Private school heads reject privilege claims

The Sunday Times is reporting that the heads of some of the country’s leading private schools have rejected claims that they are bolstering privilege in society.

In a letter to the newspaper, the 12 heads, including Simon Henderson at Eton College and Joe Spence at Dulwich College, say their schools are striving to be engines for social mobility, with up to a quarter of pupils at some schools drawn from poorer homes and receiving bursaries or scholarships.

They said it is time to stop being “rude” about their schools which provide outstanding education.

The letter follows Cabinet Officer Matt Hancock’s call for companies to ask job applicants whether they went to private school to “level the playing field” with candidates from poorer homes.

That prompted Lord Waldegrave, provost of Eton College, to pledge to quit the Conservative party over the move.

More at: Private schools reject privilege claims

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Categories: Policy and Private Schools.


  1. MikesuziNZ

    SchoolsImprove This is England, what else are they going to say. It is still class oriented. Get over it!!

  2. AnAuditoryArt

    SchoolsImprove What % of children from poor backgrounds step into positions of power as adults! Public Schools do charity…does it work?

  3. Nor_edu

    sputniksteve SchoolsImprove to understand context of results I thought. Thereby comparing candidates more equally

  4. sputniksteve

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove What does “comparing candidates” mean, and for what purpose? Surely, compare on merit?

  5. Nor_edu

    sputniksteve SchoolsImprove exactly, easier to get a handful of As + other opps in private than not for range of factors (I would assume)

  6. sputniksteve

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove Possibly. But the notion of privilege and advantage in private ed are often mythical.

  7. Nor_edu

    sputniksteve SchoolsImprove I get that, but range of opps is bigger so participation doesn’t necc show resilience/commitment in same way

  8. Nor_edu

    sputniksteve SchoolsImprove I don’t think employers should be allowed to discriminate, but should understand different opps yps might have

  9. cia262

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove It’s irrelevant. Companies should take best candidates wherever they are from. Private companies will.

  10. Nor_edu

    cia262 SchoolsImprove you’d think that Qs about edu would be part of that anyway though wouldn’t you?

  11. Public schools like Eton etc would say they weren’t bolstering up privilege, wouldn’t they?  Parents buy places at these schools because they think attending one of these ‘elite’ institutions will give their children a leg up via networks – one that can be purchased with money.
    These schools may have excellent facilities – no-one can deny that.  But they also isolate their pupils in a privileged bubble.

  12. JudithBosavern

    SchoolsImprove Well, they would. Ask why parents are prepared to spend vast sums to attend these schools

  13. gov2

    So, next time some private school twat of a headteacher makes rude, ignorant, and brainless insults against state schools, will this bunch of custodians of the British hereditary class system be rushing to condemn him/her?  Or are they just hypocrites who know which way to pass the port?

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