There have been examples, even in the UK, of universities running successful schools. Glasgow's highly popular Jordanhill School, for example, was run for many years by the college that now comprises Strathclyde University's education faculty. Brunel University's venture into secondary education, with its forthcoming city academy, may well be just as popular in time. But the bracketing of universities with the churches and other charitable foundations in this week's Schools White Paper as potential sponsors of the proposed trust schools is wishful thinking on the part of the Government.
Perhaps ministers feel they are calling the bluff of academics who complain about the preparedness of today's students for degree work. But universities have more than enough on their plates without expanding their activities into an area in which most have little expertise.