Inequality

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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‘Symbolically posh’ Bristol University expanding to wrong side of tracks | Education

In the well-heeled district of Clifton in Bristol, with its Georgian crescents and French brasseries, 100% of school leavers go to university. Yet in the southern suburb of Hartcliffe, the figures are the lowest in the country: only 8.6% make it there. This is the divided face of Brexit Britain. Bristol University, part of the Russell Group and a favourite among private school students, has long been at the privileged heart of Clifton. But it has radical plans to pull…

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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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Public anger over private schools | Letters | Education

The headmaster of Colfe’s School says he would welcome a debate about the role of independent schools within our education system (Letters, 18 June). The debate is simple. As long as rightwing governments continue to close state school playing fields, cut the education budget to below first-world standards and generally make life difficult for state schools, they will flounder. By contrast, the well-funded private schools will provide even more state-of-the-art facilities and more middle-class parents will bankrupt themselves in order…

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Postcode lottery denies poor A-level students a musical career | Education

Musicians and academics are warning of a crisis in music education as research reveals that in some of the UK’s most-deprived areas not a single student is taking A-level music. The study found a distinct correlation between schools not offering music A-level and wider social deprivation. It says: “The most-deprived areas in the country face significant difficulties as A-level music provision continues to shrink, while across a number of large regions there is no provision at all.” Knowsley, Tower Hamlets…

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University of London faces boycott over treatment of staff | Education

The University and College Union (UCU) congress has voted to boycott Senate House, the administrative centre of the University of London (UoL), because of its treatment of cleaning, catering and security staff and others not directly employed. It is hoped the move will pressure the university into bringing the predominantly BAME and female staff in-house into direct employment, strengthening their workplace rights and providing the benefits enjoyed by other employees at the institution, such as equal terms on sick pay.…

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One in four teachers in England say they have witnessed ‘off-rolling’ | Education

One in four teachers in England say they have witnessed pupils being illegitimately removed from schools, often to artificially boost a school’s performance, according to a new survey published by Ofsted. The figures suggest the practice, known as “off-rolling” – pupils being shunted off a school’s roll in order to manipulate its exam results or rankings in league tables – is widespread, despite three-quarters of teachers saying they have not seen or heard of the practice. Some reported that parents…

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