Friday, 9 May 2008

Top of the class

John Harris has written a brilliant article in
today's Guardian asking whether meritocracy died and social mobility seized up.

In spite of calls from Government and educationalists to make our top universities more pluralistic and diverse, Oxford admitted almost twice as many Old Etonians in 2006 as in 2001.

Elliott Major, research director at the Sutton Trust, claims buying a private education actually gets you so much more than an education - it buys you membership to an establishment that encourages children to build elite social networks from a very early age.

This early networking then repays the intial investment countless times over throughout a pupil's life by supercharging your career prospects. The fact that 70% of High Court judges were privately educated is testament to this.

If we really believe in promoting aspiration and opportunity, we need to do more to show young people that they can go as far as their talent can get them, not as far as society will let them.

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