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Leading Head urges independent schools to promote social mobility

Writing on the importance of bursaries in the recently launched Independent School Admissions Plus magazine, David Goodhew, Headmaster of Latymer Upper School, says that ‘few things can compare with the opportunity to transform a young-person’s life chances’.

In this new piece, Goodhew argues that the OECD’s latest report on social mobility proves the benefit which disadvantaged pupils in receipt of bursaries gain when they attend ‘advantaged’ independent schools and suggests that a diverse student body can be an important factor for fee-paying parents when choosing a school for their son or daughter.

Goodhew, whose own school received over 400 applications for bursary places last year, believes that bursaries can be a way to flip the advantages of independent schooling to close the attainment gap and give pupils from all backgrounds both access to academic excellence and the vital ‘soft skills’ and confidence that are key to success in later life.

Hugh Monro, former Master of Wellington College and Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for Independent School Admissions Plus, echoes Goodhew’s call to action to the marketing and admissions staff who operate schools’ bursary programmes. Monro welcomes the publication of the new magazine by William Clarence Education and comments that ‘it is vital that there is a place where attention is paid to the crucial role that marketing and admissions departments have to play’.

Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive of William Clarence Education, Steve Spriggs, says that ‘Independent School Admissions Plus will support excellence in global student recruitment and help key decision makers in a school’s leadership team to establish best practice, stay modern and fresh in their approach and find the right students for their school’.

To mark the publication of its first edition, the magazine is launching an award initiative for readers to find the best school prospectus produced by an independent school in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Independent School Admissions Plus blog, which will be discussing the role of bursaries in student recruitment, goes live on Monday 20th May; everyone is encouraged to join the debate. A free webinar on the central role of an admissions dashboard will be held on 11 June.

Independent School Admissions Plus is published in both print and digital formats on 16th May 2019; practical and supportive, its content focuses on the marketing and communications challenges facing every independent school in the UK.

Contributors to the first edition include:

  • Andrew Fleck, Principal, Sedbergh School
  • Dr Helen Wright, International Educational Consultant and former Head of St Mary’s, Calne 
  • Philippa Scudds, Marketing Director, Canford School, and
  • Hiliary Moriarty, former Director of the Boarding School Association
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