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Private schools defend uni link.

A leading headteacher has defended the 'axis' between top universities and private schools. Andrew Boggis, the new chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference of leading independent schools, said ministers must celebrate and not 'disparage' private education.

And he demanded an end to Government benchmarks for how many state school pupils universities should aim to teach.

Speaking as he took up the post, Mr Boggis, head of Forest School in Snaresbrook, east London, said, 'I will be asking the Government to take pride in and celebrate - rather than disparage - our sector and to enter real partnership schemes which match the rhetoric with cash.

'HMC will play its part in continuing the pressure on the Government to take its remaining tanks off our university quadrangles. There is no place for targets, benchmarks and quotas for the different sectors as far as university admission is concerned.

'We do not want any ham-fisted attempts to equate 'independent school' with 'socially and economically privileged'.'

Ministers are now considering a shake-up of university admissions which could see students apply after they have received their A-Level results. Higher education minister Bill Rammell said the current system which relies on predicted grades disadvantaged pupils from poorer state school backgrounds, sparking anger among independent school heads.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 5, 2006
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