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Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Tuesday, 4 September 2012 10:16 UK

Lord Adonis on the future of independent schools

Lord Adonis, former head of policy under Tony Blair, has published a new book in which he argues that independent schools should do more to justify their charitable status, and specifically that they now have a moral obligation to get involved in creating or setting up Academy schools.

Speaking on the Today programme, he said he wants to see a bridge in the state private divide in education "which has been a Berlin wall down the heart of English education and society for more than a century".

He suggests that certain private schools should sponsor academies and said that he would like to see independently managed schools in the state system.

"We do not want the division between private and state schools to be one of independence in future," he said.

Dr William Richardson, general secretary of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, the body that represents independent schools across the country, believes it "would be against the principals of independence to follow slavishly a single article of policy".

"Most independent schools wish to retain entire independence from public policy," he told John Humphrys.

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