Gary Lineker criticises son's elite school

BBC football host Gary Lineker attacked an elite British private school today for failing to get his son into university.

The 49-year-old former England captain said Charterhouse school had treated his son George as a "guinea pig" by ditching A-levels in favour of a new exam system, Cambridge Pre-U.

The 18-year-old learnt he had failed to obtain the three B grades needed for a place at Manchester University on Thursday.

Responding to the comments, the Surrey school said it was "proud" of its students' grades.

Lineker, the ex-Tottenham, Barcelona and Everton striker, told the Daily Mirror: "We don't know what's going on with George at the moment.

"He did the Pre-U and they seem to have been marked much harder than the A-level papers. It's all a bit frustrating, as it is the first year the Pre-U exams have been used, so George has been used as a guinea pig.

"At the moment his university place has been withdrawn, but we are hoping we might be able to find a way round this. We are all very disappointed."

George, who was hoping to read business at Manchester University, was spotted on a week-long holiday to Tenerife just weeks before his exams and had been pictured on nights out with ex-Big Brother contestant Sophie Reade, 22.

The Rev John Witheridge, the school's head, defended the school's results.

He said: "We are indeed delighted with our pupils' excellent results this year.

"As you would expect, we do not comment on the performance of individual pupils."

A spokeswoman for the school, which charges fees of about £25,000 a year, added: "We are very pleased with our first set of Cambridge Pre-U results. Our pupils have benefited from a much richer sixth-form education and they are celebrating excellent grades.

"Half of this year's cohort achieved at least three Pre-U Distinctions or A grades at A-level. 60 pupils achieved the equivalent of straight As or better (including Pre-U distinctions) with six pupils awarded straight D1s (top Distinctions) at Pre-U.

"Overall, 31% of our grades are equivalent to A* or better (including Pre-U D1s and D2s)."

Charterhouse, founded in London in 1611, moved to its 250-acre site in the Surrey countryside near Godalming in 1872.