Thursday, June 17, 2010
Cheltenham Ladies' College Principal made to feel "slightly immoral"
Poor Mrs Tuck, who has felt victimized and "beaten up" - article from This is Gloucester. She couldn't really be quite as awful as this interview presents as being, could she? I advocate banning private schools altogether.
Outgoing Cheltenham Ladies College principal Vicky Tuck says she was made to feel "slightly immoral" for running a fee paying school.
Mrs Tuck, principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College for 14 years, said: "I won't miss the problem of us having to defend ourselves.
"Many of us in the independent sector work very hard and feel at times we have to apologise for what we're doing."
Mrs Tuck, 57, is now set to become director-general of the International School in Geneva.
On sabbatical in Brazil where she is studying education, she told The Times: 'There are things about England and British education that are quite irksome - you have constantly to defend independent education.
"You feel beaten up.
"All these things like arguments over visas for foreign students, the vetting-and-barring scheme for people wanting to work in schools. Over time, collectively, it becomes quite tiresome. Mrs Tuck said her new job was the only one that could have taken her away from Cheltenham, where she will remain head until next summer.
This will give the boarding school, which charges up to £31,000 a year in fees, time to find a replacement - the 11th head in its 156-year history.
Although lured away from Britain rather than wanting to escape, Mrs Tuck said she would not miss resentful attitudes in this country.
And asked if she felt the previous Government had been hostile towards independent schools, she said: 'At times, definitely.'
She went on to mention the Charity Commission's investigation into whether private schools should do more to merit their charitable status.
This left some schools fearing they could lose valuable tax breaks if they did not spend more on bursaries, which in some cases would need to be subsidised by fees paid by other parents.
A former head of the Girls' Schools Association, Mrs Tuck said it would be 'pure joy' to be speaking French and English and added that the lack of linguists in Britain was a 'pity'.
"In all the places I've visited there's a tremendous keenness to learn English, and that is just making it easier for British people not to learn other languages,' she said.
"The English are going to find it harder and harder if they had an introverted view of the world.'
In her new position Mrs Tuck will take charge of 4,000 pupils and hundreds of staff across three campuses, at the bilingual school that created the International Baccalaureate.
She will be the school's first female director-general.
Mrs Tuck said she was thrilled by the challenge of moving to Switzerland but had also been very happy and fulfilled at Cheltenham.