Letter: Schools for the rich
Thursday 02 September 1999
Here in Buckinghamshire we already have choice by the purse. Many parents with means put their children into the county's thriving independent preparatory schools with the simple objective of ensuring that they pass the 11-plus and gain a grammar school place.
They do this because independent schools in the county can train their pupils as much as they wish in the verbal reasoning techniques required to pass. State schools in the county (such as the one my 10-year-old daughter attends) may not.
Not surprisingly, independent school pass rates exceed state school pass rates by a wide margin because bright children from poorer backgrounds - whom the system is supposed to pick out - have to compete not with brighter, but with infinitely more carefully trained children, whose parents pay to beat the system.
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year