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education system and social apartheid

11 September 2013

The headmaster of Wellington College has echoed the findings of recent surveys by the Challenge Trust and University of Durham in emphasising that the education system encourages social division given the differences between state schools and fee-paying schools. The report suggests pupils at fee-paying schools are denied the opportunity of mixing with children from different backgrounds which leads to a reinforcement of views within their social class. The call echoes comments by Lord Adonis who invited independent schools to become involved in the academies movement and break down social barriers to achieve a more comprehensive education system.

The report and comments echo those findings from the recent University of Durham report which emphasises the widening gap between the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’. This current comment highlights the same issue from a different view point but with the same message – more must be done to iron out equalities arising from the education system. Whether a greater involvement in the academies movement is enough to bridge the gap is a bigger question.

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