Do you think we should abolish private schools? Watch

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Ebony19
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#101
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yes as a matter of principle but I know in reality there'd always be a way for the elites to get around it, extra tuition etc
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MindTheGaps
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(Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
If I am a Soviet nutjob for wanting the separation of religion and the state then so be it. I simply do not believe that religious schools belong in the 21st century and do not wish children to be subjugated to religion. This country has had a gruesome history of religious tyranny.
Supporting the separation of church and state does not make you a nutjob. Given that until now you seemed unaware that there were any faith schools in the state sector and that you were suggesting that all religious teaching, state-sponsored or not, be reproachable I was not even aware it was part of the issue.

What makes you a nutjob is the suggestion that the government should control which ideas about which it it legal to teach children, even outside state education. Does this extend to the home? How ironic that you speak against religious tyranny in the same paragraph where you propose to suppress freedom of religion. This oppression would be at home in the USSR or Nazi Germany.

This country has a finer history of religious toleration than almost any other. The modern ideas of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience were invented here. What your propose would end those at a stroke.
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JamesTheCool
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(Original post by Rinsed)
This is extremely flawed logic. Yes, generally private schools have better teachers, which obviously helps, but the much greater influence is the atmosphere and ethos where hard work and academic success are both encouraged and rewarded.

The real problem many people find in state schools is not that the teachers cannot teach the subject, but that they cannot control their unruly pupils, who waste everyone's time and view academic success as an embarrassment.

No matter how good a teacher is, the kid still has to do the learning. They cannot force knowledge into your head. I do not think working hard in a productive environment can be classified as 'not achieving though your own steam'.

Finally just because your life is miserable, frustrating and boring doesn't mean the same is true for all the other 'people like you'.
I agree with you about unruly pupils. A lot of actual learning time at my school was wasted thanks to misbehaved dunces, although thankfully for me this was only a serious problem in Years 7 - 9 when I was in a particularly rowdy tutor group for nearly every lesson for three miserable years. Even when my class was well-behaved, the turds in my class would still have their subtle ways of making the lives of willing kids unpleasant through clever, hard-to-detect ways of teasing and bullying.
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AspiringDoctor
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I don't think there's any need to fix something that's not broken. The real issue should be trying to get state schools to higher standards rather than removing private schools, regardless of equality issues. A child's education can largely be down to the individual - if a child wants to succeed, they will do so without letting their circumstances/environment hinder them.
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MindTheGaps
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(Original post by JamesTheCool)
I agree with you about unruly pupils. A lot of actual learning time at my school was wasted thanks to misbehaved dunces, although thankfully for me this was only a serious problem in Years 7 - 9 when I was in a particularly rowdy tutor group for nearly every lesson for three miserable years. Even when my class was well-behaved, the turds in my class would still have their subtle ways of making the lives of willing kids unpleasant through clever, hard-to-detect ways of teasing and bullying.
I had this to an extent, but luckily for me we were set for most subjects quite early on so I was mostly around people who were intelligent and well-behaved. I would have appreciated a bit more direction from the school though, whose approach sometimes seemed to be 'just put the clever kids in the same room they'll do alright'.

I think a more important issue than school is family background. I went to an average to decent comprehensive, which was in an area with a lot of both middle class and working class kids. The sets seemed to divide roughly along class lines: the middle sets would be mixed but the closer to the top or bottom you got the clearer the difference. But these were people who had been to the same schools all their lives, and there was never any suggestion that teachers chose sets for anything other than academic reasons. I, and most of the other kids in the top set, all came from families who cared about education and wanted us to do well in school, and who had tried to instil that ethos in us from an early age. Suffice to say I know a lot of the people in the lower sets did not have that.

All of which is a way of saying that the inequality you despise is far more deeply entrenched than by the school system.
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Flobie
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(Original post by JamesTheCool)
The stigma around private schools isn't totally unjustified if you had an experience like I did in my first year at uni around such people who went to them. Mind you, I found it was mainly those who study highly competitive courses like Medicine who tended to be the worst, most entitled species of human I've ever had the displeasure of encountering, whereas those who studied more laid-back subjects were much easier to get on with (in fact, I didn't even realise they were privately educated until they mentioned it). Anyway, merely an experience. I'm not saying all privately educated kids are pompous and I'm sorry for lazily typing that because that's not what I meant... it's just that most pompous kids usually are privately educated...

