Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Remarks on independent schools ("never apologise")

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Banbury, Oxfordshire
Source: Banbury Guardian, 4 November 1971
Editorial comments:

MT’s remarks were made at Bloxham School during the morning. During the afternoon she opened new buildings at an independent girls school close by (Tudor Hall).

Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 390
Themes: Private education

Independence - it's worth having says Mrs. Thatcher

Secretary of State for Education and Science, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher cut the tape on two extensions to Banbury area independent schools on Friday.

Opening the new £125,000 Raymond House at Bloxham School, Mrs. Thatcher told pupils: “Please never apologise for independence. It is worth stimulating and nuturing for its own sake.

“You do not have to justify it. It is those who wish to finish it who have to justify their case.”

She added that independent schools catered for about five per cent of children.

“By their provision, it has been estimated that the total cost of which the State is relieved is over £70 million each year.

“Public schools pupils can learn something which day schools cannot offer- learning to live together in a community,” she said.

Before her speech in the main hall before a packed audience, the Minister was presented with an encyclopaedia of porcelain.

Because of the wet weather, she officially declared Raymond House open after her speech, and later toured the new 60-bed block and the school's Science and Technical Activities exhibition.


Headmaster Mr. D. R. G. Seymour said that the block was vital for the future success of the school.

“Our job now is to produce the next five-year plan. I can assure you that there is no shortage of ideas, and we hope that you will eventually approve our priorities as we move forward in this supersonic age.”

After lunch at Bloxham, Mrs. Thatcher moved down the road to Tudor Hall girls school, where she opened an extension to the £50,000 Ashton House.

A similar idea to Bloxham- but on a smaller scale - the set-up gives 22 sixth form “A” level students the opportunity to work in individual bed-sitting rooms.

The Minister told an audience including Mr. Neil Marten M.P., governors, parents and friends: “This is a very good thing for Tudor Hall, as it will enable the girls to have the privacy they require to get on with their ‘A’ level work.”

Earlier Chairman of the Governors, Mr. Gilbert Ashton said that the house was a “most satisfying addition” to the school buildings.

“Both functionally and aesthetically, this will prove a great asset to the school,” he said.