in the day, Professor Ardakov conducted a masterclass at Box Hill School,

for young musicians from a number of local schools.

Advertorial Feature

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“WOW … just the thing my piano

teachers will love!” exclaimed Val

Linnemann, Head of Music at

Sheffield High School on trying out

the Wessar SightRead4Piano App.

And this “wow” factor has been the

reaction from teachers worldwide

when confronted with this unique aid

for piano sight reading. Brainchild of

former Trinity Guildhall examiner Dr.

Christopher Wiltshire, the concept

has been demonstrated in Mumbai,

Melbourne, Singapore, Berlin, Hong

Kong, Christchurch NZ, Berlin,

Dublin and Milan as well as the UK.

Everywhere the reaction has been

the same: “So simple, so obviously

effective – why has no one thought of

this before?” Then: “When can I have

one? How much?!”

In 2004, on a long and tiring

examination tour of India, and after a

particularly trying day in terms of sight

reading, Chris decided something

must be done about this vital element

in the training of musicians. Not

that the standard in Chennai was any

worse than the rest of the world –

from Barnsley to Buenos Aires (and

Chris has examined in both) sight

reading is almost always the part of

piano exams that is done least well.

He knew that the problem was one

of training the brain and the eye to

keep moving to the right, to scan

continuously. As Daniel Barenboim

puts it: “By definition, sight reading

means playing bar one with your eyes

while your brain is on bar five”.

So began the long process of

developing various versions and

prototypes which were shown to exam

boards and teachers around the world.

The first early breakthrough was when

the ABRSM declared the concept

“Educationally very sound” – the

Board has been supportive ever since.

But it was almost as if the “concept”

and the manner of its delivery were

waiting for the iPad App to appear.

Here was a simple and cost effective

way of delivering continuity in

reading at sight.

Loaded into the App will be over

1,000 piano and keyboard sight

reading samples from six examination

boards, including the ABRSM,

LCM, RockSchool and Yamaha,

plus supplementary material written

by Chris and his team at Wessar

International Ltd. The technology

allows a selected piece to be studied for

the requisite time (depending on exam

board criteria) and then, with the

metronome set, the player is counted

in and launched into a performance.

With each bar disappearing on

completion, the player’s focus is

constantly pushed to the right –

therefore there is no going back,

stumbles will be eliminated and the

player achieves the sought-for fluency.

The App does what no book or

teacher can do: it will not just tell

the player to keep going, it ensures

that they do. As such, Chris feels

that developing sight reading skills

through the SightRead4Piano App,

players young and more experienced,

will discover the other unique feature

of this groundbreaking device – sight

reading can actually be fun!

Choirs sings at Annual

Service for Seafarers

Last month (October) The Royal

School, Surrey, Seafarer’s Choir joined

with the London Nautical School, The

Royal Hospital School, Pangbourne

College and Bearwood College

under the baton of Mr Chris Enston

(Director of Music at Bearwood

College) at the annual Service for

Seafarers at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The opportunity to conduct the

massed choir rotates between the

Director of Music of the participating

schools; Mr Ian Senior, The Royal

School’s Director of Music, will next

have an opportunity in 2015.

The Seafarer’s Choir is a combined

choir of invited senior girls from

both the Main and the Chamber

Choirs and the day is always a

highlight of the year for those

taking part.

The girls consider it a great privilege

to take part in the service and are

pictured in front of Nelson’s tomb.

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Drama & Music 21

independent schools mag Ad 90x135mm MAY11.indd 1 6/5/11 13:08:41

Christmas came early for VIPS

Elderly residents from local care

homes were VIPs at the Crosfields

School, Berkshire, Christmas

Production this month (November)

and gave tremendous support to the

young performers, aged 5.

Year 1 pupils, showed their

audience that not everyone has

a cold Christmas when they

performed ‘Children of the World’,

a vibrant musical production

which took guests on a world tour

of Christmas celebrations. Guests

were transported from Australians

in shorts and t-shirts to Irish river

dancers and African drummers.

22 Drama & Music

The production brought the

traditional Bible story to life. The

stage in the Crosfields theatre was

awash with colourful costumes as

the children showcased their singing,

dancing and musical talent. Staff

worked together to produce the

outfits and choreograph the show.

Head of Pre-Prep, Janey McDowell,


“What a wonderful concert our

children performed this week to

the residents of the three homes. It

was a fantastic joint effort by pupils

and staff and a great display of our

music and drama talents.”

Orchestral Course open

to Grade 3 and over

Children are once again being given

the chance to play in a full size

orchestra or band. Now in its 26th

year, and being sponsored once again

by Minns Music, Castle Court’s

Orchestral Course will be taking

place at the Dorset prep school on

the afternoon of Friday 13 and all day

Saturday 14 January 2012.

The course welcomes non Castle

Court pupils between 8 and 14 years

of age who hold grade 3 or above in

an orchestral instrument. Children

attending the course will receive high

quality tuition from experienced

professionals, including Castle Court’s

Director of Music, Roy Robinson.

Castle Court has an excellent track

record in music performance;

the school has its own orchestra,

band, choirs, and a number of

instrumental ensembles, including

percussion, guitar and jazz groups.

The music department is also high

achieving in music exams (results

are above the national average)

and scholarships. Pupils benefit

from a purpose-built music school

containing a class/rehearsal room,

five practice/teaching rooms and an

office, built around a spacious hall

with easy access to the stage.

The course lasts one and a half

days (Friday afternoon and all day

Saturday) and culminates in a concert

given by all the children for their

parents on the Saturday afternoon,

14 January 2012. The cost is a

modest £35 to include lunch and

snacks. To find out more or obtain

a programme and application form

contact Roy Robinson, Castle Court

School on tel 01202 694438 or


Choir’s charity performance

The Town Close House School,

Norfolk, Choir performed an

eclectic programme in Norwich

Cathedral at the launch of the

Salvation Army ‘Toys and Tins’

2011 Appeal. The children were

joined by the Norwich Citadel

Salvation Army Band and the

programme was compered by world

renowned keyboard player Rick

Wakeman. It was a privilege for

the Choir to perform alongside

professional musicians in such a

beautiful setting and to be able to

play a part to help raise funds for a

worthwhile cause.

Organist Scholar

follows sister to


Jonathan Ellse has won an organ

scholarship to Cambridge,

following his sister who has just

started studying there. Both

children of Chase Academy,

Staffordshire, Principal, Mark Ellse,

they have studied at the school right

from their nursery days. Jonathan

has only been playing the organ for

ten months.

Sarah Ellse distinguished herself last

year by winning a place at Newnham

College, Cambridge - gaining 8

A levels at A and A* from Chase

Academy. Sarah, too, is a keen

musician, playing the piano, violin and

viola, as well as being a good singer.

Jonathan will be studying at Christ’s

College, Cambridge. He has three

early A levels – all at A* and is

taking another four A levels this

year. Jonathan and Sarah will both

be following science degrees but,

knowing how important languages

are, they have both taken French

and German A levels alongside their

maths and science subjects.

Pictured: Sarah and Jonathan Ellse, both students of Chase Academy, and both off to

Cambridge, with their father, Mark Ellse who is Principal.

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Drama & Music 23

Up and Running

in new location

The Sheffield Music Academy, which

moved to Birkdale School, Yorkshire,

this September, has already had three

very successful Saturday mornings of

music, with in excess of 120 pupils

attending from across North East

Derbyshire and other nearby towns.

The Academy is directly funded by the

Department for Education and has

been working with young musicians

of exceptional potential to inspire and

support their musical development for

a number of years now, from across

Sheffield and beyond.

Over time this specialist music school

has grown in size, with pupils playing

a wide range of instruments, attending

the Saturday school. The Academy

was previously housed at Sheffield

University’s Bartholomew House.

Birkdale School is well-known across

Sheffield for its high quality music

provision, with a range of high

quality ensembles including the

famous Big Band.

Dr Spencer Pitfield, Head of

Instrumental Studies at Birkdale,

said: “We are so very pleased to

welcome the Sheffield Music

Academy to Birkdale School.

Birkdale has an outstanding music

department and we very much

see the Sheffield Music Academy

as a high quality partner where

together we can further develop

and strengthen music education of

the highest quality across the City.

In particular we very much look

forward to welcoming young players

from far and wide across our region

to Birkdale every Saturday”.

Dr Paul Owen, Head Master

of Birkdale School, said: “I am

delighted that Birkdale School

is able to partner with the

Sheffield Music Academy. As an

educational charity, Birkdale School

has a wide range of links with

different organisations within the

community; this partnership will

allow an increasing number of young

people in Sheffield to participate in

high quality music-making.”

24 Drama & Music

Starring on CBBC

Imogen Wargen, a Year 7 pupil at

Bruton School for Girls, Somerset,

has been filming the new series of the

CBBC hit, ‘The Big Performance’.

Thirteen year old Imogen was

auditioned, at school, by the

producers of the show in May this

year and attended a second audition

with the show’s presenter, Gareth

Malone, in June.

The show takes ten children who

would love to perform in public but

Treading the boards

St. Dominic’s High School for Girls,

Staffordshire, is celebrating the

success of twelve of its girls who have

been chosen to perform in theatre

productions across the region this


The girls will be performing in a

variety of productions including

The Christmas Carol at the Grand

Theatre, Annie at the Grand in

Wolverhampton, Sleeping Beauty

at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

and The Pajama Game at Lichfield

Garrick Theatre.

Carol Molin, Head of Drama said

“Our school is renowned for musical

and dramatic excellence and is

frequently approached by companies

for our pupils to audition in local

productions. The girls have done

superbly well to be chosen for their

roles this season. Every year we have

a number of girls who perform in

Role with The Royal Ballet

Nine-year-old Our Lady’s Abingdon,

Oxfordshire, pupil James French is

dancing on stage in the The Royal

Ballet’s production of ‘The Sleeping

Beauty’ at the Royal Opera House in

London’s Covent Garden.

Since the age of four, James has

excelled in his ballet classes with Sarah

Doidge at Our Lady’s Abingdon

Junior School, as well as at East

Oxford School of Ballet and the Jill

Stew School of Dance in Witney.

In February this year James appeared

in The Royal Ballet’s ‘Alice’s

Adventures in Wonderland’, also

staged at the Royal Opera House. In

September he was among 30 boys who

auditioned for ‘The Sleeping Beauty’,

and was rewarded with the part of

a Queen’s Page Boy in the glittering

production of this much-loved classical

ballet, which runs until 21 December

2011, for 18 performances.

A talent for dance clearly runs in the

family, as James’ 15-year-old sister

are too shy and helps them gain the

confidence to overcome their fears.

She also performed on the BBC’s

Children in Need night.

theatre productions, but this year

there are even more than ever.”

She continued “We teach drama

at school from the age of 7 and are

continuously delighted by the stunning

talent of our girls across the school. The

training and coaching we give the girls

in the expressive arts arena helps them

realise their own potential. The social

and intellectual benefits of performing

at this level are priceless.”

Danielle, also an OLA student, is

currently training at the Central

School of Ballet in London.

Headteacher of OLA Junior School,

Brendan O’Neill, said: “The school

has a strong tradition of dance and we

are very excited by James’ success.”


Piggledy Jazz

A Russian born music teacher

is hoping to help educate a new

generation of British children after

publishing her own series of fun,

character based jazz books.

Elena Cobb, who teaches music at

Repton School in Derbyshire (past

pupils include Jeremy Clarkson),

has composed her own pieces which

she hopes will encourage children to

master instruments such as piano,

guitar and alto saxophone.

Her Higgledy Piggledy Jazz series

features colourful original characters

such as Super Duck and Nerdy Cat

and have been illustrated by Elena’s

sister Nathalie Chabelnik-Wood.

The piano and alto saxophone

books come with a CD which

children can play along to. Elena

hopes the fun nature of the books

and the characters will encourage

children to practise and master their


She said: “Mastering an instrument

takes hours of practice and many

young children get bored when

they’re told to go over pieces again

and again. Many also tend to learn

by memorising the tune by ear

avoiding the process of learning to

read the music.

“Feedback I’ve had from children

is that they don’t enjoy practising

at home because they have no one

who can help them if they get stuck

or are not sure about something.

The Higgledy Piggledy Jazz series

provides the children with all the

answers they need on the page.

“Although it sounds complicated,

twelve bar blues is pretty

straightforward. It’s based on just

three chords, which I’ve put in three

different colours, so when the child

sees the colour appearing time and

time again, they know to repeat

what they’ve already learnt.”

Four more schools pass

the Scottish Charity Test

Hutchesons’ Grammar School,

Glasgow; Lomond School, Argyll

& Bute; Merchiston Castle School,

Edinburgh; and St Leonards School,

Fife, have all now met the Scottish

charity test and demonstrated their

public benefit with the judgment

being approved by the Board of

the Office of the Scottish Charity

Regulator (OSCR).

In October 2008, OSCR gave the

four schools a year to draw up plans

indicating how they would meet

the public benefit requirements of

the Charity Test. Those plans were

Auschwitz survivor visit

There wasn’t a dry eye in the

Prior Park College, Somerset,

Theatre during a talk by Freddie

Knoller, one of the few remaining

Auschwitz survivors.

This sold out event was a huge

success and Freddie relayed his

experiences of being Jewish in the

1940’s to a packed Theatre for an

hour and a half.

For his own safety, Freddie’s father

sent him and his siblings off from

their home in Vienna so at the age

of 17, he fled to Paris and made

a life for himself. He became a

tourist guide for the Nazi soldiers

and joined the French Resistance,

but was betrayed to the authorities

by a spurned lover. The French

police handed him to the Gestapo

approved in November 2009 and

the schools were given two years to

implement them.

All twelve independent schools

that have been reviewed by

OSCR so far have therefore

been able to demonstrate their

charitable purposes and their

commitment to public benefit.

The others are: Donaldson’s, West

Lothian; George Heriot’s School,

Edinburgh; Glasgow Steiner

School; Gordonstoun School,

Moray; High School of Dundee;

Regius School, Edinburgh; St

and he was sent by cattle truck to

Auschwitz, where for four years, he

was humiliated, degraded, violently

beaten and virtually starved.