I wouldn't care if you decided to assume all state school kids are grotty chavs because in all honesty a lot of us probably are. I'm equally irked by both stereotypes so whatever prejudices you decide to have about us doesn't bother me; a sizeable portion of us actually are a bunch of good-for-nothing *******s who will always be downtrodden, perhaps deservedly...
Firstly, I've just applied for medicine so shush I think the thing with medicine is that because it's so difficult to get into and so competitive, you kind of have to turn yourself into an "elite", ie you have to try and be top of the class etc, and some people just let that get to their heads. Just look at some of the medical forums on here, some peoples comments make me want to throw the computer out of the window Like when I look at some of the people in my year applying to Oxbridge, most of them are so used to being top of everything that they think they're miles better than everyone else. That's actually what put me off applying to Oxford I agree with you that pompous kids are usually privately educated, but that's no fault of private schools, it's just the way their parents brought them up.


(Original post by JamesTheCool)
So in other words you admit that what you've achieved in your life hasn't been entirely through your own steam then? 'My teachers are brilliant' - that's okay for you to say, but you're in the minority of people who have access to such a privilege that is far out of reach for the rest of us who have to think outside the box and sweat blood if we ever dare try to move up the social ladder. In my GCSEs I had to self-educate to get the best grades because my teachers didn't have enough time to cover everything. Btw I'm not accusing you of being a snob, but you can't really empathise with us because you have absolutely no experience or idea of how miserable, frustrating and boring life is for a lot of ordinary people.

That's precisely my problem with private and state school segregation. At a young age, out of no control of your own, your future is essentially mapped out for you based on whether or not you're born into the wealthiest 7% of families in this country - which, like it or not, is an unearned privilege (because it's not really your money, is it?), and the key reason why Britain will always be a deeply conservative, un-meritocratic nation. Helping the rich get the cremiest jobs through little actual merit or innovation of their own can be quite damaging for the rest society, especially when poorer-but-more-talented people are probably capable of doing an even better job of running the country...

I agree, state schools should be brought up to the same level of private schools, but it won't happen tomorrow. For the time being, the education system in this country is still a total joke and too many people are losing out in life because of it. It's a disgrace...

I went to a state primary school. I was in the top group of my class, but my teacher was awful. She told me I wouldn't last a week in private school, haha. I don't come from a rich background, my parents were skint for ages because they spent all their money on the fees. We have some posh kids in our school but the majority are definitely NOT in the wealthiest 7%!

When I say my teachers are brilliant, I mean they make learning fun and encourage us loads, and support us. We aren't spoon-fed at all, like some schools (which, yes, are private schools). But there are also some awful teachers. For GCSE further maths, my teacher was horrible. She didn't teach us well, when I asked for help she told me I was stupid for not understanding it, then when I got an E and U in the mock she tried to get me to drop out and not do A level maths. So I, in your words, "self-educated", taught myself the whole thing and came out with an A*. It's a similar story with food tech, and my current biology teacher *shudder* I don think he even knows what the specification is. So yeah, I'm faced with teaching myself A2 biology, so I do understand your pain.

I still think the answer is to concentrate on state schools, but it also think private education should be more readily available. Our school is good in the sense that it offers bursaries for people who can't afford it (like the girl mentioned in my last post), and I think more private schools should follow its example.



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GeekChicc
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#107
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I don't believe in diminishing private schools, but I hope that free schools will increase in popularity. These are independent schools, but non fee paying.
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Maxxi
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I can't really be bothered to read through the 100+ replies so apologies for repetition, but this is a simple case of equality of opportunity. How is it at all fair that a simple matter of chance such as who your parents are and how wealthy they are should determine the quality of education you receive?

