The launch of the Schools’ Educational Trust took place on Wednesday 8 November 2017 to a full room of educationalists, parents, professionals and businesses with an interest improving Scottish education. The event was positively received and subsequently well covered in the national media. For parents, teachers and businesses who could not attend the event, coverage and recordings of the event can be viewed below.
Lord Digby Jones, Chairman and opening remarks – as part of his address, the past director-general of the Confederation of British Industry said the proposals for a new network of low cost private schools in Scotland would create an alternative to the state sector for families. He became involved as he wants the business community to create wealth and generate tax, which will change Scotland due to the ability to recruit a better skilled school population. Lord Digby Jones stresses the need to break away from fixed ideologies and tribalism.
Frank Lennon OBE, Scottish Educationalist, former Head teacher and founding trustee of SET – outlined limitations in the current state-system and introduced a proposal for a national Independent Network of Secondary and Primary Headteachers. The independent network will not be a trade union; rather it will be a ‘headteacher think-tank’ dedicated to examining the challenges of achieving greater autonomy for heads, as well as supporting those who judge themselves and their schools to be ready to take on those challenges.
Professor James Tooley, Professor of Educational Policy, Newcastle University, founder of low-cost independent schools in England and developing nations, and founding trustee of SET – following years of observing and opening low-cost independent schools in developing countries, he will open one in Durham in September 2018. The fees will be £2,700 per annum, £52 per week, and is already oversubscribed. SET has joined forces with him to roll out a number of low-cost schools in Scotland as well.