After the talk, Freddie, who is now

in his 90’s, did a book signing on

the Theatre stage and completely

sold out of the books he had

brought with him.

Prior Park’s Headmaster, Mr James

Murphy-O’Connor, pictured here

with Freddie, said: “We were

overwhelmed by the ticket sales for

this event, which could have sold

out twice over. The audience was

so engrossed in Freddie’s talk that

you could hear a pin drop in the

Theatre, despite having 160 people

sat listening.”

Aloysius’ College, Glasgow; and St

Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh.

John Edward, the Director of

Scottish Council of Independent

Schools SCIS, said, “When the

schools were given directions in

2008 on meeting the test, SCIS

said that it was confident that

they would be able to retain their

charitable status, and that has

proved to be the case. The four

schools, along with those that

have already been tested, make a

significant contribution, not only

to education in Scotland, but to

their wider communities. SCIS

has worked with member schools

to broaden understanding of the

Charity Test and to help them

demonstrate their public benefit.”

SCIS will now be seeking further

detailed guidance from the Charity

Regulator about its expectations

of independent schools in

demonstrating their commitment

to public benefit.

St Leonard’s headmaster Dr

Michael Carslaw said, “I’m

delighted that OSCR recognises

the public benefit that St Leonards

provides not only in its provision

of top quality education but also

in the active part it plays in the

local community and in making its

facilities and expertise available to

a range of external groups.

“St Leonards is proud of the

holistic, inspiring education

which it offers its students and

it is my intention that as many

children as possible should benefit

from having the opportunity to

Heading to Somerset

Sidcot School, Somerset, has

appointed Iain Kilpatrick,

currently Head of Beaconhurst

School, Stirling, as its new head

from August 2012. Elizabeth

Burgess, Deputy Head, will be

Acting Head from the end of 2011

until Iain arrives.

study at the School, regardless of


“As such we have taken great

strides in recent times to widen

access, through the reduction of

fees, the expansion of our Assisted

Places scheme and through an

increase in the proportion of

means-tested fee remissions.

“St Leonards provides public

benefit in a number of ways,

ranging from providing placements

for teaching students and enabling

pupils from other schools to

receive high quality musical tuition

at St Leonards, to contributing to

the work of the Scottish Schools

Education Research Centre.

“Recently we have taken great

pleasure in welcoming primary

schools on to our campus to visit

Queen Mary’s Library as part of

their history studies and I openly

welcome contact from the Head’s

of other schools who may be

interested in working on curricular

development with St Leonards.

“St Leonards was founded for

the charitable purpose of the

advancement of education and

it has always been my intention

that the School should remain as a

charity as we continue to strive to

meet this ultimate goal.

“We have demonstrated our intent

to lead and innovate by becoming

the first school in Scotland to have

an all International Baccalaureate

Diploma sixth form (S5/S6), a

move which has enabled a genuine

richness and diversity to flourish.”

Independent Schools Magazine 25


William Richardson joined HMC as General Secretary in September in succession to

Geoff Lucas. For the previous 25 years he had worked in higher education, latterly as a

professor, senior manager and governor of the University of Exeter. So what did he make

of his first Conference – held at St Andrews last month (October)...

Being the thoughtful person that

he is, this year’s HMC Chairman,

Ken Durham, recently asked me

if I found my first Conference

as the association’s new General

Secretary to have been an alarming


Not at all. After all, the first time

one meets one’s members, none

expect you already to know their

name or to have at your fingertips

a thumbnail sketch of the specific

context of their school. So, I was

able to move from room to room

greeted only by smiling faces and

words of welcome. Indeed, after

the dog-eat-dog world of the

university senior common room,

independent school heads en masse

appeared to me the very model of

genial hospitality.

This is, of course, one of the few

things that they have in common.

For I have yet to meet either a

bashful or a ‘typical’ member of

HMC. On the contrary, one of the

most rewarding aspects of being

asked to co-ordinate the work of

the association is the immense

variety of the schools and the

infinite range of the characters who

lead those schools.

Perhaps circulating among these

252 personalities in a confined

space, with no windows, for four

days could be alarming. But when

the venue is the Fairmont Hotel at

St Andrews, there is a cliff top walk

a few yards from the front door

and an enormous windowed atrium

in which to meet and be greeted,

the atmosphere was at once relaxed

and purposeful.

26 Independent Schools Magazine

It was also a pleasure to be able to

meet a range of highly interesting

and thoughtful guests, both fellow

professionals and prominent

speakers, and to have the

opportunity to exchange ideas and

plans with them in a non-workaday


So what kind of themes seemed this

year to be on the minds of these

movers, shakers, supporters and

transient guests?

Perhaps most prominent – as in any

year – was the general, rhetorical

question: ‘What does it take to run

a successful school, nowadays?’.

To hand were many commercial

exhibitors to help answer this

question in terms of essential

products and services for purchase.

They seemed happy with their lot.

Sales were being made and deals


Beyond the market stalls, however,

the conversation turned to other

matters of moment: politics, values

and futures.

On the political front we were told

by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary

for Education and Lifelong

Learning that the co-existence in

Scotland of the maintained and

independent sectors of schooling

was ‘now agreed’ while, with a

focus on England, there were some

very lively seminar discussions in

the presence of Toby Young, the

Free Schools pioneer.

In St Andrews itself, a panel of

distinguished university leaders

from across Scotland were evidently

listening very carefully to what

HMC school heads wished to

discuss. For these are times of great

change in higher education and all

UK universities are thinking harder

than they have had to do since the

1930s about how to survive and to

thrive in a buyers’ market.

Then there was the novelty of the

New Heads Lunch being sponsored

by a prominent firm of head-

hunters – not the only such firm

to have pitched to have its name

associated with this event and

evidence, if evidence was needed,

that outstanding school leadership

is at a premium.

As ideas and ideals are the very

stuff of school-based education it

was also rewarding to be addressed

by a speaker such as Ed Smith of

The Times whose message was

highly counter-cultural: teachers

should place faith in character over


This seemed to put delegates in

mind of the futures that need to be

plotted, both for their own school

but also in terms of the range of

opportunities that we wish for our

pupils as they approach adulthood.

On the school front I eavesdropped

on several conversations among

heads about aspects of good

governance. Does my governing

body have a requisite skills-set? How

will our very diverse public benefit

and outreach activities evolve over

the next decade? Could my school

foundation change in size or change

shape – and would I want it to?

On the pupil front, ensuring a

good balance between learning

on the 2011 HMC


and assessment cropped up in

many a coffee break, along with

how schools as a whole can secure

greater confidence in the work of

the exam boards.

Above all, regardless of the variety

of settings in which HMC schools

are found, and notwithstanding

the uneven geographical effects

of recession, I encountered only

confidence in the essential quality

and value (in all senses) of the work

in the schools.

Educators need to be idealists

and realists in equal measure. My

first HMC conference indicated

plainly that the dictates of realism

are woven into the daily work

of independent schooling. But,

happily, wherever two or three

independent school heads were to

be found in conversation, idealism

was also very evident.

Long may independent schools

have the courage to pursue their

ideals and follow their individual

vision. And, having done so, long

may they also reflect with quiet

satisfaction at the end of each

term that, thanks to the effort

of the entire school community,

their girls and boys, young women

and young men, are also ‘seeing

things’. Visions of who they might

become, the contribution that they

might make to the work of their

generation, the grounding that

their education has given them

and the confidence to embark on

their personal journey with energy,

sensitivity and optimism.

From the chair...

Extracts from the speech

delivered to Conference by

Chairman Ken Durham of

University College School,


I believe that the independent

sector of education in the UK

is improperly understood and is

imperfectly appreciated.

Independent schools in this

country are no longer a

mechanism for extending or

reinforcing social privilege and

social inequality. We are not

a hangover from a Victorian

class structure. We are not some

kind of throwback to a world of

amateurish social apartheid in

which we train young gentlemen

and ladies to develop a boorish

sense of entitlement.

We are highly professional

educators. We are, at our best

anyway, imaginative, innovative

and enlightened.

Independence is becoming

a rather overworked – even

confused – concept at the

moment. I am not about to join

those who knock Academies and

Free Schools. But let us remember

what true independence means.

We in the private sector have

total independence over the

curriculum in our schools, over

the finance of our schools and

over admission to our schools.

It is those three freedoms that

make us special. It is those

three freedoms that give us

the opportunity to achieve the

excellence that we do. They

expose us to great risk as well. No

Government will bail us out. We

stand or fall by the quality of our

educational vision and the vigour

with which we bring it off.

The quality of our independent

sector of education is not

measured by League Tables, or

University entrance statistics,

or even by the educational

background of Cabinet Ministers

or captains of industry. It

is measured by variety, by

distinctiveness, by breadth of

vision, by imagination.

We are not rich. We are financially

independent. We set our own fees.

We decide our own priorities.

We have that freedom – and the

risks that go with it. But we are

not rich.

It is time that, as a nation,

we stopped regarding the

independent education sector

as some peculiar historical

aberration, as a repository of

outdated social privilege, a

sort of irrelevant and slightly

embarrassing annex to our

national education system,

and recognised that it is

something very different from

that. It educates children from

a variety of backgrounds. It

offers an extraordinary range

of educational experience. It is

lively. It is alert. It is intensely

thoughtful. And, above all, it is

successful. Not because of money

or privilege, but because of

variety, trust, commitment, and

because of those three freedoms:

over the curriculum, over finance

and over admissions.

We must not get cocky. We

have our disappointments too.

Not every student succeeds.

Not every vision is brilliant.

Independence is liberating. But

it is tough too. Freedom can be

scary. The market can be a cruel


Independent schools are not an

irrelevant aberration in the UK

education system. They are an

important part of it.

Catering excellence

Bolton School, Lancashire’s Catering

Department is the best independent

school catering team in the country

and it’s official! Catering Manager,

Mrs Karen Riley and her colleague

Mr Andrew Scialipi-Sullivan,

Catering Coordinator, represented

the team last month (October) at a

black-tie awards dinner at the 5 star

Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington,

London. The final of the 2011

Educatering Excellence Awards saw

350 of school catering’s elite gather

to decide the final winners of 13

categories. Bolton School overcame

stiff competition in the shape of Eton

College and Cheadle Hulme School.

Mrs Riley said: “It was an amazing

evening and we were very thrilled

and very proud to win the award.

The prize is due to the commitment

Books, glorious books

St Benedict’s Junior School, London

celebrated Book Week in style at the

beginning of last month (October).

The highlight was ‘Dressing-up

Day’ with children and staff coming

into school dressed as their favourite

book character.

Older children learned about the

writing process from talks and

workshops with actor/author Chris

and support of the team and is a

reflection of how hard we have all

worked. The menu for the night

had been devised by Executive Chef

Steve Munkley and the evening was

punctuated by performances from

the three finalists for the national

School’s Got Talent Competition.

The Catering Department at Bolton

School feeds over 2,300 pupils,

academic and support staff every day

during term-time in five different

dining rooms across the campus.

They also provide catering for a

range of events that are held at the

School through BSS Events and

Lettings, including weddings, parties

and conferences. They supplied

drinks and canapés for the Tillotson

Lecture given by Lord Sebastian Coe

and Sir Philip Craven.

Connaughton. Younger children

were introduced by author John

Townsend to non-fiction writing.

West End in Schools, a Theatre in

Education company, performed a

musical, ‘Jump to It’, in which a

girl in thrall to computer games

is rescued and converted to the

delights of reading and socialising

with friends by storybook characters.

The photo shows, centre, Headmaster Rob Simmons (dressed as Dickensian Toff) with two of his pupils

Independent Schools Magazine 27

Born: 1958

Married: To Jane.

Three children.

Schools and University Attended:

King’s School Canterbury; Trinity

College, Cambridge; Bath University

First job:

1976, Metal work cutter –

Stocksigns, Redhill.

First management job:

1981, Head of Politics,

Wycliffe College

First job in education:

1981, Head of Politics and Teacher of

History, Wycliffe College

Appointed to current job: 2003

Favourite piece of music:

No one piece – I love Live music

– depends entirely on mood and

circumstance! I like a wide variety of

different genres but not rap or country

and western.

Favourite food: Curry

Favourite drink: Wine

Favourite holiday destination:

Where it is warm

Favourite leisure pastime:

Family first then Cricket

Favourite book:

Stalin by Alex de Jonge

Favourite TV or radio


Have I Got News For You

Suggested epitaph:

Told you I was ill

28 Independent Schools Magazine

In conversation with Mark Eagers


Box Hill School is a founder

member of the Round Square, an

international association of 60 schools

round the world which are united by ideals of

internationalism, democracy, environmental

concern, leadership and service. What do these

obviously commendable ideals bring in practical

terms to your teaching and learning?


Our IDEALS are our modus operandi and

underpin everything we do at school. From

the first day students arrive at school they

start their journey to becoming active, well rounded

individuals. From our weekly assemblies and

presentations we celebrate our IDEALS, applying

them within the whole school curriculum inside and

outside the classroom.

As teaching is as much about leading by example,

it is important to me that every teacher at Box Hill

School not only relates to our IDEALS but can bring

an additional talent to their teaching – for example

our Head of Art giving an impassioned assembly

about Armistice Day and the “lost generation”.

We promote Democracy through an enormous range

of student groups (for example Student Council,

Sixth Form Council, House Committees, Boarders

Council). Throughout their time at school, students

see that active participation is worthwhile so that

when they leave school they naturally develop into

active citizens with a voice. We have an active

debating society at both junior and senior levels.

Service projects form an integral part of the Box

Hill experience, not only through DoE but through

the various international projects our students go

on. These are often very humbling experiences for

students as they learn how their hard work can make

a huge difference to the future of less well off children

and their families. We also encourage active student

involvement in our local community, be it assisting

motorists in the snowfalls of 2011 or organising

fundraising events themselves for projects such as the

village church organ appeal.

Service is hugely important to us as a school – from

not only the students themselves, but from the school

and its Governors and senior team. We are very

active in the local community and are also working

alongside a local maintained school that is applying

to become an Academy.