I would agree that state schools should be of a higher level of quality than they are, but I do not have much sympathy for the argument that we should not drag the rich down a bit, if only because this might give others more of a chance!

John Rawls' veil of ignorance is, I think, the best conception of arguments about equality of opportunity if you fancied some extra reading!
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JamesTheCool
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#109
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Although it's easy to blame upper/middle class people for this incredibly flawed and evil system we have, the working classes aren't without criticism either. The main reason why state schools are often dumps is because of the dominance of disruptive pupils who have no value or interest in education, thanks to their shameful parents who probably had the same attitudes at school instilled by their parents. In classrooms, these turds bully and drag everyone down with them, and kids with potential often have to wear a mask of stupidity just to avoid being bullied and ostracised. As a result, we tend to be less focused on learning and more worried about our popularity quotients and thus our social lives. If it wasn't for this, state schools would be perfectly adequate places to receive a proper education. Sometimes problems can be solved by simply changing the attitudes of the people, but how on earth you go about accomplishing this I have no idea. But I believe a lot of this working class bitterness and tendency to rebel against the system comes from resentment of middle/upper class people who automatically seem to have a much better deal in life, which isn't totally unfounded and is something even I'm guilty of. So that's something to think about...

The sad truth is that whatever system we have will be flawed, because people are flawed. But the least worst option is to have streaming in state schools so we can avoid this unfair state and private (and grammar) segregation (which is very unfair in my opinion). Even then of course, you'll probably find more middle-class kids in the top classes and working-class kids in the bottom classes. So, to amend this, since people have different strengths, streaming should be implemented for every subject, and there should be some sort of academic mobility in place so that pupils have the opportunity to move up (and down) classes based on how well (or poorly) they do on end-of-year tests etc. That would certainly involve much less stress and hassle than this cruel state/grammar division we currently have.

Grammar schools are not the answer because 11 is too young to determine ability, let alone have such stress and potential misery inflicted on you. Some intelligent people are late bloomers and don't blossom academically until deep in their teenage years; I got low-average SATs in Year 6 and mostly As and A*s in my GCSEs, so people can change. In a way, grammar schools symbolise another kind of elitism - the elitism of cognitive early developers (or kids who are just trained like a dog by their parents). Also, this is purely anecdotal, but I find the 11-plus can create an intolerable smugness in some people who pass it, which is hardly a good thing either...
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thebeautywithin
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(Original post by thewagwag)
What it says on the tin.

I just left a private school, and I think the government should try to get state schools (the average) up to private school level before thinking about abolishing them. Why drag everyone down just in the name of faux 'equality'?

Discuss
We need to seperate poor scumbags from the rich people who are actually human
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username447608
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#111
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Although I think its unfair that a person's quality of education basically depends on their parents wealth I don't think we should abolish private schools. I think the government should make state schools better the state schools are the ones to blame.

I went to private school and I hate the stigma attached to it my mum and dad worked so bloody hard to afford to send me there I don't see why they should abolish them.
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mevidek
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Yes, their existence is completely unfair and the fact that we live in a society where one's parental income, rather than one's abilities, determines the level of education they receive and, hence, heavily influences the rest of one's life simply illustrates the social apartheid that exists still today. That said, I do believe we should aim to improve the standard of teaching offered in state schools before a nationwide abolition.
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Ripper-Roo
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No - where else would the Hyacinth Buckets of the world send their precious little sweethearts?
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mevidek
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(Original post by JamesTheCool)
Although it's easy to blame upper/middle class people for this incredibly flawed and evil system we have, the working classes aren't without criticism either. The main reason why state schools are often dumps is because of the dominance of disruptive pupils who have no value or interest in education

[...]

But I believe a lot of this working class bitterness and tendency to rebel against the system comes from resentment of middle/upper class people who automatically seem to have a much better deal in life, which isn't totally unjustified and is something even I'm guilty of.

