Though Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron claims there is an ‘apartheid’ between private and public (state) schools in the United Kingdom, headteachers say otherwise — and would like to see the Prime Minister stay out of their operations.
The reaction came after Cameron said at the annual Conservative Party conference that “the apartheid between our private and state schools is one of the biggest wasted opportunities in our country today”.
Headteachers say Cameron’s characterization of the lack of cooperation between public and private schools just isn’t true:
“Tony Little, the headteacher of Eton College, where fees are up to £10,327 a term, said the relationship between state and independent schools was better than ever. He said he did not recognise Cameron’s comment, and that barriers had “already been broken down”.”
Criticism of the Tories’ education policy — and namely criticism of Education Secretary Michael Gove and Cameron — suggests that the Government is out of touch with the realities of how schools operate:
Stephen Winkley, head of Rossall School, an independent school in Lancashire, said: “Cameron’s comments show that he has not really understood what it feels like to be in the education system. “There isn’t that much between us all. The current government has got into interfering mode rather quicker than we had hoped for.”
The Yorkshire Post notes that Cameron’s comment drew massive support from the crowd at the Conference.