Lies & Myths #2 “Independent Schools Operate in Their Own Little Bubbles”

It’s an unfortunate fact that only a small percentage of children with the UK are able to experience a private education from an independent school.

For the majority of the population therefore, their opinions about the pros, and cons of private schooling can be unduly swayed by newspaper, or nowadays, websites who might be biased.

Series of articles by ISC

It’s for this reason that a timely series of articles from the ISC may help to shed some light on the reality of the situation and present a more balanced argument in respect of the independent schools sector.

You can read their previous article, “Independent schools are only for the wealthy elite” here.

“Little bubbles”

In the next “myth-busting” blog, the head of Colfe’s School, Richard Russell, counters the view that “independent schools operate in their own little bubbles”.

A claim I have heard on several occasions is that those who attend an independent school exist in a “bubble” – disconnected to the world beyond the school gates and enclosed within a learning environment that lacks diversity.

This is far from the truth. Colfe’s School attaches great importance to playing a full part in the life of its local community and this is true of many independent schools. In fact, across the country state and independent schools are collaborating on curriculum-relevant projects and developing lasting relationships between pupils, teachers and local communities.

Working alongside state schools

Colfe’s works closely with a number of state schools in the London boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark on a variety of different partnerships. The essential aspect of all partnerships is their clear benefit to all pupils involved, and this is something we work hard to ensure.


Projects we are involved in include modern languages workshops for teachers and pupils in Year 10 and 11, science and maths masterclasses, as well as support from our sixth formers in key areas at primary schools.

Our weekly Latin classes for Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils, through which they can earn a WJEC Latin certificate, give young people an opportunity to study a subject they might not otherwise be able to.

Bursaries available where required

As well as a varied programme of partnership activities, we also provide financial aid for pupils whose families would struggle to meet the school fees, especially those who qualify for free school meals.

Academic merit-based and means-tested scholarships are available at the point of entry to our senior school and a ground-breaking sixth form scholarship programme – The Leathersellers’ Scholarship – offers up to 15 fully-funded places each year for teenagers from low-income families at local state schools.

Their fees are paid by the programme and many scholars go on to study at best universities in the country.

Reflects ideals of school’s founder, Abraham Colfe

This programme is absolutely consonant with the social vision and purpose of our founder, Abraham Colfe, and with that of the Leathersellers’ company, which supports the programme.

Demi Cole, former recipient of the Leathersellers’ Scholarship and recent graduate in Philosophy from Cambridge University, said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say it has changed my life.”

Jospeh Mafe, former recipient of The Leathersellers’ Scholarship, and graduate in Mathematics from Bristol University, said: “I enjoyed every moment at Colfe’s. It was life-changing. You have to work hard but it is an amazing school, friendly and encouraging.”

You can discover more about Colfe’s School here.

Have you ever made a bursary application?

  • Have you ever applied for a bursary for your child?
  • Have you been put off from applying to a ‘posh’ school?
  • Were you, or a member of your family, the first one to attend an independent school?

Comment below and let’s see who bursaries may have helped.

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