I went to a comprehensive school (an average one which receives contextual offers from universities because its results were poor) and currently, for sixth form, go to one of the best schools in the country, which is a grammar. To simply state that all or the majority of comprehensive students are lazy, don't care about education, and mess about in class is absolute tripe. Having gone to two polar opposites in the educational system in terms of results and where the students progress to, what's become clear to me is that there is no difference whatsoever between the vast majority of students attending either schools in terms of intelligence or desire; the only thing that differentiates the two sets of students is the amount they are pushed and the impact this has on the students' behaviour. Considering the standard of teaching varies hugely between private schools (and grammar, for that matter) and comprehensives, surely it seems a bit more likely that the level of teaching causes some students to become disinterested at comprehensives and be disruptive? To dismiss the population of students at comprehensive schools as all the same, or to even group the majority of them into the category of some kind of delinquents with serious behavioural problems is just wrong.

Oh and on the note about the "bitterness" of the working class towards the upper and middle classes, don't you think an eternity of systematic oppression and massive disparities would cause people to become at least a teeny weeny bit disgruntled? Private schools do absolutely nowt to help social mobility, in fact they act in the opposite fashion and are a symbol of social inequality.
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JamesTheCool
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(Original post by mevidek)
I went to a comprehensive school (an average one which receives contextual offers from universities because its results were poor) and currently, for sixth form, go to one of the best schools in the country, which is a grammar. To simply state that all or the majority of comprehensive students are lazy, don't care about education, and mess about in class is absolute tripe. Having gone to two polar opposites in the educational system in terms of results and where the students progress to, what's become clear to me is that there is no difference whatsoever between the vast majority of students attending either schools in terms of intelligence or desire; the only thing that differentiates the two sets of students is the amount they are pushed and the impact this has on the students' behaviour. Considering the standard of teaching varies hugely between private schools (and grammar, for that matter) and comprehensives, surely it seems a bit more likely that the level of teaching causes some students to become disinterested at comprehensives and be disruptive? To dismiss the population of students at comprehensive schools as all the same, or to even group the majority of them into the category of some kind of delinquents with serious behavioural problems is just wrong.

Oh and on the note about the "bitterness" of the working class towards the upper and middle classes, don't you think an eternity of systematic oppression and massive disparities would cause people to become at least a teeny weeny bit disgruntled? Private schools do absolutely nowt to help social mobility, in fact they act in the opposite fashion and are a symbol of social inequality.
I went to one of the best state schools in my county (or so it was deemed), and even that was populated with turds. And I hate private schools too. In fact, I hate them to death, but in that last post I was specifically focusing my hatred towards state schools based on the experience I had at one. As I said, I hate segregation in schools full stop, and I'm actually a bitter lower-middle class person myself who hates elitism and plutocracy, especially after having lived in university halls with a horrible, entitled little privileged prick studying Medicine - an experience that really opened my eyes (his sense of superiority and entitlement was so inflated that I had to move out - it was that bad). You were misled and I probably didn't communicate where I stand on this issue very well, but if you must know, I possess fuming hatred equally for both ends of the class spectrum, and I'd like to vomit on the person who decided to make education and class operate together as an amalgamation.

EDIT: Interestingly, when I was at school I always tried to reinvent myself as upper-middle class. Then at university when I felt outnumbered by hoards of students who really were upper-middle class, I reinvented myself backwards. I tend move against whatever crowd I'm in. I think my real problem is that I dislike people in general.
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Octohedral
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(Original post by Maxxi)
I can't really be bothered to read through the 100+ replies so apologies for repetition, but this is a simple case of equality of opportunity. How is it at all fair that a simple matter of chance such as who your parents are and how wealthy they are should determine the quality of education you receive?

I would agree that state schools should be of a higher level of quality than they are, but I do not have much sympathy for the argument that we should not drag the rich down a bit, if only because this might give others more of a chance!

John Rawls' veil of ignorance is, I think, the best conception of arguments about equality of opportunity if you fancied some extra reading!
Thanks for the reference - I'll read it. Nothing worse than being someone with opinions and nothing to back them.

