Class issues

Grammar schools created lasting divisions | Education

J oan Bakewell rightly praises the 1944 Education Act for establishing free secondary education (VE Day was the spark for change. Coronavirus could be too, 8 May), thus giving her the opportunity to study at a Stockport grammar school. Oddly though, she says the 11-plus exam “split educational options”. There was no grammar school option for those who “failed” the 11-plus. I wonder if the children whose self-esteem took a tumble felt they were part of a “more equitable society”.…

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Inhumane treatment of Ebenezer Azamati at the Oxford Union | Letters | Education

I was horrified to read of Ebenezer Azamati’s treatment at the Oxford Union, but sadly not surprised (Blind student dragged from Oxford Union ‘by his ankles’, 18 November). My own experiences 30 years ago also showed an elitist institution seeped in privilege. I was assaulted in the union’s bar when a rather posh chap demanded that I and my friends give him the table we were at. When I refused I was thrown to the ground at which stage I…

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A devastating description of the damage done by boarding school | Letters | Education

Incredibly moving to read George Monbiot’s words about boarding school (Our politicians are formed in a cruel crucible: boarding school, Journal, 7 November). I too am a survivor of that kind of education, and I only addressed my particular damage six years ago. Along with therapy, I sublimated it into writing. I also worry about the fact that boarding school survivors like Boris Johnson find their way to leadership. The hunger for power can be equivalent to the hunger for…

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Britain’s private school problem: it’s time to talk | Education

The existence in Britain of a flourishing private-school sector not only limits the life chances of those who attend state schools but also damages society at large, and it should be possible to have a sustained and fully inclusive national conversation about the subject. Whether one has been privately educated, or has sent or is sending one’s children to private schools, or even if one teaches at a private school, there should be no barriers to taking part in that…

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Ofsted plan to inspect ‘cultural capital’ in schools attacked as elitist | Education

A two-word term, invented in the 1970s by a French sociologist heavily influenced by Karl Marx, makes an unlikely entrance in Ofsted’s new framework [pdf] for the inspection of schools in England this week. Each institution is now to be judged on the extent to which it builds pupils’ “cultural capital”. What exactly does that mean? Users of the term, including the schools minister Nick Gibb and the former education secretary Michael Gove, suggest it is about ensuring that disadvantaged…

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Should we abolish private schools? – video | Education

A disproportionate number of people who occupy the top jobs across the UK – from the prime minister and leading politicians to judges and entertainers – were privately educated. Campaigners who think this situation has gone on too long are asking why we have private schools and whether it is time to get rid of them. Maya Goodfellow explores the case for abolition Source link

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Where will our working-class playwrights come from, now the arts have been sidelined? | Selina Todd | Education

The playwright Shelagh Delaney shot to fame when her debut work, A Taste of Honey, first performed in 1958, turned into a runaway success. She was just 19. The play told the story of a single mother, Helen, and her teenage daughter, Jo, who wanted more from life than marriage and motherhood in the slums. It has rarely been off the stage since and is currently being revived in a National Theatre tour. Fascinated by the work and its Salford-born…

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The strange dialect of an Oxbridge elite

Stan Godfrey and Ivor Morgan discuss how upper class patois can be baffling to those from different backgrounds Daniella Adeluwoye’s piece (At Cambridge I learned class still matters, Journal, 24 September) reminded me of when, 40 years ago, living in a pit village, I took exams to join the civil service fast stream. The exam paper had a paragraph explaining that you were to write for someone who was “a Senior Wrangler at Cambridge”. I hadn’t a clue why it…

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