We are a global family at school and it’s important

that we prepare our students for a global future

whether or not they take an international path. The

fact that students from different nations work, rest

and play together is an education in itself and better

understanding occurs without it being imposed upon

our students.

In a more formal way, however, we place great

emphasis on language learning throughout the school

as this is an important gateway to future study

and work abroad. Internationalism is promoted

throughout the KS3 curriculum, iGCSEs and of

course the International Baccalaureate Diploma

programme where various syllabi take a very

international approach.


The 450 girls and boys you educate

are between 11 and 18 – some fullboarding,

some weekly-boarding, some

day. What would you say are the benefits and

disadvantages of boarding over day? Is weeklyboarding

an increasingly popular option at Box

Hill, combining perhaps the best of both worlds?


This debate is well documented and the

approach I take is one of providing parent

and student choice. The pros and cons will

be different for each family.

The generic benefits of boarding are learning a

greater degree of self reliance and the development

of greater independence and personal organisation.

Living in a community of other students is great

fun and boarders learn much about themselves and

other people. They will learn the importance of

compromise and tolerance which are good lessons in

and for life. The friendships created are immensely

strong and will often last a lifetime. Boarding these

days is so much more nurturing and welcoming than

it used to be.

Clearly the disadvantages are that the family unit is

split up and this simply will not suit some families.

Boarding can also be an expensive option and I

would dearly love it to be cheaper so that more could

experience boarding before they leave school.

We are finding that local parents and families where

both parents work really like our provision of weekly

boarding, as it is the best of both worlds. Parents

know that their children are well looked after and

supported, keeping them focused on their academic

Mark Eagers has been head of Box Hill School, Surrey, since 2003.

He was previously deputy head of Ardingly College, Sussex.

work throughout the week. This means the week

is free from the hassle of cajoling children to their

work and weekends become quality time together as

a family.


Your school is situated in a sleepy part

of rural Surrey, nestling in 40 acres

of grounds. How do you ensure that

your pupils – particularly the boarders – aren’t

over-protected by these rather comfortable,

maybe privileged, surroundings, ill-prepared

for the rough and tumble of the world outside

your gates?


We believe that our education prepares

our students well for life beyond Box Hill.

Our students know they are privileged

and lucky to be here, but through our service projects

and constant interactions with people from all walks

of life (from local sports fixtures, to expeditions, DoE

etc) they come to understand how to be involved in

the outside world. Our boarders are allowed out at

weekends by themselves and as they go up through

the school, are given increasing freedoms so that they

develop greater independence.


Box Hill has offered Bursaries for

many years. Did you increase that

provision in the light of the Charity

Commission’s stance on public benefit or take

any other actions? Will you be altering your

policies now that the requirements have been

amended following judicial review?


I have always believed that access to

Box Hill should be as wide as possible

regardless of any government advice.

Each year we offer a greater percentage of our

limited resources in bursaries and my Governors

are committed to increasing the amount available

for bursaries each year in real terms, irrespective of

any Commission diktat. We will continue to do this

because it is the right thing to do.


How should the independent sector as

a whole get its message over that it is

very much a mixed spectrum but with

certain shared ideals and approaches, and that

many families who choose to send their children

to independent schools are far from rich – indeed

many make great sacrifices? Is it fair to expect

parents to effectively underwrite support for

academies as well as pay for state education they

don’t use, as is so often advocated by Michael

Gove and other academy enthusiasts?


The media need to emphasise more fully

this first message about the tremendous

diversity of schools and students being

educated in Independent schools. I have a wry

smile when I read almost any story about any

Independent school - its fees are always mentioned.

Many parents do indeed make huge sacrifices to

send their children to our schools.

We are beginning to be involved in a local

Academy, not financially but in terms of advice

and support and closer cooperation. I applaud any

initiative that attempts to improve the quality of

educational provision for all children in England.

I have heard no perceived resentment from any of

our parents here.


You offer the IB in the sixth form.

What do you see as key benefits of this

over A-levels or the PreU? Have you

noticed any discrimination against IB students

amongst University Admissions officers, as has

been suggested by some commentators?


I have always liked the IB and overall

believe it gives our older students the best

preparation for life beyond school – and

not just as preparation for HE or FE.

First of all, there is curriculum breadth. It’s a

good thing that all students still have to study some

language, science, humanity and mathematics

beyond 16. No other school system in the developed

world makes students specialise so early in their lives

as do the PreU and A levels.

Secondly, at the core of the IBDP lies the Extended

Essay (brilliant pre University preparation), the

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) programme and the

Creativity, Service, Action element, affectionately

known as CAS. The IB is acronym heavy!

These elements, all compulsory, give such a good

educational dimension to a student’s learning

experience; developing them into truly well-rounded

individuals, something central to our school ethos.

Thirdly, the IB places great emphasis on

independent learning within each syllabus

which is a critical aspect in preparing for


Fourth, there is genuine quality assurance and

no annual grade inflation. Examiners are all

experienced IB teachers and there is no external

pressure on the IB to manipulate its results. The

IB also places huge emphasis on the professional

development of its teachers which I applaud.

With regard to University recognition, this is still a

work in progress. We have found that Universities

have recognised the additional qualities found in

our IB students and were more likely to give them

a place even if they had not quite gained the grades

offered. However, I am well aware that many of

the Russell Group Universities pay lip service to the

UCAS tariff at the moment. Change will come as

the IB becomes more widely known and awareness

grows of recent research showing that IBDP students

are more likely to attain Firsts and Upper Second

degrees than their peers from other systems, and are

least likely to drop out of their courses.


On the subject of exams, what did you

make of the recent idea from an exam

board that educational context (widely

presumed to mean school type) should be flagged

up alongside results?


I think this is outrageous. Students should

be given places on their ability and results,

on genuine merit. If it is perceived that

Independently educated students have an advantage,

as this implies, then perhaps we need to change the

way Universities ascertain the intellectual ability

of applicants. The Americans do this through

SATs and I would be strongly in favour of a post

qualification entry system to University here in the

UK if it were suggested.


You are a member of the Professional

Development Committee of SHMIS

(Society of Heads of Independent

Schools). What’s your view on the likely

upcoming shortage of heads generally, and what

can be done to address it? Should heads have

been teachers; indeed should heads teach?


The shortage of prospective Headteachers

is a concern for us as a society and the key

question to ask is why is this the case? I

believe there is far too much bureaucracy for a head

to deal with now, and too much threat of litigation

and excessive inspection. However, things are

changing for the better, slowly.


Independent Schools Magazine 29

In conversation with Mark Eagers


It’s my understanding that the shortage is more of an issue for some schools

in certain areas in the maintained sector, rather than for the Independent

schools. In an ideal world we need to do much more to identify prospective

heads and put them through NPQH at no extra cost to the individual.

I am lucky that I can still make time to teach and love doing so but it is a

sad fact that many heads no longer teach because of time constraints. I don’t

think heads need to have been teachers although I think that experience

really can help. I know my teaching keeps me grounded in the day to day of

school and connected to my students and teaching staff.


You graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with a BA

Hons in History, and taught the subject in Wycliffe College,

Gloucestershire, and at the United World College in Singapore.

Do you favour greater curriculum focus on recent UK history?


While History teaching in Britain should have an element of

British history and in particular on the recent past ( i.e. the 20th

century) I am not in favour of the pre Columbus world view of

History syllabi which are currently both British/Eurocentric.

I think it is really important that we teach a much greater breadth of

History and I would make it compulsory to teach some elements of extra

European history, particularly at key stages 4 and 5. As a History teacher I

believe that a wider approach, and the IB syllabus refreshingly forces you to

do this, gives a different perspective and quite often a vital one.

However I fully recognise that my own interests are absolutely ‘modern’ (and

by this I mean post 1789) and are driven by an enthusiasm for non-British

history. This passion started at Cambridge where I specialised in African

history and was further developed when I worked overseas in Singapore where

I learned a huge amount of South and East Asian History. I am so glad I did.


You have a purpose-built Music School at Box Hill, and you

are an enthusiastic (if limited) choral singer yourself. It’s been

said that sport makes youngsters competitive, but music

makes them co-operative. Is this your experience?


Both sport and music are vital to the experience of developing an

all round education. If anyone plays sport competitively, in the

words of an Australian friend of mine who said, when berating

the English cricket team in the early 1990s, “there are no prizes for coming

second and no point in playing if you don’t want to win!” He had a point

in regards to a team sport in a league competition.

As for music, most students do this for pleasure and do not really ‘compete’

against others. To play well you must be in harmony with each other to

make a decent sound; a good band or choir or ensemble is one that listens

carefully to each other.

I would agree that sport does make people more competitive and I do

believe competition is healthy and helps to improve standards. However, I

know that a good team, be it a sports team or music ensemble or choir, is

dependent on having cooperation and teamwork where the sum of the parts

may be greater than that of the individuals.


If a new head asked you for a few words of advice on his or

her first day in the job, what would you say?

A Get out of the office and be very visible around school, actively

getting to know all elements of the school community quickly. Also

to wear a smile.

30 Independent Schools Magazine

Admissions review


The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’

Conference (HMC) has welcomed

the UCAS proposal for a review of the

university admissions process.

In a statement, the organisation

said it welcomed the debate on

radical change in the system of UK

university admissions.

“Many of our members will

sympathise with the suggested move

towards a post-qualification system

of admissions but will also be aware

of the profound effects such a change

may have on the whole structure of

school education for older teenagers.

“At this stage we would emphasise that:

• Any new system must work in

the interests of students, not

Call for improved hand hygiene

in schools and nurseries

A Suffolk nursery school owner has called for improved hand hygiene in

school settings to stop the spread of infections.

Donna Row, owner of the Yorley Barn Nursery in Suffolk said: “The only

effective way to prevent the spread of infections is by the implementation

of correct hand washing techniques. I am convinced the time has come

for all educational settings to introduce stringent hand hygiene policies.”

Yorley Barn has recently been working as educational consultants on the

development of the revolutionary Buster hand hygiene kits, which have

been designed especially to reduce the spread of infections in nurseries

and primary schools.

The Buster packs use cartoon characters to take children on a fun,

educational journey about the importance of hand hygiene to prevent the

spread of infections. The packs use an ultra-violet light ‘glow box’ to ensure

children are using the correct hand washing techniques.

The new Buster hand inspection cabinet:

the results of administrative

convenience for universities;

• Any change should be considered in

the context of an overall review of

post-16 qualifications and how a full

and appropriate programme of study

can be fitted into the time available;

• Change should involve a serious

effort to review and improve the

volume, quality and reliability of

assessment for these age-groups;

• The importance of the wider

educational opportunities offered

by school sixth forms – including

cultural, community and sporting

opportunities – should be given

their full weight: schools are not

exam factories”.

Staff pay survey

reveals trends

One in three independent school teachers and

four in ten non-academic and support staff are

not getting a cost of living pay rise this year. A

further one in five (19% of teachers and 23% of

non-academic and support staff) had a pay rise

of no more than one per cent, according to the

latest figures from the Association of Teachers

and Lecturers (ATL).

A quarter of teachers said their schools had

increased school fees by two per cent or more

and one in ten said school fees were up by over

four per cent, with fee rises of two to three per

cent being most common.

Responding to ATL’s annual independent

schools survey, released at ATL’s annual

independent schools conference, just over a

third of teachers reported higher pupil numbers

in their school, and nearly another third said

numbers were the same as last September. Just

over a quarter of teachers said their school had

fewer pupils this September.

Forty-six per cent of teachers said their schools

had cut spending in the 2010/11 academic

year, and the same percentage expected their

school to reduce spending in the current school

year. These figures are similar to responses last

year when 47 per cent said their school had cut

spending during the school year and 48 per cent

forecast a cut in 2010/11.

The majority of teachers (44 per cent) said their

school has not reduced the number of teachers.

However, over a fifth of teachers said their

Has the number of pupils changed in your school as at 1 Sept compared to 1 Sept last year?

Do you expect any reduction in spending in your school in this academic year?

school had fewer teaching staff. Thirty per cent

of non-academic and support staff report their

numbers are the same in this school year as last,

but a fifth say their school has fewer.

Looking ahead, teachers are optimistic about

staffing this year, with two in three saying they

do not expect any redundancies in their school.

Non-academic and support staff are slightly less

optimistic, with 45 per cent saying they do not

expect any redundancies.

ATL surveyed 1,483 teaching staff and 168

non-academic and support staff working

in independent schools in England, Wales,

Scotland, the Isle of Man and Channel Isles in

September and October.

Key results compared to earlier years:

2011 (1,483 responses) 2010 (1,189 responses) 2009 (1,416 responses) 2008 (1,653 responses)

More pupils 37.4% 44.8% 33.3% 47.6%

Fewer pupils 27.6% 24.2% 30.7% 21.6%

Same number of pupils 30.7% 26.5% 31.3% 26.2%

Don’t know 4.3% 4.5% 4.7% 4.6%

2011 (1,483 responses) 2010 (1,189 responses) 2009 (1,397 responses) 2008 (1,651 responses)

Yes 46.1% 48% 42.9% 27.1%

Possibly N/A N/A 26.7% 27.2%

No 23.2% 26.3% 15.5% 27.3%

Don’t know 30.7% 25.7% 15% 28.3%

Has the number of teachers changed in your school as at 1 Sept compared to 1 Sept last year?

2011 (1,483 responses) 2010 (1,189 responses) 2009 (1,412 responses) 2008 (1,653 responses)

More teachers 18.5% 20.9% 17.1% 32.6%

Fewer teachers 22.9% 22% 29.2% 14.1%

Same number of teachers 43.8% 39.7% 41% 42.8%

Don’t know 12.5% 14.1% 11.4% 10.5%

Opening of Sixth Form Centre

Hill House School, Yorkshire, has extended its age range from this term r to include

its own Sixth Form. The school relocated three years ago from the town centre to

the old Officers’ Quarters of the previous RAF Finningley. Last month (October)

the school welcomed old boy Richard Lumley, the Earl of Scarbrough, to officially

open the school’s £1 million new Sixth Form Centre, which includes 6 classrooms,

a coffee shop and a large open plan Common Room, all overlooking the school’s

sports pitches. Headmaster David Holland said ‘it is a wonderful building, and it

is tremendous that students who previously had to leave us at 16 are now able to

complete their schooling here. It is also good to see pupils from other local schools

joining us as we progress with this very special project.’

