The Guardian is reporting that former Ofsted chairwoman Sally Morgan has warned private schools must be aware that there is a real and growing danger that they will be seen as enclaves of privilege open only to the very rich…
Lady Morgan told independent school leaders that being seen to be privileged was now “politically and socially toxic”.
Fee-paying schools must make sure they are not closed off, and share their expertise with others, she argued.
Speaking at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) annual meeting in Newport, south Wales, the Labour peer said: “There is a real and growing danger that you are seen, most recently in the words of the Master of Marlborough College, as ‘isolated enclaves of privilege’, cut off from all but the excessively wealthy.”
She referenced the Riot Club – a new film about a fictional, exclusive student dining society which has been compared to the Bullingdon Club, associated with senior politicians including David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson.
The film is “the latest indictment of irresponsible privilege”, Morgan said.
“To be sure it’s fiction – and a crude caricature. More seriously the reports from the Social Mobility Commission shine an annual light on inequality of opportunity from school to university to career beyond.”
She added: “I know that many of you strive to equip your pupils with an awareness of and responsibility to the wider community.
“But the fact is that privilege is politically and socially toxic now in a way it hasn’t been for many years.
“It is not only the poor that feel excluded, so do many of the middle class. You cannot afford to be seen as complicit in that exclusion.”…
Is Lady Morgan right in this warning, and it is likely to be heeded? Or, as we see in another story today – will private school fees ‘set to soar’ because of overseas interest is this exactly the positioning that maximises the queue to get in? Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!