We cannot abolish private schools, because we are a free country, but we must lessen their grip on the higher echelons of power
Sir, Patrick Tobin (letter, Oct 7) states that the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference will have “spluttered” on hearing Eton-educated David Cameron “denouncing” them for practising “educational apartheid”. Both the HMC members and Mr Cameron are being disingenuous. Mr Tobin may try to get private schools such as his off the hook by laying the blame for this “apartheid” on “political diktat”, yet the very existence of a class of schools which offer their excellent service solely on the basis of the wealth of parents, must necessarily create a divide with schools that provide education for all, based on a child’s universal need for and right to a quality education. Perhaps what is needed, in order to overcome the “Berlin wall” that Anthony Seldon refers to in his letter, is “State Etons” which will offer pupils the very same quality of education currently reserved for the offspring of the rich.
We cannot abolish private schools, because we are a free country, but we must do all we can to lessen their relentless grip on the higher echelons of power in the UK, as evidenced by numerous reports, including those by Alan Milburn and the Sutton Trust.