Pictured left to right, Simon Hopkinson, Head of Sixth Form, Richard Lumley, Earl of

Scarbrough, Caroline Keane, Head Girl, Angus Botting, Head Boy

Independent Schools Magazine 31

Advertorial Feature

Charterhouse invest

in major sports development

The redevelopment of sports facilities

is well underway at Charterhouse,

following a two-year planning period.

The school’s plans to extend its

outdoor sports surfaces and tennis

courts are part of their ongoing scheme

of continual improvements to facilities

for its pupils.

Charterhouse is set in 200 acres and

most of the heritage site is listed. Phase

1 of the sports facility improvements

include the installation of 2 high

quality sand dressed hockey pitches,

one will be irrigated, 6 tennis courts,

and with associated landscaping. Some

alterations to the school’s existing golf

course were necessary to accommodate

the scheme. All playing pitches will

have floodlighting. Phase 2 will be the

building of a new pavilion with 360

degree viewing area. Phase 3 of the

development will be an extension and

new carpark to the school’s Queens

Sports Centre which was opened by

the Queen in 1997.

32 Independent Schools Magazine

The school appointed specialist

design and build contractors, Smith

Construction Ltd, who started the first

phase of the work in September of this

year, and are on target to complete the

work in 16 weeks. Smith Construction

is undertaking the substantial £1.3m

contract, the overall scheme costing in

excess of £2m.

The facilities were planned two

years ago, following extremely

generous donations by parents of

pupils at the school.

The overall design for the state- of-

the- art facilities was developed after

careful consultation between Sports

Masters and Managers of the Queens

Sports Centre, with significant

input from the Estates Bursar and

Grounds Manager. David Rhodes of

Tractionsport has been appointed as

lead consultant and project manager.

Civil Engineers Smith Construction

was recommended for inclusion on


the school’s project tender list due to

their 30 years’ experience and in-house

engineering capabilities.

Estate Bursar, Laszlo Dudas

said “Smiths’ project and design

team had an excellent grasp of

what we wanted to achieve here

at Charterhouse, right from the

start, and they provided a very

competitive tender, with cost

effective solutions to our specific

design needs. They provided the

final pitch and court construction

designs, along with technical

calculations for the sustainable

site drainage scheme. They also

appreciated the very sensitive nature

of construction on a Heritage

site, and they appreciate that

conservation is a huge priority

to us. Smiths’ construction team

carried out sensitive enabling works

and tree protection before anything

else could be started, and they

worked with us to satisfy thirtyseven

planning conditions.”

The two sand dressed hockey pitches

will be surfaced using Evolution, a

high performance, quality, artificial

grass surface supplied by Tiger turf

Ltd. The surfaces will be installed

to meet the International Hockey

Federation Standards to National

Level. The principal playing area

will be green, and the run-off areas

terracotta. There will also be 2 warm

up areas in the same product.

Ken Smith, Managing Director

of Smith Construction, said

“The project at Charterhouse is

extremely important to us, and

having the opportunity to work on

such a prestigious and challenging

development is tremendous. We are

focusing on meeting the school’s

exacting standards, and looking

forward to delivering their facilities in

the New Year.”

Eastleigh – Spectator Gallery,

Tennis, Hockey, Football Pitches

Vinehall School – Hockey Pitch

and Retaining Walls

Rosebery School – Artificial Pitch

Construction Phase

Worksop College – Sand Dressed Hockey

Pitch and Spectator Terraces

St Leonards Mayfield – Hockey

Pitch and Tennis Courts

Winchester – Athletics Track, Hockey

Pitch, Natural Grass Infield Installation

Sports & Civils

Designers and

Builders of the Best

Sports Surfaces and

Facilities in the UK

Some of our valued

independent school clients:

Charterhouse, Uppingham School,

Hampshire Collegiate School,

Wentworth College, Oakham School,

St Bede’s College, Vinehall School,

Merchant Taylors’ School, Highgate

School, St Leonards-Mayfield,

Worksop College, Trent College,

Sutton Valence School, Thornton

College, Royal Grammar School,

Worth School, Kings College School,

Exeter School and Saint Teresa’s

Please call us for a

no-obligation site survey and

design consultation to find out

how your school can benefit

from our sports surface design,

construction and surface

maintenance services.

Tel: 01529 461500


Independent Schools Magazine 33

Advertorial Feature

New sports kit aids

winning performance

Farnborough Hill, a leading

independent school for girls aged

11-18, appointed Stevensons as

their new uniform and sportswear

provider to improve the existing

range of school uniform and to

introduce updated sportswear.

Stevensons recommended a

re-design of all of the sportswear

to ensure wearability and

modern styling using up-to-date

performance materials.

Now with Farnborough Hill’s new

white, bottle green and purple

sportswear, the girls are easily

identifiable as Farnborough Hill

sports teams. The students love

wearing the new sports kit and have

commented that it is ‘comfortable,

smart, colourful and modern’ and

naturally, parents love the ease

of washing too. If any further

evidence of its appeal is required,

the sports kit has been so well

received by the students that some

34 Independent Schools Magazine

of them have been attempting

to sneak into other lessons still

wearing it!

The new kit has improved the

sporting image of Farnborough

Hill’s pupils and helped to raise

the profile of sport at Farnborough

Hill even higher. As Faye Kelsey,

Head of P.E. commented: “The

girls feel more confident wearing

the new kit, particularly at county

tournaments where they come

into contact with many other

independent schools and where

direct comparisons are inevitable.

The response to this new kit

has been very positive. It looks

smarter and, on a practical level

is comfortable, breathable and

resistant to creasing. The tracksuit

has the added benefit of providing

the necessary warmth during the

winter months. Overall, the full

range of kit ensures that girls are

equipped for all the activities and

teaching environments that

they encounter. Successful

participation in sport

is closely linked to the

psychological state of the

performer and it is true to say

that the girls now feel more

confident, professional and

positive about their appearance.”

If ever proof was needed that

a team that looks good on the

playing field performs well, the

school has since its introduction,

enjoyed a successful start to the

season with the Year 10 and

11 netball teams winning their

respective district tournaments and

the Year 9 hockey team reaching

the semi-finals of the Hampshire

Schools Cup. Congratulations to

them all!

As Sarah Buckle, Farnborough

Hill’s Headmistress, commented:

“Stevensons & Len Smiths have

been very personable and have

helped us enormously through

the changeover from the previous

supplier. Stevensons took on board

all the issues we had with regard

to improving quality and were

extremely helpful in sourcing new

items of uniform and sportswear.

They can always be relied upon to

respond quickly and efficiently.”

Stevensons supply over 200

schools with all their uniform

and sportswear needs and offer

a comprehensive range from

standard school uniform and

sportswear through to tailor-

made technical sportswear for

teams, clubs and tours.

For more information contact Howard Wilder on 07770 747642 for a chat about your school’s uniform and sportswear needs and supply options.

Cut out perfectly

for school tailoring

Providing unrivalled service is second nature to Stevensons, an independent family-

owned business. Stevensons has specialist knowledge of the school uniform and

sportswear trade working closely with manufacturers and mills since 1920.

Stevensons supplies over 200 independent and state schools and manages school

shops all over the UK, supported by an efficient online and mail order service.

Whether supplying a blazer or designing a complete uniform overhaul, Stevenson’s

approach is always tailored to each school.

Try Stevensons

On line – for convenient 24/7 ordering

On site – fully managed on campus shops

In store – browse and buy in the largest schoolwear-specific

shops in the UK

Pop up shops – try on and purchase at our school selling events

Direct supply – bulk delivery for schools who manage their own shop

01727 814366

Independent Schools Magazine 35

Technology is more integrated with

our lives than ever before. Today’s

children are immersed in the

Internet, tablet devices, laptops and

smartphones and this interactive

and digital experience needs to be

incorporated into the classroom if

it is to engage children effectively.

This is not just technology for

technology’s sake, but in reality

is proving to be extremely useful

to teachers, cutting down on

admin time in lessons, improving

engagement with students and

helping make lessons more fun.

There will be a strong focus at

the forthcoming BETT Show on

interactivity - methods which allow

teachers and students to be more

mobile around the classroom with

a range of new teaching techniques

that can help engage a variety of

student personalities. NEC will be

located on stand E90 demonstrating

its education display solutions that

add life, reality and interactivity to

the curriculum, backed by trusted

support and ecological standards.

The new NEC interactive wall


mount solution aims to transform

any flat surface into an interactive

workspace. To be used in

combination with a short throw or

ultra-short throw projector from

the NEC U- or MS- Series, the

interactive wall mount solution

can utilise your existing projection

equipment allowing the school to

harness the benefits of interaction

without having to invest heavily in

all new projection equipment.

NEC Display Solutions is

continuing to drive the adoption of

3D technology by supporting pilot

projects in co-operation with Texas

Instruments DLP. The results of the

research indicate a marked positive

effect of the use of 3D animations

on learning, recall and performance

in tests making a compelling case

for the use of 3D as a teaching tool

in schools. NEC will make a strong

case for 3D at the BETT Show with

demonstrations using its 3D capable

U- Series and V- Series projectors.

Further innovations in interactive

technology will be showcased by

NEC including iPad solutions and

NEC gets

Interactive at

BETT 2012

large format multi-touch displays.

All of these tools deliver a much

richer learning environment and tap

into the changing way that younger

generations interact with content

and learn. When implemented

correctly, these have been proven

to increase test scores, close the

gender gap and increase knowledge


NEC will also showcase its product

solutions which extend beyond

the classroom, promoting the

distribution of information and

creating networks of communication

by allowing schools and higher

education establishments to transmit

information to specific groups of

people. For example, important

meetings, class schedules, directions,

general information and importantly,

site alarm information can be

communicated using NEC Display

Solutions’ large format LCD displays

and projectors to draw the attention

of a particular audience.

Regardless of what the future

holds, teachers agree that there’s

no substitute for good teaching

and engaging subject matter, but

interactive displays can go a long

way to enhancing the content.

These help improve engagement

and concentration levels, by making

learning more fun and interactive

for students, whilst giving more

freedom to teachers to be as creative

and engaging as possible.

Pilot project reveals students are twice

as engaged when using 3D content

A pan-European pilot project has highlighted the widespread positive

impact on how students learn when using 3D content as a teaching tool,

improving student engagement, concentration and test scores. Texas

Instruments joined efforts with several 3D projector specialists such as

NEC Display Solutions Europe to establish showcases in several European

schools. NEC acted as an important technology partner in Sweden,

Germany and the Netherlands – three out of seven European countries,

where the pilot was running.

The research, conducted by TI DLP has shown that 3D projection can

make a huge impact in the classroom. The study compared the difference

in comprehension, information retention and overall behaviour between

students learning via traditional 2D methods versus learning via 3D

projection. The participating schools used DLP projectors from leading

manufacturers in that area such as NEC Display Solutions Europe.

Over the course of the study, 92 per cent of students on average were

attentive during 3D lessons, while only 46 per cent were actively paying

attention during non-3D lessons. Similarly, on average, 86 per cent of

pupils improved from the pre-test to the post-test in the 3D classes,

compared to just half (52 per cent) who improved in the 2D classes and

individual test scores also improved by an average of 17 per cent in the

3D classes, compared to an eight per cent improvement in the 2D classes

between pre-test and post-test.

For the study students were tested before and after the lessons, with one

control group learning with 2D methods only, and the other receiving the

same instruction, but with 3D content added into the lessons. Students

were also tested on their ability to recall the information four weeks later,

and researchers collected observational data on the engagement level of

students at set intervals during each of the lessons.

Interactive Learning

The new NEC interactive classroom projection solution utilises your existing NEC short throw or

ultra short throw projector, reducing your costs for an easy installation and future proof investment.

Compatible with industry standard software or available with fully featured eBeam software, the

NP01Wi interactive wall mount will enhance your teaching and stimulate your students.

For more information please visit

Copyright 2011 NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH. All rights are reserved in favour of their respective owners. This document is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind whatsoever, either express or implied.

with eBeam Technology


The High Court agreed with the

Independent Schools Council that

the Charities Commission had been

over-simplistic in how it assessed

‘public benefit’. They had focused

too heavily on the relationship

between ‘perceived income’ (in the

form of tax benefits) relative to

‘perceived spending’ (in the form of

bursaries and scholarships).

Commissioners were directed to

give more consideration to the

relationships that schools have with

their local communities in future,

including the sharing of sports and

education facilities with nearby

schools and community groups.

Many schools have partnership

arrangements – some formal,

some informal. Some market

their facilities to their immediate

neighbours, some wider afield.

However, all tend to have facilities

available for use by the wider

community when they are not

being used by the school.

‘Out of hours’ availability, or use

during holidays, minimizes any

negative impact on the school.

However, this type of usage can be

perceived as ‘tokenism’ – a specific

criticism that the High Court

Judgement makes and says that

schools should avoid.

In this context, the words of the

Charities Commission Executive

Director, Kenneth Dibble to the

legal process are key:

“it is for the Charities to

produce plans in response to

the Commission’s initial public

benefit assessments and …. the

Commission did not insist that the

plans, whether in relation to the

provision of bursaries or otherwise,

should take any particular form.”

The High Court Judgment includes

the following (para 242) on this:

Four steps to

charitable neighbourliness

The recent court judgment on charitable status (see page 5) indicates that

bursaries are not ‘the only game in town’. Stephen Young discusses how land use

planning and sensible management of property can fit into the picture...

Stephen Young is a Consultant with PRO Vision – a firm of Chartered Town Planners, Urban Designers, Architects and Ecologists and specialises in advising educational institutions on property matters.


“A tribunal addressing an actual

school would need to have all

sorts of detailed information: for

example, it would need to see

detailed accounts, to know the

school’s business plan… to see how

the school operates on the ground

… and to know what facilities it

has (such as playing fields, sports

halls, art rooms, music rooms,

laboratories, computer rooms, to

name but a few).

