Merging independents can be a hard but wise step

25th January 2013 at 00:00

In a week in which the ongoing recession caused high-profile, national businesses such as HMV and Blockbuster to go into administration, it is hardly a revelation that further mergers and possibly closures may happen in the independent school sector ("More mergers 'inevitable' in independent sector", 18 January). What is remarkable is the robustness of the sector despite the faltering economic recovery and the indifference or hostility of many politicians.

Clearly, scores of parents continue to prioritise school fees; indeed, I know of many families making huge sacrifices to enable their children to attend the school I lead. I call it the "I can live without Sky TV" or the "Let's invest in what really matters" ethos. The media are prone to forget that the majority of private-school parents are not very affluent but work extremely hard and pay twice for education, through general tax and fees. The independent sector may yet contract a little but I predict that the majority of schools operating now will continue and emerge stronger and in even greater demand once the recession is over.

John Tranmer, Headmaster, The Froebelian School.

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