Private schools creaming off state pupils?

by Steven Allison2253144845_9b1ba2f111

Kelvinside Academy has been slammed for sending marketing material to state schools in an attempt to “lure able pupils away from the state sector”.

John Wilson, Director of Education for East Renfrewshire Council (Scotland’s best performing education authority), advised against this attempt to “cream off’ state pupils.

He has argued that it is only fair that if Kelvinside Academy is able to pull a stunt like this using a marketing campaign, then the local authority should also be able to do so. He has bitten back by informing parents private pupils in the area that a superior level of education is on offer, and at a cost of absolutely nothing.

Hutchesons’ charges up to 8,878 per annum, and Kelvinside isn’t far off this with fees up to 9.296 per annum.

As well as Kelvinside being criticised, in June Hutchesons’ Grammar School, also in Glasgow, was accused of using similar methods of recruitment. Mr Wilson wrote to Carolyn Hatfield, Deputy Rector of the school, stating that permission should have been requested from the local authority prior to any contact with schools being made


Mr Wilson has written to the Rector at Kelvinside, John broadfoot, stating that he believes his actions to be a serious breach of protocol, and also enclosed copies of the leaflets containing his counter attack.

As well as blasting him for the breach of protocol, Mr Wilson touched on the human aspect to the actions, making reference to the rudeness of the stunt…”It is discourteous in the extreme to  to approach a council school directly for the purpose of enlisting pupils”.

In essence Mr Wilson claims that, when it boils down to the bare bones of the matter, state schools are in direct competition with private schools and if one enlists the use of an advertising campaign, then it is highly likely that an equally underhand counter campaign will take place.

Mr Wilson said “We also want the right to recruit their most able youngsters”.

In his defence, Mr Broadfoot, has said that Kelvinside has “no deliberate” policy to target pupils in state schools, and that it is entirely the decision of each individual school whether or not not to distribute the material to students and parents.

At this moment in time, in the area, there is only 1% of children in private education so it seems a little silly that such a fuss is being made, and this figure makes a mockery of the notion of direct competition with the state sector who are light years ahead in the proverbial race to attain the most pupils.