Meanwhile, a minor point (and yes, I'm saying this from a privileged point of view - I went to a state primary school but was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private secondary school) is that intelligence is as much of a lottery as wealth. Nobody ever points out how unfair this is, because it can't be changed - if anything they suggest intelligent poor kids should be given more of a chance than those who are less so - but in reality it's exactly the same lottery as having rich parents. We will never have equality of opportunity. That doesn't, of course, mean we can't make things more equal, but it does suggest a slightly different approach to the same problem. (Note: this is philosophical only - I'm not seriously suggesting we give rich kids greater opportunity).

A second point is that there is a massive difference between the large middle class segment who populate good comprehensives and grammar schools and the genuinely poor kids who have virtually no chance in life. The former group frequently expresses its dislike of private schools (including most of my primary school friends, two of whom ended up at Oxford), and try to pose themselves as disadvantaged whilst going on holiday every year and getting good grades. My mother taught in the state sector for twenty years, and I always expected to go to our local comprehensive, which was a perfectly nice and normal school. The latter group, on the other hand, I genuinely do feel sorry for, and I have plenty of time for the private school debate in their case (although practically I think abolition simply won't work).

On the whole, my view is that;

- We can't abolish private schools, and if we did it could even be detrimental to the state system (higher cost, rich parents dominating good catchment areas).
- People have a right to spend their money how they like. This really comes down to how socialist you are.
- However, it's certainly unfair that richer children get a better start in life.
- The only solutions I can think of are improving state schools and increasing bursary schemes.
- I'm talking from a privileged point of view, so I'm aware it's easy for me to say this.
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JamesTheCool
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(Original post by Octohedral)
Thanks for the reference - I'll read it. Nothing worse than being someone with opinions and nothing to back them.

Meanwhile, a minor point (and yes, I'm saying this from a privileged point of view - I went to a state primary school but was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private secondary school) is that intelligence is as much of a lottery as wealth. Nobody ever points out how unfair this is, because it can't be changed - if anything they suggest intelligent poor kids should be given more of a chance than those who are less so - but in reality it's exactly the same lottery as having rich parents. We will never have equality of opportunity. That doesn't, of course, mean we can't make things more equal, but it does suggest a slightly different approach to the same problem. (Note: this is philosophical only - I'm not seriously suggesting we give rich kids greater opportunity).
Yes but there are more intelligent people in the world than there are wealthy people, if we define intelligence as having an IQ of >120 and being wealthy as having a yearly household income of > £100,000. People who are wealthy-but-thick who go to the best universities and thus get the best jobs are actually detrimental to society when smart-but-poor people exist who would be capable of performing a better job and thus potentially even making the world a better place. Hence why private schools are detrimental to society and counter-productive to social mobility (although I'm assuming most people on this thread aren't too bothered about the latter as they probably deem social inequality as inevitable and normal).

If you're lucky in the lottery of life to be rich, then good for you. Spend that money as you like, but please don't introduce education into the equation. Let everyone go through the same struggle, then we'll see how clever you rich *******s really are...
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SarahGummer
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(Original post by Le Nombre)
Parents choosing to give their child the best possbile education they can is not something I think should be a problem, though I hope one day that choice will not be one that is only open to those with thousands of pounds a year to spend upon that education.

However, there comes an issue when it is not just the education you received at private school that aids you in life but the mere fact you attended. This is a problem in that it prevents equality of opportunity even in a world where state schools are perfect, that there exists an Old Boy/Girl network that excudes those of equal or greater merit simply because they didn't go to a particular kind of school.

Take for example the Bar, a very prestigious profession. For the top end of the Bar Oxbridge is a must pretty much, fair enough it is where the academic elite tend to graviatate and is open to to anyone with the
grades.

I can't find Cam's stats but at Oxford for Law, probably the most common qulification for a junior barrister to hold on various stats such as the Bar barometer, state to private ratio is 90:51.

Yet, when we look at the last 'Rising Stars of the Bar' to be published which included the school and university they attended 7 out of 10 of those in the list attended private schools, for the year before it was 9 out of 10.

That to me seems somewhat flawed. Statistically nearly two thirds of those with the necessary qualifications (assuming privately educated students don't do massively better once at Oxford, which seems unlikely) are state educated, but an average of 80% of those at the top of the profession which most demands those qualifications are privately schooled. I'm not saying there is some kind of old school tie bias, but it certainly suggests it's a strong possibility.

