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Excuses? We're doing our bit, say independents

Further to Gerard Kelly's editorial, while it may well be true that in some parts of the country independent schools are finding it hard to attract enough pupils, this is not generally the case. Our 2012 census showed that the number of pupils at independent schools rose this year, that many are growing and that most are experiencing good demand.

Nor is it true that most independent schools sought meaningful ties with state schools only when faced with loss of charitable status. Most of the best independent-state partnerships started in the 1990s, long before the Charity Commission began to raise the temperature.

One of the many ways in which independent schools work with the state sector is by sponsoring academies. I recently visited the London Academy of Excellence in Newham, East London, which is supported by eight of our schools and which opened with 200 pupils last month. The number of such projects continues to grow.

Barnaby Lenon, Chairman, Independent Schools Council.

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