Private schools plan 10,000 free places for low-income pupils

Private schools will offer to provide up to 10,000 free places a year to low-income families in England.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) says if the government pays £5,550 per place – the cost in the state system – the schools will cover the rest. This is expected to cost up to £80m. Some pupils would be tested for academic ability but the scheme would not just target the brightest children.

Chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw said the plan was not enough.The proposal, originally seen by the BBC and now confirmed, will be made in the ISC’s response to a government consultation on the future of education.

The scheme would be open to primary and secondary school-age children. But details about which families would benefit and what form the tests would take are yet to be settled and the scheme could not take place without the government’s approval. Read More