State grammars look to China to ease funding pressures

Plans to attract thousands of fee-paying Chinese sixth formers into state grammar schools could ‘massively expand’ and help fund more teachers

China private schools

English grammar schools are looking to China to ease funding pressures with a plan to lure thousands of Chinese sixth formers.

A consortium of ten grammar schools are in talks with officials in China’s Jiangxi province over a plan to bring over students for around sixth months at a time with an income per pupil of around £2,000.

The cash would be used to help fund more teachers, while students would be coached into getting into British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, the Sunday Times has reported.

Desmond Deehan, head teacher at Townley Grammar in Bexleyheath, southeast London, who is leading the consortium, said ten  grammar schools had now joined the scheme which could  “massively expand” with thousands of Chinese students entering grammar schools across the UK within two years.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for British state schools and a testament to the high standard of British state education.

“Chinese children want to apply to our universities but Chinese teaching methods, while of a very high standard, do not focus on creativity — which you need for Oxbridge interviews.”

The charge per pupil is being negotiated at a meeting in China, and could potentially lure ambitious Chinese pupils away from private schools that charge up to £40,000 a year.

The move comes as the Chinese government is reported to be cracking down on British private schools setting up there, complaining that they are creaming off the brightest and richest pupils.

Schools involved in the Initiative include Haberdashers’ Adams grammar, Lancaster Royal grammar, Ripon grammar, Rugby high, and Clitheroe Royal grammar.

There are also plans to bring 500 Chinese teachers to the UK to be trained in British methods.

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