Friday, 11 May 2012

Private school prattle

The Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday made a speech to heads of private schools in which he argued that the dominance of privately-educated people such as himself in business, politics, journalism and TV is a problem.

If he were serious about tackling the problem, there is a lot he could do. Most of it would not even need new legislation, such as ending the charitable status of private schools and setting quotas for privately-educated pupils in university admissions equivalent to the percentage of school students they represent (around 7% , compared to a third now and rising to nearly half in top universities).

Of course, Gove will do none of those things, pushing ahead instead with more state-funded but privately-run Academies and "free schools" that may get a few bright working-class kids to Oxbridge but will increase rather than narrow the gap between rich and poor in education.

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