ONE of Britain’s richest men has given £5m for academy school pupils to be taught by teachers from private schools.
United Learning, which sponsors the Midhurst academy, Midhurst Rother College, this week announced hedge-fund owner Alan Howard had made what is thought to be the biggest single donation to help children in state education.
In addition to MRC, other schools which will benefit from this unique national initiative are The Regis School and Shoreham Academy.
The money will be used to establish the United Learning Partnership Fund, a unique collaboration between United Learning’s 50 independent schools and academies and other independent schools.
It will enable subjects including classics or Russian, more often found in private schools, to be included in the curriculums.
It will also allow lessons from some of the country’s best-known institutions to beam lessons into classrooms in state schools.
Private schools involved in the scheme include St Paul’s School and Marlborough College.
They will work with the academy schools which are already sponsored by United Learning.
Dr Joe Vitagliano, principal of Midhurst Rother College, said: “We already benefit from working with colleagues across United Learning and look forward to collaborating with other schools so that we are all able to give our young people the best possible opportunities to succeed.”
Mr Howard, a co-founder of the Brevan Howard hedge fund with an estimated fortune of £1.6bn, said: “Students deserve the best, especially when it comes to education.
“I am very pleased to support a visionary team of educators who have developed an innovative approach to encouraging students to aim high while providing them with the tools to achieve their goals.
“The team is committed to do what it takes to make this project a great success and I am honoured to be backing their efforts.”
Launching the Partnership Fund, Jon Coles, United Learning’s chief executive, said: “We are indebted to the generosity of Alan Howard for his remarkable gift which will benefit teachers and students from our schools and academies and far beyond. This is an opportunity to do something unique in UK schools, provide staff training across the board and give young people the advantages of exceptional enrichment experiences.”
In a letter read at the launch, prime minister David Cameron said: “Breaking down the divide between state and independent schools is an important goal. So I am pleased the United Learning Partnership Fund will enable the two sectors to work together on a larger scale than ever before, with teachers sharing expertise and pupils sharing experiences, so more young people will have better educational opportunities.