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The Spectator 28th February 2016

Newspaper vendor Paddington Station, London | The Good Schools GuideFor years, now, the Sutton Trust has been releasing research showing how many doctors, judges, journalists etc were privately educated and conclude that it’s all a posh boys’ stitch-up. The British press loves banging this old drum, but a new tune is now emerging. Today, there is more academic excellence in the state sector than the private sector.

Not that many people want to know. Take, for example, an article in this week’s Economist. “Education should not be about wealth” it quotes Tony Blair saying in 1996. But the Sutton Trust’s report shows that “two decades later, it still is.” Take that, Blair! But when does the Economist think these ‘senior civil servants, cabinet ministers and leading journalists’ went to school? Two decades ago, at least: their rise reflects how things were – not how things are.

And how are things today? So good for state schools that private schools are either slashing fees or closing due to ferocious competition.  Read more

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