In terms of how you stop this I'm not sure, logically parents coughing up over 30k a year in some cases want more than just 'we'll do our best' they want guarantees, and an OB network is a good way to help provide that, but I think it something that needs to be looked at.
I think these kinds of stats can be pretty skewed though.
For one things equality amongst classes for education opportunities includin Oxbridge is a much more recent advancement, many of those at the top of their profession were educated prior to the changes, the same reason there are so many male consultants in the medical profession.

Another thing is as a general rule many people who are privately educated come from successful families, who are successful due to intelligence and hard work. I'm not saying those who have no private education in their families are unintelligent, I just mean generally speaking two intelligent parents are more likely to have intelligent offspring, meaning many successful/high earning people are likely to have been privately educated. There is also the fact that many private schools require passing entrance exams, they are academically selective and therefore likely to have students that go on to be successful.

I am from a working class background, and wasn't privately educated so am not speaking from experience, but I think sometimes inequality can be exaggerated. I went to a fairly poor comprehensive and am now studying medicine, wanting to succeed is the main factor which determines success in my opinion.
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JamesTheCool
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(Original post by SarahGummer)
Another thing is as a general rule many people who are privately educated come from successful families, who are successful due to intelligence and hard work. I'm not saying those who have no private education in their families are unintelligent, I just mean generally speaking two intelligent parents are more likely to have intelligent offspring, meaning many successful/high earning people are likely to have been privately educated. There is also the fact that many private schools require passing entrance exams, they are academically selective and therefore likely to have students that go on to be successful.
That sounds like pseudo science to me, saying that rich people are generally more intelligent is something I strongly disagree with, and I'd vomit on you for attempting to theorise something so horrible and elitist if I could. A privately educated person's parents might be rich and successful, yes, but why is that? Maybe it's because they went to private schools too and thus were able to thrive in life. People who aren't upper/middle class aren't less intelligent, they're just dangerously misinformed about, well, pretty much everything in their lives...

(Original post by SarahGummer)
I am from a working class background, and wasn't privately educated so am not speaking from experience, but I think sometimes inequality can be exaggerated. I went to a fairly poor comprehensive and am now studying medicine, wanting to succeed is the main factor which determines success in my opinion.
Why are so many working class people on this thread in favour of private schools? It doesn't make any sense. I think you've all been brainwashed...
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Le Nombre
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#120
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(Original post by SarahGummer)
I think these kinds of stats can be pretty skewed though.
For one things equality amongst classes for education opportunities includin Oxbridge is a much more recent advancement, many of those at the top of their profession were educated prior to the changes, the same reason there are so many male consultants in the medical profession.

Another thing is as a general rule many people who are privately educated come from successful families, who are successful due to intelligence and hard work. I'm not saying those who have no private education in their families are unintelligent, I just mean generally speaking two intelligent parents are more likely to have intelligent offspring, meaning many successful/high earning people are likely to have been privately educated. There is also the fact that many private schools require passing entrance exams, they are academically selective and therefore likely to have students that go on to be successful.

I am from a working class background, and wasn't privately educated so am not speaking from experience, but I think sometimes inequality can be exaggerated. I went to a fairly poor comprehensive and am now studying medicine, wanting to succeed is the main factor which determines success in my opinion.
I didn't do SC judges or the Cabinet for just that reason. This is 'Rising Stars of the Bar', most of them graduated in the early to mid 2000s.

Yes, but how does that explain the dominance of private schools in a sphere where some of those who were state educated have proven they do have the ability by getting into Oxford? Your argument can explain why private schools account for a third of admissions rather than the 20% of A Level students they account for, but not why they then come out of the same university further on top when they went in on a level playing field.

I also went to a comp, but I think your perception may be skewed by how meritocratic Medicine is compared to other professions, the system of medical school and F1 applications means you can't get in simply due to where you went to school, whereas in the private sector there is nothing to stop people just giving jobs to people who went to the same school as them, and they do.
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