Hence the door is still open to the

Charity Commission to apply its

approach on a school-by-school basis.

So, as income to bursary ratios

will always be assessed, what other

simple steps can schools take to

avoid the spotlight of scrutiny

falling on them in the Charity

Commission assessments? Below

are some suggestions:

1. Know your Estate

Most schools are the heart of their

community, and have significant

assets – either built or natural. But

– where exactly does the School

or College end and the village or

town begin?

Are all the covenants or statutory

designations that might affect

the School understood? These

include rights of ways, landscape

or heritage designations, flood

risk areas, Green Belt or Tree

Preservation Orders. Are the

Local Authority’s Development

Plan proposals known and has the

School helped shape them?

Does the school have a current

condition schedule and programme

of repairs. Does this fit within an

overall masterplan (which might

include delivering energy use

efficiencies / renewable energy

schemes or improving biodiversity)?

Which buildings are listed, and

which others fall within their

‘setting’? Historic buildings are

good for attracting prospective

pupils but can be liabilities when

it comes to routine use and

maintenance, especially as knowing

what contributes to their heritage

value is a dark art. Unlisted

buildings can be captured by

heritage legislation.

2. Know your local community

Many Schools are within or close

to settlements, but, regardless of

location, they are subject to wider

community interests. Love them

or loathe them: neighbours exist.

Schools need to engage with them


Many Towns and Parishes have

Parish Plans or similar, and

most local Authorities prepare

assessments of communities to

determine overall housing needs,

and leisure and other provision.

These are all crystallised into the

Local Development Framework

documents they prepare.

The new Localism Act, enacted on

15 November 2011, emphasises the

importance of local agreement and

consensus as being key to successful

planning applications.

3. Know where the Estate and

Local Community interact

Some key questions to consider

here are:

• Which areas of the Estate lie

within the settlement boundary,

and which outside?

• Are footpath routes informal or


• Are particular buildings valued by

the community for their history

or appearance?

• Does your local community

have concerns regarding school

activities that might colour its

judgement on new development?

• Does your local community have

a recognised shortfall of public

open space and facilities that your

facilities could provide?

• Does the possible non-school use

require out-of-hours parking?

• Do you have Listed Buildings on

your site?

• Would you like to make more

efficient use of buildings or land?

4. Prepare an Estate

Management Plan

All of the above questions touch on

land use issues, to varying degrees.

All therefore have the potential to

interact with the Planning System.

An Estate Management Plan or

Campus Strategy enables these

matters to be drawn together, and

presented succinctly. The plan

should take the school’s vision,

inventory and a planning appraisal

of the full extent of the Land

Registry entry as its starting point.

Land use planning matters should

be investigated and analysed before

development options are considered

and put forward. The land-related

aspects of important strategic

objectives for the school can then

be communicated to neighbours

and regulatory bodies.

Masterplans which have been

consulted upon and have the

agreement of the Local Planning

Authority should help influence

Planning Authorities to determine

planning applications in the

school’s favour. They demonstrate

that the school has a clear

understanding of its estate and

planning matters, of its ongoing

relationship with the neighbours

and that it has fully considered

alternative development options.

These documents can then be an

important part of the evidence on

‘public benefit’.

Facing up to the challenge of Academies

‘God is not on the side of the

big battalions, but on the side

of those who shoot best’

This may be the first quotation from Voltaire to grace the pages of ISM and it’s here for two reasons:

firstly, it is very apposite to the main issue this article discusses and, secondly, whilst most of us know the

first part of the quote, the second part has just as much relevance... writes Stephen Martin-Scott.

Throughout the noughties, Mr Blair’s investment

in primary schools meant that there were

widespread improvements and, in many areas of

the country, prep schools had an increasingly hard

time of it. Many closed; more merged. Yet today

the sector is that much stronger, and not just from

its winnowing. Having clarified and adjusted

their offering in terms of what parents want and

with some now communicating their benefits

more effectively, many have thrived, particularly

- counter-intuitively in the eyes of many – among

those offering boarding, where the ‘value offer’ has

been made clearer.

Today the competition between independent and

state has changed with now the maintained sector

moving up a notch, both in terms of student

age and the size of the ‘battalions’. Since his

original announcement 18 months ago, Michael

Gove’s objective of freeing schools from local

authority control has had some success. Whilst

proportionately very few ‘excellent’ primaries have

identified sufficient advantages to convert, despite

the financial incentives, that has not been the case

with equally highly-rated secondary schools. Of

these, one in three has already converted – and

more are applying, despite a significant reduction

in the incentives. Across England (Scotland, Wales

and Northern Ireland have separate education

arrangements), few independent schools seem to

recognise that there are now almost half as many

Academies as there are independent schools, and

that there are more queuing in the pipeline.

So these revivified ‘big battalions’ are clearly here

to stay. Why is this relevant for independent

schools? Because in many parts of England the

education options for parents who can afford

an independent education for their children

have now increased significantly. Many ‘bogstandard’

comprehensives are definitively no

longer bog-standard. While most independent

schools are concerned about pupil numbers first,

closely followed by the academic potential and

appropriateness of the students in prospect, very

few academies have a numbers problem. Indeed,

some ‘excellent’ academies have four applicants for

every place. For them their objective is all about

increasing the academic quality of their offering.

Their primary objective is to ‘deliver most’

academically, to make their offering, their results,

the most appealing in their locality. Many are

using their new-found freedoms to invest in their

futures to help achieve this. And because they do

not charge fees, they already have an incontestable

attraction. As their overall attraction is now going

to grow, significantly, every independent school

that has an Academy within their catchment

needs to be planning its marketing to recognise

intelligently how to address this threat to their

maintaining pupil numbers.

And, touching on pupil numbers, have you looked

at a relevant ISC paper published last year? Earlier

this month we ran a schools conference and in

one of the presentations the speaker took a look at

their ONS forecast numbers for the south west:

’000s 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018

Pupils aged 15 63 62 61 59 57

Pupils aged 16-17 131 128 126 122 119

Whilst your situation will be different in degree,

depending on in which part of the UK your school

is located, the direction of travel nationally is less

than healthy for the sector.

One a new challenge, one returning. So take heed

of Voltaire’s advice and, through well-planned,

cost-effective marketing, make sure your school is

one of “those who shoot best”.

Stephen Martin-Scott is Senior Partner at the Schools Marketing Partnership, a nationwide marketing consultancy that has been working in the independent sector for more than a dozen years. If you want to

discuss how your school can enhance its marketing to face an ever-increasing competitive environment, call him on (01823) 334560 or contact him by email through

Harrods Internships

Five Sixth Form students from St

Benedict’s School, London, completed

internships at Harrods this year, fulfilling

a number of roles in Marketing, Public

Relations and Buying. This opportunity

was made possible by an offer from

Mrs Marigay McKee, a Director on the

Harrods board, and by the work of Miss

Rachel Plant, Business Studies teacher at

the school.

Marigay McKee stressed that the

students were very much involved in

‘real-life’ work and that their experiences

were not just good for them, but also

good for Harrods. The store has now

offered the internships to St. Benedict’s

on a yearly basis, forming a partnership

with the School.

38 Independent Schools Magazine Marketing 39

and to life

It has been said that,

in 80% of respects, all

schools are fundamentally

the same. If we do accept

that premise then it is

surely the 20% difference

upon which our marketing

messages should be

focused. The clarity of

those messages, the more

relevant they are and

the more impact they

have, will be in direct

proportion to the response

your communication

material generates and

how the recipient feels

about the sender. If those

messages are repeated in

a consistent, interesting,

innovative, engaging way,

the chances of stimulating

a response are increased


40 Marketing

Bringing your

This is reputation management –

in essence, branding.

It should be at the core of all your

communication with both external

and internal audiences, whether

delivered by word of mouth, in print,

on the Internet, through your PDA

or via a social networking site. If it is,

it will make a huge difference to your

return on marketing investment.

When meeting students to establish

what it is that makes their school

so different and so special I often

think, if only we were filming

this. A film has the ability to

show so much about a school,

really capturing personality in an

entertaining and engaging way. In

short, bringing the brand to life.

With film so accessible via web

sites, social networks and now

augmented-reality, it is a perfect

way to communicate your message,

appealing to students, parents,

and grandparents. And there is no

better way to make your web site

more dynamic and interactive.

However it is essential that the films

you create and produce accurately

Paul Kilvington “the school branding experts” 07831 332904

Pippa Bayston “the school film experts” 07801 543798

reflect your ethos, positioning

and values, complimenting and

endorsing other marketing and

communication material. They

might be short, sharp clips or longer

features, although often no longer

than three minutes. Think emotive,

memorable movie trailer rather than

old school video.

Film maker, Pippa Bayston often

says, “it’s all in the edit” and over the

years this has become her primary

area of expertise. Having filmed

many live events, the preparation

and planning of the filming, with

just that one chance to capture the

moment, is immense. The adrenaline

that goes with the pressure of getting

that shot makes it exciting, nervewracking

and very satisfying when

it’s in the can.

Similarly, parents might have just

one shot at getting their choice of

school right. And schools are often

chosen on first impressions. This

impression can be from the web site,

the prospectus that arrives in the post,

the children they meet on a visit, the

Advertorial Feature

teachers they talk to or any other

element of the school that strikes

a chord with them. In essence it is

their so-called gut feeling. A result of

connecting with the school’s brand.

We can all remember a film or

an advert, which made a huge

impression on us as a child. Some

still have the power to do it now

we are adults. The moment you

see an advert and smile and think,

‘brilliant’, the seed of that brand has

been sown. We still think we glow

after eating ReadyBrek and love

MilkyWays because they won’t spoil

our appetites.

The real beauty of the moving image

is that the brand message can be

communicated in such an impactful,

engaging and memorable way. When

a film is made for a school, when it

comes together after collaborating

ideas to reflect the brand, showing

off the school in its best light and

exceeding expectations, it does leave

a great first and lasting impression

for the viewer. Truly bringing the

brand to life.

Look who’s talking...

Reputation management is a discipline that independent schools simply cannot

afford to ignore. A school which loses its excellent reputation can quickly

find parents abandoning ship – who wants their child labelled as going to a

‘questionable’ school, especially when they are paying for the privilege?

A good reputation is an essential part of recruiting and retaining pupils, and can

often be a deciding factor for parents – they want to know that their child will

not only achieve academically, but that they will have a positive experience of the

school which they will carry with them for the rest of their life.

However, a good reputation can be easily tarnished – and it doesn’t take a huge

scandal to damage it. Schoolyard gossip – especially amongst parents collecting

their children – can be like ‘Chinese whispers’, with the smallest fact twisted into

a destructive force, especially when the story is passed on using social media sites

like Facebook.

So, how can you mitigate against gossip? The simple answer is that it is almost

impossible to do so. However, you can take proactive steps to minimise damage

to your reputation by ensuring that any negatives are seen in the wider context of

all the good work you are doing. For example, by:

• reminding people how good you are – both with direct communication with

parents, and through publicising good news stories, from great exam and sports

results to excellent pastoral care, not only within the direct school community

but also further afield.

• embracing social media as a communication tool for your school to send

reminders about concerts, events and activities to parents, especially as this also

gives you an insight into what parents are talking about, too.

• having a crisis communications strategy in place as part of your business

planning process. This should be ready to kick in as soon as any potentially

negative issues arise to make sure the school has a very clear message which is

communicated well.

• taking proportionate action – your reputation depends on minimising

potential damage, but you can tread a fine line between putting out

a fire and stoking something much larger. If in doubt, call in a crisis

communications expert who can offer truly objective advice.

© Freedomimage

New guide on school fee finance

School Fee Plan (SFP), the leading

school fee finance provider in the

UK, has launched an essential guide

to school fee finance for parents and

a new-look website.

Entitled “Making school fees

affordable”, the guide aims to

build parents’ awareness of school

fee finance to help them consider

whether spreading the payment

of school fees over monthly

instalments is the right option

for them.

Developed for schools using SFP

to send to their parents, the guide

explains how school fee finance

works, how it can be obtained,

an example of the costs involved,

potential benefits and some questions

frequently asked by parents.

Advertorial Feature

Rumours can be detrimental to

a school’s hard-won reputation.

Bridget Summers is a consultant

with Footprint Impression

Management’s Education team at

Michael Swan, Managing Director

of School Fee Plan says: “We

recognise the importance of parents

making informed decisions when

they are considering how to fund

their children’s education. School

fee finance offers a great option for

parents looking to minimise the

financial strain of school fees by

spreading the payment over monthly

instalments.” This guide is just one

of the documents which can be

instantly downloaded from SFP’s

new-look website. The site features

an enhanced level of user interactivity

and provides schools with ready

access to promotional material, a

range of essential forms and a new

library section containing the latest

articles, newsletters and adverts.


the brand

to life

Marketing 41

Why are schools slow

to adopt Social Media?

The news is constantly carrying stories about ‘Apps’ and ‘Social Media’ growth. Why? Because by 2020,

Apps are predicted ‘to be as big as the internet’ peaking at 10 million apps – and 70% of online ‘surf’

time is spent in social platforms, mainly Facebook. So why are schools so often ignoring these important

channels when looking to engage with their different community groups, asks Simon Noakes?

Ask your school parents and pupils if they have

heard of Facebook or Twitter, YouTube or Flickr

– and what is the latest ‘cool’ app they have

downloaded to their iPhone or BlackBerry. Are

you met with blanks look and confusion? No,

because it is now commonplace amongst today’s

modern parents and pupils.

These technology advances and shifts in user

behaviour mean your school cannot stand still.

UK Independent Schools have always been at

the forefront of innovation in schools marketing

– and this needs to continue, otherwise the rest

of the world will close the gap.

The creation of an iPhone School Prospectus

will help engage with the digital generation.

Couple this with the viral nature of Social

Media, and a school can now reach more people

[globally] at a fraction of the cost of their normal

prospectus expenditure.

