Dating app exclusively for privately educated people to launch in UK

But it's been accused of elitism and increasing social division

Rachel Hosie
Monday 09 April 2018 12:27 BST
Toffee dating app - advert

The UK’s first dating app purely for those educated at private schools is set to launch this spring.

Toffee has been founded on the basis that “people who hold similar views and values, and have shared the same life experiences (such as going through the same education system) are more likely to be attracted to each other and stick together.”

However the announcement of the app’s launch has been met with mixed reviews, with some people accusing it of being elitist and encouraging social division.


Just seven per cent of the UK population attend private schools, however Toffee founder Lydia Davis believes these people wish to be brought together.

“So many people looking for a match say they want to meet someone that shares their interests and background,” says Davis, who is also a matchmaker at Mutual Attraction.

“Among the many apps out there, there isn’t one for people who were privately educated, so Toffee can fill that space.

Lydia Davis

“It’s about bringing people together who are compatible and have lots in common. It’s about more single people in London getting together and sticking together. And it’s about having fun along the way!”

Although the official launch date has not been announced, privately educated singletons can sign up to the pre-launch waiting list and become a Founder Member. You sign up with Facebook and select your private school from a list.

You also then have to agree that you “hereby declare that the information provided is true and correct,” lest you be removed from the app if you’re found to be lying about your education.


Toffee won’t be based simply on education alone - singletons will use “sliders” to mark how important, say, polo or rugby is in a partner.

While founding members will gain six months’ free access to the app, it will then require payment, unlike most popular dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Happn which are free.

And it’s safe to say many people have reacted with outrage upon hearing about the app.

“The idea of it makes me angry, but I suppose that’s the point,” 25-year-old Rebecca*, who did not go to private school, told The Independent. “It’s playing on the existing divide between private and state school pupils.

“Also, if people only want to date other people who went to private school, I suppose that eliminates them from the pool so the rest of us can have someone decent! I’m not saying people who went to private school aren’t decent, but the people who only want to date other people who went to private school aren’t.”

And she’s not alone in this view.

“It’s disgustingly elitist,” says 23-year-old Claire*. “I feel like private school kids have their own closed social circle of private school friends and acquaintances in real life anyway (those who would be the type to use such an app that is) so what would they need an app for?

“If you’re the type of person who is going to make decisions on who to date based on where they went to school, it’s pretty easy to do that anyway, even if a dating app doesn’t immediately tell you where someone went to school it’s not hard to find out.

“Creating an app that does the selection for you only encourages that kind of attitude, which seems to imply that your worth is defined by your school, and surely that goes against all the present day narratives about education.”


And of course, it’s not just state school educated people who are against the idea of the app.

“I think it’s terrible,” 25-year-old Jane*, who went to a private school, explained to The Independent. “It would be much better to focus on having shared interests. Private schooling as a filter feels super elitist.”

But others point out that there are plenty of other existing “elite” dating apps out there such as The League and The Inner Circle already.

“To be honest I think it’s fine!” said 25-year-old Orla*, who is privately educated. “Obviously it’s completely elitist and outdated and personally I wouldn’t go near it but different people have different priorities - there are loads of niche dating apps out there (including ones most would consider racist) so I don’t know why we should attack this one particularly.”

A dating app purely for the privately educated is undoubtedly a controversial concept, but it remains to be seen whether there’s enough of a market for it to be successful.

The Independent has contacted Toffee for comment.

*Names have been changed.

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