18 Jun '14

News Why Alan Bennett's plea for the reform of private education is welcome

Alan Bennett's attack on private school education, as reported in today's Guardian, was illustrated by a picture of the Beyond the Fringe quartet.Two of them - Jonathan Miller (St Paul's) and Peter Cook (Radley College) - were privately educated. The other two, Bennett himself, and Dudley Moore, went to a grammar schools, respectively Leeds Modern and Dagenham County High (my own alma mater). Both later became comprehensives."I was educated at the expense of the state both at school and university. My father's life was saved by the state as on one occasion was my own. This would be the nanny state, a sneering appellation that gets short shrift with me. Without the state I would not be standing here today. I have no time for the ideology masquerading as pragmatism that would strip the state of its benevolent functions and make them occasions for profit. "With ideology masquerading as pragmatism, profit is now the sole yardstick against which all our institutions must be measured, a policy that comes not from experience but from assumptions false assumptions about human nature, with greed and self-interest taken to be its only reliable attributes. In pursuit of profit, the state and all that goes with it is sold from under us who are its rightful owners and with a frenzy and dedication that call up memories of an earlier iconoclasm." Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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