42 Marketing

For some schools Social Media has already

excited and connected them. For other schools it

feels like a spot on the horizon, far from today’s

reality. Either way, schools need to be able to

navigate their way successfully through the web

of social platforms, channels and technologies –

so that both marketing and communications are

effective and worthwhile.

Too many schools ‘jump onto the bandwagon’

of new trends without fully understanding how

best to leverage their power and usefulness. Just

because most social channels are free, doesn’t

mean that the schools are using them correctly

and effectively. In fact many done internally will

fail to grow successfully with the school, costing

them more in the longer term.

Developing Social Media channels and Apps

should be part of a multi-channel, multiplatform,

integrated communications strategy

– and not just done to follow the crowd.

Maximising the benefits and value of Apps, as

well as choosing the right channel to deliver

your message, needs careful planning and


Social Media usage has exploded over the

past 2 years into the world’s favourite online

past-time. Why? Because people are inherently

social, like to share, and want to do it all quickly

and conveniently. There is no better sector to

leverage the huge benefits that social and mobile

media bring, allowing schools to connect with

all their key communities through the entire

lifecycle of the relationship – whether prospects,

current or alumni.

Ironically, in today’s world ‘our time’ appears more

finite – yet we are more available [24/7 in fact]

due to technology advances! Don’t forget, this is

the same world your busy parents live in too.

Simon Noakes is Managing Director of Interactive Schools. Follow Simon on Twitter @simonnoakes

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our leading school website

Content Management System


PDF Page-Flip Prospectuses

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Your School Website

The heart of a socially connected strategy





Digital Displays

Real-Time News & Events

Latest Photos & Videos

School Lunch Menus

Live Twitter Feed

School Timetables & Notices

Bespoke Content

Social Applications

Real-Time News & Events

Latest Photos & Videos

Live Twitter Feed

Links to Parent Portal

Connect with Parents

Like, Post & Share

“Bringing Schools Marketing to Life”

School Websites

We create multimedia feature-rich

school websites already

integrated into social platforms

and our Apps (below)

Parent Apps

Pupil Apps

Prospectus Apps

Augmented Reality Apps

Virtual Tour Apps

eLearning Apps

Independent Schools Magazine 43

“What an opportunity! The children really enjoyed the whole experience and

they performed brilliantly.

Manor Singers only formed last Autumn so, apart from school concerts and an

appearance at the Godalming Music Festival and Yateley’s ‘Gig on the Green’,

this was our first chance to perform to a big audience.

The tour gave great purpose and focus to our rehearsals. I was delighted at

how well the children performed. We sing mainly show tunes like Bohemian

Rhapsody and Tuxedo Junction and the larger audiences didn’t faze them at all.

The first concert was at the bandstand in Square Jean XX III,

in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral. There were around 50 to 100

people there and they sang amazingly. A bit nervous before, they were buzzing

afterwards; they really enjoyed it.

Our next concert was at Disneyland where we were all impressed with the

professionalism of the set up and inspired by the setting. Again, the children were

on a real high afterwards and haven’t stopped talking about it since.

The good thing about touring is that you get to see a little of the country you’re

visiting too. In addition to our visit to Disneyland, we went up the Eiffel Tower

and on a tour passed some of the city’s famous landmarks. Being able to see these

famous places and experience something of the culture was a big plus.

But the real benefit was how much the children enjoyed it and developed over

just four days; many of them changed and became more mature about things.

We’ve made a 50-minute DVD of our tour, which everybody has been very

impressed with. Parents in particular have been over the moon at this memento

of the trip, while it’s just made the children want to go again even more.”

The Yateley Manor Preparatory School choir tour was arranged by Club Europe

(, a specialist school concert tour operator.

Yateley Manor is a co-educational Preparatory School in North East Hampshire

catering for children from 3 to 13.

Going back in time

Yarrells Preparatory School, Dorset,

Year 5 travelled by steam train to a

3 day residential visit dressed up as

evacuees and spent their first day

“digging for Victory” and listening

to stories from local historian

Mr Reg Saville MBE about his

experiences during WWII.

Taste of the rainforest

Feeling fed up with the gloomy

English winter and the dark, cold

days, Year 4 pupils at St Neots

Preparatory School, Hampshire,

decided it was time for some

warmer weather, so they jumped

on a coach heading for the tropical

rainforest (the one just outside

Newbury)! Sketch books in hand

the explorers crept through the vines

44 School Travel

Prep School

choir tour to Paris

Despite some of them being as young as eight, the Manor Singers from Yateley

Manor Preparatory School in Hampshire found touring in Paris a real thrill. Their

Director of Music, Paul Hemmings says it’s something he’ll definitely do again.

and sludge, protecting their teachers

from the terrifying insects, pythons

and Courtney the crocodile. They

encountered monkeys and toucans

and even saw some underwater

action, watching turtles and stingrays

swimming through the tropical rivers.

The children learnt about poisonous

plants and plants that can heal, the

eating habits of butterflies and snakes.

Atlantic challenge

Northcote Lodge, London, boys

met James Cash and Bertie Portal,

and their boat, who leave the UK

on 4th December to row across

the Atlantic to raise money for

Raising The World charity. The

boys raised £15,000 for the charity

which helps children from the

world’s poorest countries with

extreme facial disfigurements. The

boat features the school crest on

the side.

Charity expedition to Kenya

Twenty students from ACS Egham aged from six to fifteen that are

International School, Surrey, taught in twelve small classrooms.

recently returned from a ten-day Bingwa Primary School is built

expedition to Kenya where they on an old Saw mill which has

helped to build part of a primary affected the foundations of the


school, so a major part of ACS

The twenty young volunteers Egham’s five-year programme is

travelled to Bingwa Primary School to provide secure foundations for

outside Nanyuki in Kenya as part of the affected buildings. This year a

ACS Egham’s ‘Project Kenya’, which whole classroom had to be rotated

is now over half-way through a five 90 degrees! ACS Egham students

year programme. The programme worked on every aspect on this

aims to help improve the education project, from straightening nails to

facilities ClubEurope_Advert_Landscape_Layout available at Bingwa Primary be reused, 1 03/05/2011 to cementing 16:34 classroom Page 1

School, for the six hundred pupils floors. Students were also in charge

to life

• Qualified and practising musicians on our team

• Wide range of destinations

• Imaginative concert venues

• Competitive prices

Call us to arrange your tailor-made concert tour abroad. We will organise not only fantastic concerts but

also your travel, accommodation and excursion programme.

Freephone: 0800 496 4996, Email:

of domestic tasks, such as washing

up and sourcing food around

Bingwa, as well as being involved in

teaching lessons such as English and

maths in classrooms that had up to

one hundred students in each room.

Bill Roach, a P.E teacher at ACS

Egham and one of the expedition

organisers, commented:

“This trip is a unique way for

students to become immersed in a

totally different way of life and help

a community in need by providing

physical buildings, but also by

building a long-term commitment

and providing fundraising support to

Bingwa throughout the year.”

The whole of the ACS Egham

community gets involved throughout

the year by donating clothing,

old sports equipment and hosting

fundraising events. Students at ACS

Egham are also penpals with some of

the Bingwa students.

Virgin Atlantic assisted this year’s

humanitarian efforts by providing

an extra 23kg luggage allowance for

each student, to enable them to take

additional donated items to Bingwa

Primary school.

School Travel 45

Putting surplus cash to work

How to make the most of a school’s cash balances.

Accountant Henry Briggs reflects...

Independent schools have

historically benefitted from

collecting their income at the start of

term and paying their expenses out

over the ensuing four months. In the

days of reasonable interest rates, this

cash flow advantage could be put to

use to enhance income.

However, in this sustained period

of historically low interest rates and

negative real returns on cash balances,

this benefit has been completely

eroded. At a time when costs are

escalating and income streams are

increasingly challenged, many schools

would like to put their cash balances to

work more effectively.

A strongly positive cash flow that

can be attributed to seasonal or

cyclical factors may often mask other

underlying or longer term ones. In

considering how to best take advantage

of liquid balances, it is necessary to

establish what the non-cyclical cash

Passionate about rugby

Mr Ian Beer CBE, returned to

Ellesmere College, Shropshire where

in 1961 he was Headmaster at just

29 years old. 1969 he went on to

Lancing College and then became

Headmaster at Harrow, from where

he retired in 1991.

Ian, having played rugby for

Cambridge University and

internationally for England, has

remained passionate about the

game and so on the occasion of his

80th Birthday earlier this year, Nick

Pettingale, Director of Development,

surplus is. Whilst a ‘margin for error’

in cash flow is comforting, there may

be significant resource that is not being

put to use.

If cash is being held for a designated

project, then it is important to

establish the time scale when the

funds will be needed and match their

accessibility to that. For funds that

are being held for normal operations,

then knowing the date of drawdown

and matching deposits to requirements

will be more effective than constantly

holding them all for withdrawal at

short notice.

Fixed term money market deposits will

give better rates than deposit accounts

at banks and, over a long period of

time, simple treasury management

of this kind will give a worthwhile

enhanced return.

A strategy can then be devised for

funds that are not needed for routine

working capital. Some Governing

launched the Ian Beer Rugby

Scholarship as a gift from the staff

and ‘old boys’ of the school. This

term that Sixth Form scholarship was

awarded to Colin Dickson.

Alex Murphy, Director of Ellesmere’s

Rugby Academy said ‘Colin has

always been an exciting player

from an early age and to see him

growing and developing in the

Rugby Academy as a result of this

prestigious award is great for him

and for us. He is a talent to be

bodies consider themselves ‘not to

be in the risk investment business’

and stick to low risk and return

investments on longer term reserves.

However, in a changing economic

world, it is worth reviewing this policy.

Many traditionally low risk holdings

such as Sovereign Government stock

or even bank deposits may now have

a far higher risk profile than other

equity investments whilst giving a

lower return.

The conventional risk/return

model has been turned on its head.

Investments such as Corporate Bonds,

whilst being subject to the vagaries

of the market, may offer a far better

return, as indeed may blue chip

equities. For any Endowments or

Restricted Reserves which are there

to generate income in the long term,

a long term view should be taken to

maximise overall return.

It is also worth looking at other

options to take advantage of a strong

cash position. Previous incentives

given to parents to pay fees early, such

as early payment discounts, may now

be expensive. Disincentives on late

payment, such as high surcharges, may

be better.

Unfortunately, extending credit on fees

can easily fall foul of the Consumer

Credit Act, and is an administrative

nightmare for most schools. Many

schools choose to pass this on to a

registered credit provider, who in

turn charges the fee payer and takes

the premium interest. Operating an

in-house facility may seem a more

attractive option when interest rates

are high. It should be considered by

any sizeable school with the resource

to handle it, particularly where credit

control is already time consuming,

or there is significant demand from

potential parents for such a facility. It

may also help to increase the appeal of

the school and fill capacity - if that is

a priority.

Looking at suppliers’ discounts is

another option worth considering.

Taking early payment options, or

asking for discounts for advance

payments from suppliers, may well

be more worthwhile than extending

credit to fee payers. Smaller suppliers

will welcome the certainty of an

order as well as the cash flow,

without having to chase doubtful

debts which they may have with

their less credit-worthy customers.

Whilst each of these strategies will

not be appropriate to every school

with a healthy cash ‘buffer’, many or

some of them will be. It is important

that a suitably qualified adviser

is consulted on any investment

decisions. Forming a small

Investment or Treasury management

sub-committee of the governing

body should provide the Bursar with

welcome support and should keep

the time expended on discussion and

advice to a sensible minimum.

Henry Briggs is senior partner of the Birmingham office of Haines Watts, Chartered

Accountants and a former independent school governor. 0121 456 1613

watched out for in the future.’ Inaugural Head Girls

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The Marist Preparatory School, bossy’ or ‘full of herself’. They

Berkshire, have a Head Girl and were asked to put the idea to their

Deputy Head Girl for the first time. fellow peers and report back. At

School history was made when

Headteacher Miss Jenny Finlayson,

announced the appointments.

The Pupil Council discussed at

length the pros and cons of having a

Head Girl as no such post had been

created before under the previous

the outset, it was explained that the

verdict of the Pupil Council would

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changed and they unanimously

voted in favour of having a Head

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Headteacher (Miss Finlayson was

appointed in May 2011). During

were decided by the Pupil Council

and the process of shortlisting and

the first meeting the girls seemed interviewing took place. The final

against the idea being concerned four candidates made a speech to

that a Head Girl might be ‘too staff and pupils who then voted.


46 Independent Schools Magazine Flooring 47

Photo: Mark Lees

The Wider Curriculum...

Sharing best practice

The idea of recognising core competencies is vital in formulating a school’s business strategy.

It was this notion that prompted the organisation and promoting of the first national

conference on the value of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in Independent

schools. David Tidy, Assistant Head (Curriculum) at Trent College, Nottinghamshire, reports...

Over the past year I have visited

HMC Schools to discuss the

provision of co-curricular education

– the ‘wider curriculum’ – with

colleagues across the country.

Sensing this was very much a

topic of the moment, I organised a

discussion forum about all matters

extra-curricular with the aim of

‘sharing best practice’.

Four experienced senior leaders,

Silas Edmonds (Surbiton High

School), Steve Gorman (Oakham),

Martin Brown (The Leys) and

Noel Cassidy (St Albans School)

presented their own personal

experiences of implementing,

organising and improving activities

outside of taught curriculum.

Among the subjects discussed were

community partnerships, the role

of school publications and extreme


The conference was attended by 50

delegates from across the UK keen

to listen to the contributors and

share ideas.

48 Independent Schools Magazine

Whilst examination results remain

the main priority for most schools,

there is no doubt parents highly

value the role that opportunities

provided outside of the classroom play

in their child’s whole personal and

cultural development. This becomes

increasingly pertinent as university

entrance gets ever more competitive.

Reflecting this, the majority of the

delegates with responsibility for

the wider curriculum held senior

leadership positions. This underlines

the importance this aspect now plays

in school life.

The importance of conducting

an audit as the precursor to

introducing a wide-ranging overhaul

of the activities programme was

explored. We discovered we all had

similar challenges - constraints

of time, resourcing, conflicting

priorities and common room

culture to name but a few.

