Britain should be ‘proud’ of private schools, says Lord Lamont

The Telegraph is reporting that a former Conservative chancellor has said British people must learn to be “proud” of the country’s private schools…

Lord Lamont, who served as chancellor in Sir John Major’s government, said that he is “surprised” that British people are so critical about the private education sector.

He described schools such as Eton, which was attended by David Cameron and Boris Johnson, as “great national assets”.

Lord Lamont attended Loretto school in Scotland, an independent boarding and day school, which was also attended by Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor.

“I’m always surprised that people are so critical of private education in this country,” Lord Lamont said.

“It seems to me that so many foreigners want to come here and want to use the private sector for education is something we should be proud of.”

Senior politicians have in recent months criticised the dominance of a privately educated elite in the “upper echelons” of British public life.

Sir John last year said it was “truly shocking” that “every single sphere of British influence” is dominated by men and women who went to private school or who are from the “affluent middle class”.

And Michael Gove, the former education secretary, in March said that the number of Etonians in Mr Cameron’s inner circle is “ridiculous”.

Mr Gove, the adopted son of an Aberdeen fish processor, said that a similar concentration of privilege running the country does not exist in “any other developed economy”.

Mr Cameron and a number of his most trusted aides went to Eton.

However, Lord Lamont said that people should refrain from having “any envy” about private schools in Britain.

He said: “I certainly did not go to the same school as David Cameron, but I regard the school David Cameron went to as being a great national asset.

“It’s something of which we should be proud. I don’t think we should have any envy about that. The fact I didn’t go there doesn’t mean it isn’t a very, very good school and I applaud the fact it exists.”…

More at: Britain should be ‘proud’ of private schools, says Lord Lamont


Is it possible to be proud of the quality of private education in this country while still having concerns about the impact this has on the disproportionate influence of those who went through the system? Or should we just value it in its own right? What do you think? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Private Schools.


  1. birch_david

    SchoolsImprove Shouldn’t we be prouder of the schools which succeed on fewer resources, in challenging situations with the less privileged?

  2. BellatrixRoseus

    birch_david SchoolsImprove Lovely comment. We should be especially proud since state school educated student do better at University.

  3. birch_david

    BellatrixRoseus thank you! They do and without the advantages of some of their more privileged peers

  4. MrJDexter

    birch_david SchoolsImprove we are, parents are, pupils are; but the media promotes the £30k fee payers and asks all the wrong questions

  5. BKWhittingham

    SchoolsImprove Or… Hear me out… Deeply ashamed that wealth buys a big leg-up in our society… It stratifies access to education!

  6. CromwellConsult

    SchoolsImprove Independent education isn’t just about Eton. Diversity & choice add positively to edu landscape focused on learning & needs

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