Oxford Rejects Government Plans to Sponsor Schools

Posted by Richard Ward in , , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The head of Oxford University has dismissed calls from the government that it should help set up schools as part of government plans to expand grammar schools.

Louise Richardson of Oxford University suggested that the institution was very good as a university, but had no experience of running schools.

It was also stated that to become involved in the government's plans for changing schools would become a distraction from the university's core objectives.

According to the government's Green Paper on grammar schools, universities should have to either sponsor a school or set up a new school, otherwise they would be unable to charge higher tuition fees.

Around 60 universities, including Birmingham and King's College London, already sponsor or offer support to schools. The government hopes that by providing their expertise they can help to improve schools and drive social mobility.

However, the vice-chancellor of Oxford suggested that it would become a distraction if the university had to support schools and that it was insulting to suggest to head teachers that universities could do a better job of running schools.

Professor Richardson did say: "We're deeply sympathetic to the idea of social mobility through education, and we have extensive relationships with schools".

The university recently reported that it would be admitting the highest proportion of state school students for at least 40 years after spending £6m a year on student outreach projects.