Comment: 6 ways state schools can raise their game

It is not right that some children enjoy privileges and greater opportunities just because their parents happen to be wealthier. It is unfair, divisive, and plain wrong.

Anyone who supposes fee-paying schools merely achieve higher exam results (which they do) is deluded. A private education is about conveying much more. It conveys attributes that are bound to be more attractive to prospective employers: interviews well; holds conversation; prepared to challenge and debate; gets on with clients; presentable; access to contacts.

It’s no wonder former public school pupils command more money. The problem for the country is that the cycle is self-perpetuating.

Somehow the circle has to be broken; we need to achieve social mobility. In an ideal world, there would be no fee-payers at all. They should be abolished, their sumptuous facilities turned over to a grateful state sector.

But the only solution is for state schools to raise their game, for the government to pour in much more resource than it does at present.

It isn’t, though, only a question of funding:


It’s about smaller class sizes (in which children can talk to the teacher on a one to one basis).


It's about getting people who have done well in their careers to go in and recount their experiences.


It's about developing old boy and girl societies.


It's about upgrading the arts and sport facilities


It's about persuading the best-qualified teachers to eschew private for state.


More than that, however, it’s about encouraging middle-class parents to reject the public school option. As the fee-payers become ever more expensive, that may be a less daunting challenge than it seems.

If those high charges are coupled with the realisation that Oxbridge and other universities may not be the guaranteed destination they once were, then, maybe, just maybe, the yawning chasm might shrink.

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