Inequality

Slip-up leaves priests rolling in the aisles | Brief letters | Education

We applaud the rise in state-sector intake across Oxford University and are glad to see individual colleges praised (Report, 16 January). Perhaps Mansfield College deserves a mention. In a quietly radical fashion, we have led the way in Oxford access for 20 years. Our state intake has been over 80% for 10 years and over 90% since 2016. And more than 90% of our state-sector intake this year is from non-selective schools – a meaningful statistic for Oxford University.Lucinda RumseySenior…

Read More

Jennifer Hall Lee: In Pasadena, the Fund-Raising for Schools Reflects the Income Inequality in Society – Education Article

Jennifer Hall Lee is a parent activist in Pasadena, California. She wrote this article about the different amounts of money available to different types of schools in Pasadena. Remember that one of the goals of American public education is “equality of educational opportunity.” How is this possible when children in public schools do not have access to the resources as children in other kinds of schools in the same community? Here is an excerpt: Let’s look at a few of…

Read More

‘Working-class children get less of everything in education – including respect’ | Education

When Diane Reay, Cambridge University professor of education, started researching her book about working class children’s experiences of education, she had no idea just how much inequality she would uncover in state schools today. “The most important thing I found out was that we are still educating different social classes for different functions in society.” She expected to find the English state system was providing roughly the same education for all. “But it doesn’t. Even within a comprehensive school, when…

Read More

University strikes offer a lesson in principles, pay and pensions | Letter | Education

Your editorial is right to emphasise the wider issues in the strike by university lecturers and support services (Lecturers have a just cause in this important battle for the soul of the campus, 26 November). But the pensions issue still lies at the heart of the dispute. With a few retired colleagues, we have been attempting to persuade both the University and College Union (UCU) and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to deal with the serious generational unfairness that has…

Read More

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…

Read More

A year to clean five schools of sexism – shouldn’t others do the same? | Education

A class of 10-year-olds are sitting on the carpet looking at their teacher with open mouths. Their faces say: outrage. Their teacher, Rosemary O’Brien, has put up a statement on the board – a real one, by the Football Association in 1921. Football is “quite unsuitable for females”, it says. Across the classroom, pupils are voicing their disagreement. “That’s completely untrue,” says one boy assertively. A girl speaks up too: “Women should be allowed to play. Like men, they should…

Read More

Big flute discovery and billionaire woes | Brief letters | Education

I was fascinated to read your obituary of Frank Giles (7 November) which contains the following: “His father died when he was 10, leaving the family in straitened circumstances … even so, enough money was found to send Giles to Wellington college.” As the current fees for Wellington seem to be approximately £30,000 per year, and presumably were the equivalent in the 1930s, could we please have the Guardian definition of “straitened circumstances”?Mike HoskinHinton St George, Somerset • My son’s…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Guardian view on boosting maternity leave: from small beginnings | Editorial | Opinion

It is a mark of how much society has moved on that a woman’s right to paid maternity leave, introduced in the UK in 1975, is now taken for granted. That fathers’ rights to time off lag so far behind, meaning that women continue to do the vast majority of unpaid domestic work and earn less money as a result, is a mark of how far we have still to go. Labour’s announcement on Thursday that statutory maternity pay (which…

Read More

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…

Read More

‘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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.…

Read More