Exclusive: State school turnaround will shrink private education, says Good Schools Guide owner

Schools in the state sector have improved beyond recognition in the past 30 years, since the guide was launched, says Ralph Lucas

Irena Barker

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State schools, once dogged by fighting, pot-smoking pupils, are now threatening to put their independent rivals out of business, according to an old Etonian who advises wealthy parents on education.

Ralph Lucas, the hereditary peer who is editor-in-chief and owner of The Good Schools Guide, says that the state sector has improved beyond all recognition in the three decades since his publication began.

This will lead to a "shrinkage" in private schools in the coming years, he said in an interview with TES.

The independent sector, he said, was set to reduce as parents realised that they could get a good education for their child in the state sector for free.

“The rise of the state system and it being free is a very difficult thing for the independent sector, as a whole, to resist," he said.

When it started in 1986 there were just 10 state schools included in The Good Schools Guide. But by last year, nearly a third of those listed were state-funded – 265 out of 888.

This is an edited version of a story that appears in the 5 February edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full story here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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Irena Barker

Irena Barker is a freelance journalist.

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