It was agreed a distinction should

remain between ‘enrichment

sessions’, ie fostering thinking

and learning through creative,

structured, fun activities in the

daily timetable, and extra-curricular

activities in the traditional after

school, weekend timeslots.

The challenge of communicating the

vision and the process involved was

introduced. Ideas on how to change

the culture were studied in depth.

The difficult issues of staff and pupil

participation, and the monitoring

of this, were addressed and some

practical measures suggested.

For example, enrichment

commitment was progressively

written into staff expectation

documents; Senior Leadership

Team lead by example taking

more than their fair share of

activities; parental support was

gained through clear and frequent

communications; assemblies were

devoted to community, teamwork

and leadership.

Monitoring student progress used an

innovative visual record card that was

universally admired and copies were

given to all delegates for them to share

this particular bit of best practice! The

monitoring of staff participation was

written into appraisals. The process

was promoted and communicated

fully and relentlessly, culminating

in a university-style choices fair for


Some aspects of extra-curricular

activity involve us in risk. Following

the running extreme school trips

presentation, much discussion

ensued about the practical

matters of Health and Safety, risk

assessments and qualifications.

The benefits to the students were

discussed and the process of putting

together trips explored.

For those in schools where the Head/

Director of the Wider Curriculum

was not recognised as a SLT function

there was a description of what one

school saw as the responsibilities of

such a position.

The crucial aspects of holding

budgets, and controlling resources,

coupled with the authority to take

decisions, was seen as central to

success. The vitally important job

of mediating and arbitrating on

conflicting aims, and facilitating

others to manage aspects of the

co-curricular programme, were also


Aspects of communication and

publications focussing on how to

manage termly newsletters, school

magazine, website and other media

were examined. Where to use

pupils and where to leave it to the

professionals was an important


The provision of help to outside

organisations, such as local primary

schools with their websites, led into

discussions centring on extensive

community projects using large

numbers of pupils.

Development of strong links to

local schools and care homes

has seen marketing advantages,

students and staff actively involved

in local education, recognition in

partner schools’ OfSTED reports

plus invaluable benefits to pupils


The reaction to the conference has

been universally positive and we hope

the contacts, ideas and discussions will

develop from this start.

The overriding feeling was co/extra-

curricular education is a unique

selling point for schools, especially

during tough economic periods.

Already colleagues are talking about

discussion groups and blogs and we

would like this conference to become

an annual event.

a unique selling point for

schools, especially during

tough economic periods


Asbestos checks

Checks on how independent

schools are managing asbestos

have revealed that most have

adequate arrangements in place

– though 17 per cent fell below

acceptable standards in relation

to management procedures.

The Health and Safety Executive

(HSE) inspected a random

sample of 164 independent,

voluntary aided and foundation

schools and academies between

November 2010 and June 2011.

It served notices on 28 schools

requiring them to improve

arrangements for managing

asbestos, and provided informal

advice to a further 110.

Enforcement action was taken

over failures such as training

staff and producing written

management plans, rather than

because staff or pupils were

considered at significant risk of


Compliance with the Control of

Asbestos Regulations (2006) in

England, Scotland and Wales was

broadly similar to that found in a

survey and inspection programme

involving local authoritycontrolled

schools in 2009/10.

Asbestos which is in good

condition and remains

undamaged and undisturbed

does not pose any significant

risk to health if it is managed

in compliance with the legal

requirements and according to

HSE’s published guidance.

17 schools were served for a

failure to provide adequate

training; 14 for a lack of a written

asbestos management plan; 8 for

a failure to implement a suitable

system to manage the risks from

asbestos; and 2 for a failure to

undertake a survey/assessment

of the presence of Asbestos

Containing Materials (ACMs).

Teachers’ Pension

Scheme ‘crucial for

majority of independent

school staff’

Half of independent school

teachers said they would not apply

to work in a school which did not

give them access to the Teachers’

Pension Scheme (TPS), according

to a survey from the Association of

Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

In addition, more than a quarter

said any pension scheme offered

would have to be good value for

them to join a school.

Responding to ATL’s annual

independent schools survey,

over one in four teachers said

they would leave teaching if

independent school teachers are

excluded from the TPS, and one

in five said they would return to

work in a state-funded school.

Over 90 per cent of independent

school teachers have access to the

TPS or Scottish equivalent (Scottish

Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme).

Dr Mary Bousted, ATL general

secretary, said: “Access to the

Teachers’ Pension Scheme is crucial

for most independent school

teachers. It enables staff to move

freely between state-funded and

private schools to share ideas and

expertise. Expelling independent

teachers would have serious

implications for staff and pupils in

both sectors. Many independent

schools would struggle to provide

their own scheme, some would

undoubtedly close, in others school

fees would have to rise and schools

would lose staff. And the loss of

60,000 independent staff could

put a serious strain on the financial

health of the TPS. We will

continue to campaign vigorously

so that members working in

independent schools retain the

right to belong to the TPS.”

Independent Schools Magazine 49

Finding the answers to

emotional questions

Emotional intelligence has long been recognised as a very important factor that governs decision

making. Life choices are a result of a number of influencing factors; personality (nature), upbringing

(value system), education and experience. Does the current PHSE curriculum need enhancement? Is

enough done in schools to assist young people address their perceptions of themselves and the world

around them? Are media myths sufficiently exposed, the effects of advertising and celebrity culture

discussed? Tracey Johnson reflects...

In ‘An intelligent look at emotional

intelligence’, Bristol University’s

Professor of the Learning Sciences,

Guy Claxton, states: ‘Emotional

Intelligence departs from traditional

conceptions of intelligence in two

ways. First it values different ways

of being bright. It asserts that

understanding someone else’s point

of view, or knowing how to deal with

50 Independent Schools Magazine

stress, are forms of intelligence, just as

useful – indeed, quite possibly more

so – than being able to solve logical

brainteasers fast under pressure.

The second difference is just as

important. Where many versions of

IQ theory focus on its fixed, even

inherited, character, Emotional

Intelligence focuses on the extent to

which emotional competence can be

Pitch and Running

Track Development

A sports field remodelling project

at Hylands School, Essex, has

hit all targets with regard to the

environment, the available budget

and the provision of additional highclass

sports facilities for the school’s

900-plus pupils.

According to Estates Manager,

Charlie Manning, the scheme

prepared by expert agronomist,

Gordon Jaaback, and produced by

specialist pitch and water engineering

contractor, MJ Abbott Limited,

remains on schedule to provide

much needed extended school sports

facilities by summer 2012.

Comprising a full-size football pitch

with a perimeter grass athletics track,

the project involved the re-use of

2,700 cubic metres of soil that had

been removed during the construction

of a new school building.

“We were faced with two choices,”

explained Mr Manning, “Dispose

of the surplus soil off-site at

considerable cost or use it to

improve a large existing undulating

grassed area that was wholly

unsuitable for competitive sports.”

“It was not a difficult decision to go

for the second option, a move which

represented best value and enabled

responsible re-use of the soil.”

Sown in September, the grass is now

becoming well established and the

school is hopeful that the field will be

ready for use in early summer 2012.

Until then, MJ Abbott is carrying

out a full pitch maintenance regime

which the school expects to take

over next summer. This will ensure

that the surface remains both freedraining

and in prime condition for

the future.

developed. Whereas a child of ‘low

(intellectual) ability’ tends to be seen

as a prisoner of their genes, Emotional

Intelligence is of interest to so many

teachers because they believe they can

do something to help.’

The decisions we make are based on

instinct; our in-built value system

that subconsciously influences our

thought processes. We rationalise,

consider and consciously go

through thought processes before

arriving at a final conclusion. It is

rare that our decisions contradict

our values and belief system. More

importantly we immediately ‘feel

it in our gut’ when we know that

we have performed an act that is

at odds with our value system and

beliefs. Problems occur when our

instincts are founded on a value

system that is at odds with the

majority of the society around us.

Our subsequent decisions reflect

that flawed system, even in the

knowledge that those decisions will

not have a positive outcome. Whilst

the decision process is influenced

by our academic intelligence,

it depends more heavily on the

prowess of our in-built levels of

emotional intelligence.

In his Frames of Mind: The

Theory of Multiple Intelligences,

Gardner introduced the idea of

multiple intelligences comprising:

the capacity to understand the

intentions, motivations and desires

of others, and the capacity to

understand oneself, to appreciate

ones feelings, fears and motivations.

These he described as interpersonal

and intrapersonal intelligence. In

Gardner’s view, traditional types

of intelligence, i.e. IQ do not

fully explain cognitive ability and

it is a common understanding

that traditional definitions of

intelligence fail to fully explain

performance outcomes. This view

is increasing in popularity among

professionals in a wide variety

of educational and commercial

settings. In commerce it is

accepted that managers who utilise

emotional intelligence increase

productivity, improve the wellbeing

of their staff and create an

environment less likely to involve

stressful situations as the workforce

adapt to an emotionally intelligent

approach and learn to evaluate

each situation and each other with

increasing sensitivity.

The current PSHE curriculum

is vital in the preparation of our

young people for adulthood. It gives

valuable information and coping

strategies for a varied number of

scenarios. A greater emphasis on

emotional intelligence would not

only help them improve academically,

they are also more likely to put those

PSHE strategies into practice as their

newly learned emotional intelligence

subconsciously influences their


Academic success alone does not

guarantee a successful adulthood.

There is much evidence to suggest

that those who possess a higher

emotional intelligence quotient

have improved overall outcomes,

compared to their academic equals.

Tracey Johnson is a founding director of Adolessence, a service to schools designed to complement

and enhance the current PSHE provision. She believes that bespoke programmes focusing on self

awareness, self esteem and body image are ideal ways to introduce young people to the four branches

of emotional intelligence – Perceiving, Reasoning with, Understanding and Managing Emotions.

Having worked in both the private and public sector as a PSHE professional, Tracey believes that

good as the current curriculum is, greater emphasis is needed on emotional intelligence.

Tel: 01794 327195

Millions of lost school days could be avoided

A British manufacturer has teamed

up with a nursery school owner to

raise the standard of hand hygiene in

educational settings after it was revealed

millions of school days are missed each

year due to avoidable illness.

Research also shows the spread

of common bugs and infections

throughout schools costs the UK

economy millions of pounds and forces

thousands of teachers to regularly take

time off.

However, many of these illnesses could

be avoided by simple improvements in

hand hygiene. Donna Row, who runs

the Yorley Barn Nursery in Suffolk and

DaRo UV Systems – which makes

hand hygiene inspection cabinets used

by NHS organisations throughout the



from new


NEC Display Solutions has unveiled

the flagship member of its line of

professional installation projectors,

the PH1000U, designed for those

who need the very best and brightest

picture quality combined with

maximum levels of control.

The PH Series builds on NEC’s

‘Tradition of Performance’, delivering

the perfect innovations for the

toughest installations. As the first

member of the new flagship range,

the PH1000U is a heavy-duty

projector designed for rental and

staging applications, fixed installations

in conference halls and higher

educational environments, or events.

It combines ultra high brightness,

image precision and industry leading

reliability and performance.

UK – have now joined forces to raise

awareness of the importance of hand

hygiene in educational settings.

Mrs Row decided to review her

nursery’s hand hygiene policy during

the recent swine flu outbreak and

approached DaRo UV Systems

after reading how its hand hygiene

inspection cabinets had played a

vital role in the reduction of hospital

superbugs such as MRSA. The pair

decided to carry out some research

– which included gathering facts

and figures from the Department of

Education and the Office of National

Statistics – and were startled by their


• Department of Education statistics

show 58,90,790 school days were

missed by children in England in

2009/2010 due to them being absent

and the overwhelming majority of

absences were due to sickness. The

top five illnesses which cause children

to miss school are the common

cold, sore throat, stomach bugs, ear

infection and conjunctivitis. These

illnesses could be avoided if stringent

hand hygiene practices were in place

The PH Series units will be

shipped without a lens, giving

customers the option to select the

lens best suited for their needs.

There is a choice of six highquality

bayonet lenses supporting

the memory lens function,

which adjusts the lens position

automatically and individually,

according to the input signal or

previous setting.

The package supplied includes

IR Remote Control, power cord,

users manual on CD-ROM and

quick setup guide. NEC Display

Solutions Europe offers a threeyear

pan-European service warranty

and the lamp is covered for six

months or 1,000 hours, whichever

comes first.

and implemented,

meaning millions

of missed school

days could be


• The Department

of Education also

revealed around

300,000 teachers take sickness

leave each year, which equates to

around 2,700,000 school days. It

is estimated around half of staff

sickness is also due to common

infections, such as colds and

stomach bugs. The annual cost of

supply teachers and support staff to

cover for sick days is around £3m.

• Sickness in school environments

also has a significant impact on the

UK economy. A 2005 report by the

Office of National Statistics estimated

the cost of absence from work to the

UK economy to be £11.6b. The same

reports shows evidence that parents

take more time off work than those

with no dependents, as they often

need to care for sick children.

Together with the Yorley Barn Nursery

the company has developed an

innovative hand hygiene educational

support package called Buster, which is

being offered to nurseries and primary

schools across the UK.

The Buster packs use cartoon characters

to take children on a fun, educational

journey about the importance of hand

hygiene in preventing the spread of

infections. The packs use an ultra-violet

light ‘glow box’ to ensure children

are using the correct hand washing

techniques. A special glitter lotion is

applied to the hands and then washed

off. Hands are then placed under the

colourful Buster ‘glow box’ and any

remaining lotion will fluoresce showing

any flaws in the hand washing process.

The Buster packs also come with

exciting, fun-packed posters, stickers,

certificates and an interactive activity

book to teach the children about the

importance of hand hygiene.

GFORCE launches Plus training wear

To support the phenomenal success of

GFORCE, Gymphlex are delighted to

announce the creation of GFORCE

PLUS, a stock range of high

performance training wear. Developed

for suppliers to sell directly to their

customers, the GFORCE PLUS stock

range boasts all the key features of the

GFORCE range; technically superior

fabrics, contemporary designs, with a

very attractive price point for retailers.

