Should private schools be abolished?

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Journalist Angus Satow was privately educated and graduated from Cambridge University. He recently wrote the following article entitled 'Students What did I learn at private school? They should be abolished'

So I ask the question: Should private schools be abolished?
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Report 1 year ago
I think the author's argument is a bit of a straw man - the private school he went to, St Paul's, is an incredibly elite public school. It is not representative of the majority of private schools, and should not be used anecdotally as a reason to abolish all private schools.

His argument is that it's not just the smaller class sizes & better resources, leading to better grades, that get private school kids into Oxbridge - he claims that it is the extra "provisions".

But the far more standard private school I went to had none of the things he talks about - there were definitely no talks from alumni on how to game Oxbridge admissions, there were no weekly Oxbridge preparation classes and I can promise you, hand on heart, not a single talk by Prince Charles (although, in the interests of complete transparency, a minor royal did come to open my primary school when I was 7 )

We were never "told that we were important because we would end up leading society, as executives, politicians, bankers" and that we "destined to rule"; my school advocated studying whatever you were most interested in, regardless of how lucrative a career it was likely to lead to, because happiness in your work is the most important thing.

And I never heard any pupil at my school use the word "pleb". I'm sure this is unique to elite public schools like Eton, St Paul's, Marlborough etc.

My school, like, I am sure, the majority of private schools, wasn't full of snobby, aristocratic, old-money families - most people's parents came from very normal & state-educated backgrounds and had done well for themselves in professional careers like medicine and accountancy. They weren't super-rich, but were choosing to prioritise education in their household budgets.

TL;DR - by all means advocate the abolition of private schools if that's why you believe, but don't do so on the basis of a tiny minority of elite public schools. The vast majority of private schools are nothing like this - it's a straw man.
Last edited by LeapingLucy; 1 year ago

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