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Hunt's former headmaster calls school plans 'offensive'

Tristram Hunt told private schools to help state institutions or risk losing tax breaks. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The headmaster of the shadow education secretary's former school has said Labour's plans to strip private schools of tax breaks worth hundreds of millions of pounds unless they do more to help the state sector could be deemed "offensive bigotry".

In a speech yesterday, Tristram Hunt told private schools to start doing more to help state pupils or risk losing £700 million-worth of tax breaks.

But Mark Beard, head of the independent University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, north-west London, said the shadow cabinet minister should be considering "new, helpful initiatives" to raise standards in state schools..

"Rather than rely on independent schools to solve the issues for the 93% of children who are educated in the state sector, isn't it time for Labour to come up with some new, helpful initiatives rather than espousing what some might deem an offensive bigotry?"

– Mark Beard, University College School

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Nicky Morgan: Ofsted reports 'very concerning'

The Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan said the findings of the Ofsted report into seven schools in the Tower Hamlets district of east London were "very concerning", and that they expected improvements to be made "within weeks".

We asked Ofsted to carry out these independent school inspections and the findings are very concerning.

While there is no suggestion of a co-ordinated plot, it is clear that these schools are failing children and this is unacceptable. All schools must prepare children for life in modern Britain.

We will now be demanding urgent action plans from the independent schools and expect to see improvements within weeks. If changes are not made then we reserve the right to force the closures of the schools involved.

– Nicky Morgan
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Tower Hamlets schools could be shut down over extremism fears

Tower Hamlets Credit: PA

Six independent schools in Tower Hamlets could be shut down by the Department of Education if they fail to improve.

The schools are due to be served 'notices to improve' by the government on Monday. If they don't comply, the government then has the power to close them by removing them from the Independent Schools Register.

It follows an Ofsted report which found the schools were failing to protect children from Islamic extremism. A state school, Sir John Cass Red Coat School, has already been placed in special measures by the government.

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