As well as being perfect for clubs and

teams, PLUS by GFORCE is also

appropriate for sporting individuals

as there are no minimum order


GFORCE has proved extremely

popular with retailers and end

users, and PLUS is sure to follow

suit. With a stocked selection of

generic colour combinations, PLUS

is available for immediate despatch.

Although PLUS does not offer

the extensive range of options for

bespoke personalisation of its sister

brand, customers can choose to

have embroidered badges, logos or

names applied onto the garment.

The GFORCE PLUS range will

be stocked from January 2012 and

orders are being taken now.

Tel: 01507 523 243

Products and Services 51


online resource

A new website has been launched to

help engage young people in a wide

range of cross-curricular activities.

Each quarter

will be filled with a new selection of

interactive educational tools, lesson

plans and ideas for classroom-based

activities, all designed to engage young

people in subjects and social issues

applicable across key stages one to four.

Many of these resources will be free

to download, with others being made

available for a small one-off fee or

yearly subscription charge.

Cost effective


projection for


The NEC interactive wall mount

solution aims to transform any

flat surface into an interactive

workspace. To be used in

combination with a short throw

or ultra-short throw projector

from the NEC M or U Series, the

interactive wall mount solution

allows schools to harness the

benefits of interaction without

having to invest heavily in new

projection equipment.

The NEC NP01Wi interactive

solution includes fully featured

interactive eBeam

education software from Luidia,

which offers rich curriculum

resources to aid lesson planning.

Comprising a sensor and bracket

with an interactive pen, the

52 Products and Services

The first resources to go live include a

10 month countdown to the London

2012 Olympic Games, guides on how

to support young people interested

in the arts and information on how

school’s can run schemes such as Arts

Award, to help prepare students for

Further Education or employment in

the creative industries.

Other items include a Theatre in

Education programme, offering plays

exploring prejudice, smoking and

alcohol misuse, a series of videos which

feature 13 young people talking about

their experiences of being homeless,

a comparison between the Great

Exhibition of 1851 and the current

steampunk craze and an animated

book designed to improve literacy in

French and English.

Tel: 0191 427 8197/88

system uses two forms of tracking

technology, both infrared and

ultra-sonic to ensure superb levels

of accuracy. The interactive pen

works in a similar way to a mouse

enabling the user to manipulate

the presentation screen in a very

simple and intuitive way.

Tel: 08701 201160

New school sportswear solution

Gymphlex are ringing the changes

with a brand new range of affordable

sportswear developed specifically

for the School Sports sector. This

new range enables school teams

to differentiate themselves with a

professional bespoke image.

This latest School Sportswear Solution

from Gymphlex offers an advanced

multi-sport range. With the use

of technical fabrics to create high

performance garments, this range was

created very much with the School

Sportswear sector in mind. Choosing

from a targeted range of garments,

schools will be able to create a cohesive

sporting identity. These garments can

be personalised by the choice of school

colours, with the option of adding

embroidered or printed badges creating

a school kit which could run across all

sporting disciplines.

Simon Ward, Sales Director at

Gymphlex comments on this exciting

new launch:

“We have learnt a great deal about

School Sportswear since we started in

The cost of installing window blinds

in schools and colleges can be quite

high, since installers invariably need to

travel to and from the site. The smaller

the number of blinds, the higher the

fitting cost per unit.

One way that facilities managers

and school bursars can make

economies, and stretch their

budgets, is to arrange for

installation of binds using their

own personnel, and this is where

KAMPUS blinds are proving


KAMPUS blinds have been designed

for easy installation by unskilled staff.

Clear fitting instructions are provided

1906, enabling us to capitalise on our

design and manufacturing experience to

create a high performance and flexible

School Sportswear Solution. We have

been able to use all of our knowledge

to develop this range, which possesses

many of the features that Gymphlex

has become known for. With our

newly developed brand portfolio we are

confident that Gymphlex will enhance

its customer base further, building on

our existing band of loyal followers

as more and more schools embrace

the opportunity to develop a cohesive

school or team identity.”

This latest School Sportswear Solution

from Gymphlex offers an advanced

multi-sport solution which is more

accessible than ever before.

Tel: 01507 523243

Blinds can be fitted by school staff

and there is a helpline in case of


KAMPUS blinds are proving very

effective in teaching rooms. They all

have the distinctive, pink KAMPUS-

LOK which is a safety feature to

ensure the blinds cannot fall out of

their brackets, even with misuse.

The crank handle is removable, and

avoids the breakages and ligature risk

associated with chains and cords.

KAMPUS blinds carry a fiveyear

guarantee. They are made in

the UK by Aluzion Limited and

available through authorised, trained

distributors who also offer an

installation service, if required.

Tel: 0845 382 2000

consuming administration and costly stockholding.

IN-STORE – our network of High Street shops, located

throughout the North and Midlands, where customers

can browse and buy.

Revolutionising school playgrounds

Monster ONLINE Play, – a the quick, UK’s eco-friendly convenient and of this rapidly process – growing with a thoughtful

playground specialist has seen a huge design, a child’s development is helped

service, enabling parents to order directly from us, when

response to its MultiActive outdoor exponentially.

it suits them.

sports system with school trials Monster Play’s highly experienced

already Providing showing such wonderful a range results of made-to-measure design team created the services new

and has feedback. made us the UK ’s largest MultiActive independent range in schoolwear


Managing retailer, Director supplying Paul Quinn more is than 500 with independent primary school teachers, schools, sports

particularly along with excited over about 2,500 the new state schools coaches and nationally. child psychologist, Being so

range. big, we “With use Monster our buying MultiActive, power Amanda to bring Gummer. you the best

we prices believe possible. we’ve created a whole new Constructed in durable partially

system of durable, flexible modular recycled steel, Monster MultiActive

sports Whether equipment it’s a that complete will give school schoolwear can fit existing collection courts as or double- simply

children a badged a safe, sweatshirt, stimulating and we fun will create sided, triple-sided a service or wall that mounted fits

way your to learn school, while your they play.” parents and configurations. your pupils, It perfectly. can be installed

with minimal disruption in just two

days, including court markings in

long-lasting thermo plastic paint. The

highly flexible system can be adapted

to an individual school’s needs and

budget – with a range of bespoke

options also available.

The Monster MultiActive range has

been designed for Key Stages 1 and

2, with easily understood multiple

game choices that offer structured

learning in P.E. and creative playtime

experiences. Its aim is to encourage

children, regardless of ability, to gain

confidence with sports, team skills

and mathematical thinking. Teachers

can step back and relax as children

interact, co-operate, think creatively,

learn from mistakes and explore their

surroundings by themselves.

This freedom instils confidence

and helps the development of

important social skills that are carried

into later life such as meaningful

communication, bonding and forging

friendships. Monster Play believes

the playground itself is a vital part

The launch has been preceded by a

hugely successful trial period, installed

in St Catherine of Siena Primary

Schools in Watford. The reception to

the system has been extremely positive

from pupils and teachers alike.

New school shop success


Nestling in the Yorkshire Dales,

Giggleswick School is one of

the UK’s oldest and most well

known independent schools, and

its distinctive uniform of black

blazers with red pinstripes can be

seen around the village and school

grounds, as well as at away matches

all over the North of England.

Giggleswick parents and pupils

alike are now able to have an even

better shopping experience at their

dedicated, on-site, school shop, which

is in an attractive Yorkshire stonefronted

building, refurbished and

managed by the John Cheatle Group.

Giggleswick, which boasts alumni

such as the late TV presenter Richard

Whiteley, had been running its own

school shop in another part of the

school for some time. Long-term

shop managers Susan Bellis and

Barbara Cilgram are continuing to

run the new shop.

Susan commented: “It felt a bit

strange at first not to be ordering

stock on the phone, but I’ve got used

to it now, and having John Cheatle

maintain the stock levels means

we can focus on providing the best

customer service.

We’ve had some favourable feedback

from parents on the look of the new

shop and the site itself, and we’re now

able to accept payments by card too,

so it’s working well.”

Portable Mirrors

Portable Mirrors are a fantastic facility

to add to your school, and worth every

penny of the investment as they can

be used in so many different ways, not

only for Dance, popular for use in all

kinds of PE, Drama, Performing Arts

even Science to measure how they

reflect light. So many teachers/students

can benefit from them, and include

them in various parts of the National


Permanent mirrors may not be an

option for your school for whatever

reason, portable mirrors are the

solution. These mirrors on wheels

rather than permanently fixed to walls

give you the option of using them in

different classrooms, in different parts

of the school, even outside. They are

6ft x 4ft, manufactured using safety

backed mirror so you don’t have to

worry about broken glass they have

locking wheels for extra safety, are

designed to fit through standard

doorways and can be moved around

with minimum effort when not in use.

They are designed to nest together

when not in use taking up minimal

amount of storage.

Our fantastic Portable Mirrors turn any

room into a multi-functional studio or

professional training area.

Our mirrors are manufactured to the

highest standard; they are built to last

in powder coated steel in black or

white finish.

Tel: 01902 791207

SMART Response VE

interactive response system

Allows for student assessment Call Justin without Cheatle remotes on

0116 299 0925

• Enables students to log in from any Internet-enabled device, including

tablets, smartphones, a home computer or or a email laptop


• Integrates seamlessly with SMART Notebook

32 Charles Street, Leicester LE1 3FG

collaborative learning

software, consolidating lesson creation and delivery, and assessment within

one application

SMART Vantage

technology-management software

Allows administrators to reduce maintenance costs and determine ROI

• Easy-to-use, software application provides key data to administrators to

manage and understand how SMART Board interactive whiteboards and

projectors are being used

• Monitor projector lamp life, number of touches on board, applications

used and which subjects or grade levels are making most effective use of

SMART products

• Determine training and development allocations and gain the highest ROI from

SMART purchases

• Full version of product will be unveiled at BETT 2012

Products and Services 53


How good is your provision for dyslexic pupils?

We exist to help you nd out, and then we tell parents.

We oer:

• for your school a visit by a dyslexia expert

• for parents a free Register of schools

approved for their dyslexia provision

54 Independent Schools Magazine


now available in full colour • Edited Shakespeare


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For more information phone 01691 770165

or visit

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Tel. 01722 716361

For more information visit

or call the sales team on:

01507 523243

Gymphlex Ltd,

Boston Road, Horncastle,

Lincolnshire LN9 6HU

To advertise

in this space

call 01235


Kestrel qp UK ad1:kestrel ad 13/3/08 17:18 Page 1

Natural & Synthetic

Sports Pitch Design - Construction

Renovation - Drainage - Maintenance

Tel: 01256 880488


Heads Hunted

Among the upcoming head and

principal appointments:

Beaconhurst School Stirling

Daneshill School Hampshire

Newbridge Preparatory School West Midlands

If you would like mention made of your

upcoming head or principal appointment for

which applications are sought please let us

know – there is no charge for a listing.

News items, contributions,

comments and suggestions are

always welcomed by the editor.

Please email to

Schools featured in this issue include:

ACS Egham International School

Airthrie School

Aldenham School

Amberfield School

Bablake School

Bearwood College

Berkhampstead School

Birkdale School

Bolton School

Box Hill School

Bruton School for Girls

Castle Court School

Caterham School


Chase Academy

Cheltenham Ladies’ College

Christ College

City of London Freemen’s School

Colet Court School

Crosfields School

Ellesmere College

Farnborough Hill School

Foremarke Hall School

The Independent Schools Magazine is read by decision-makers

– Governors, Heads, Bursars, Departmental Managers – and

reflects news, ideas, influences, and opinions in the independent

education sector.

A personal copy is mailed to heads and other key personnel in

independent schools plus opinion formers in governments, political

parties and educational associations. It is also available on the internet.

Editorial Advisory Board

The publishers are grateful for the interest, advice and support of a

distinguished Editorial Advisory Board whose members currently include:

Rosemary Brown, OBE, FRSA: Director and Chairman of the

Gabbitas, Truman & Thring Educational Trust

Deborah Odysseas-Bailey: 2008 Chair of the Independent Schools

Association (ISA), Independent School representative with the

National College for School Leadership and Head teacher of Babington

House School, Kent

Tory Gillingham: General Secretary of AMDIS – the Association of

Marketing and Development in Independent Schools

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or £20 per annum (ten issues)

payable in advance by cheque to

Bull Nelson Ltd (please remember to include

your name and full address) to:

The Independent Schools Magazine

PO Box 4136

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Berkshire RG8 6BS

Key Partners:

Commercial – Jeff Rice

Editorial – Kimble Earl

Production – Andrew Wicks

Froebelian School

Godolphin & Latymer School

Godolphin School

Hill House School

Hurst Lodge School

Hutcheson’ Grammar School

Leys School

Lomond School

Loretto School

Malvern College

Marist Preparatory School

Merchiston Castle School

Milton Abbey School

Newton Preparatory School

Northcote Lodge school

Oakham School

Our Lady’s Abingdon

Pangbourne College

Polwhele House School

Prior Park College

Queen Anne’s School

Repton School

Royal Russell School

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Royal School

Sherborne Girls’ School

Sipton School

Solihull School

Spring Grove School

St. Albans School

St. Benedict’s Junior School

St. Benedict’s School

St. Dominic’s High School for Girls

St. Leonards School

St. Mary’s School

St. Neots Preparatory School

St Paul’s Girls’ School

Surbiton High School

Taunton School

Thomas’s Preparatory School

Town Close House School

Trent College

University College School

Wisbech Grammar School

Yarrells Preparatory School

Yateley Manor Preparatory School

Alex Beynon: Head of Press Relations, Independent Schools Council (ISC)

Chris Woodhead, formerly Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education

and now chairman of the independent schools group Cognita and a

Professor at the University of Buckingham

Henry Briggs: Senior Partner, HW, Chartered Accountants

Birmingham and a former school Governor

Elisabeth Lewis-Jones: a governor of Bloxham School, Oxfordshire; 2008

President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Director of Liquid

Public Relations, a consultancy with expertise within the education sector

Kevin Fear: Head, Nottingham High School

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Independent Schools Magazine is

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Copyright Bull Nelson Ltd.

Printed by Buxton Press.

Independent Schools Magazine 55

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