December, 17 2017

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UK to Expand Number of Boarding Schools

A new wave of city academies with boarding houses (making them new boarding schools) is to be launched by the Government.

Schools minister Andrew Adonis said today that Harefield Academy in Uxbridge is in talks to open a boarding house in the next few years. This is one of a number of academy projects that represent the first major expansion of state boarding school education in years.

Increasing State Boarding Education

The announcement came as Lord Adonis today said that more private schools had agreed to join the city academies programme, at the annual conference of the Headmasters ' and Head-mistresses' Conference, the club for some of Britain's best private schools, in Bournemouth. He said the move to add boarding places to academies could pave the way for a "significant increase" in state boarding education.

Harefield Academy, which is sponsored by Watford Football Club, specialises in sport and is at the "feasibility" stage of plans to build a boarding house, Lord Adonis-said. "The ability to offer boarding places will strengthen that specialism," he added.

Lord Adonis urged more private schools to follow the example of Wellington College, which is to sponsor an academy on Salisbury Plain that will have a boarding house.

The Goal of the New Boarding Initiative

The aim, the minister said, was to provide free boarding places for children of Army families so their education was not disrupted. Wellington was established in 1859 by Queen Victoria as a school for the sons of officers killed in battle.

Lord Adonis today said that three academies are due to be cosponsored in West Sussex by the Woodard Corporation - the charity behind Lancing, Hurstpierpoint and Ardingly colleges.

And Birkenhead High School, an all-girl private school near Liverpool, will convert to an academy.

Lord Adonis said: "Successful independent schools will be exempt from the 2 million sponsorship requirement when they set up or support an academy. It is [their] educational DNA we are seeking, not fee income or existing charitable endowments."

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