UCAS head who called private school kids boring clones sent her kids to…private schools

They went to Westminster, Latymer and Haileybury College

When UCAS chief Mary Curnock Cook attacked private schools for breeding boring clones of their parents, rich kids everywhere wondered who she could possibly mean.

Surely not her own offspring, Jess, Hannah and Rory, who attended top schools Westminister, Latymer and Haileybury.

At a Headmaster’s and Headmistress’ conference in St. Andrews this week, Mary said privately educated students “sleepwalk” into careers and become clones of their parents.

Mary Curnock Cook criticised the route that many follow, going from private school to Russell Group unis and then into the same mundane career as mum and dad.

But The Tab can reveal she sent all of her children to top London private schools, and two even followed her into a career in education.

Her son Rory went to Westminster School, whose alumni includes boring clones Nick Clegg and Nigella Lawson, before he continued on to Durham and now works as a private tutor.

Daughter Hannah went to West London’s prestigious Latymer Upper School, attended Nottingham University and works as an admin for a school.

Finally, Jess went to £7,456 a term Haileybury College and is currently at  Birmingham.

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When approached for Mary Curnock seemed to regret sending her children to fee-paying schools.

She told The Tab: “My comments are informed by the UCAS data rather than personal experience.

“But put it like this, I rather wish my own children had been applying to university when I had access to the information I have now.”

Speaking at the Headmaster’s and Headmistress’ conference in St. Andrews, UCAS head Mary said: “It seems to me that not only are your students going to the same universities that their parents went to, but they are also studying the same subjects.

“So I worry about a sub-section of society which is sleepwalking though an identikit education experience into an off-the-peg life which mirrors what generations of the affluent classes have aspired to.

“The future is not what is used to be – the new sciences, digital economy, digital and creative industries have changed the shape of employment.

“Perhaps instead of worrying about social engineering, independent schools should think about encouraging their students to be independent-minded and to develop a sense of future self that just breaks the mould a bit.”


Mary sent her son to Westminster School, which charges over £8,000 a term and £11,000 for boarders.

In education-bible the Good Schools Guide, Tatler said: “Not just anyone can master Latin fluently, and not just anyone can waltz into Westminster.”

Speaking on £5,770 a term Latymer, Tatler said: “It’s a vibrant, urban place, with a grammar-school feel, and it’s a world inhabited by super-bright and multi-talented pupils.”

What’s more, they even have a unique “World Perspectives” course, which is specially recognised by UCAS.

Meanwhile Haileybury College is described as “a beautiful place”, and they even have their own working WWI replica trench.

Speaking more generally on the private school divide, Mary Curnock Cook told The Tab: “The UCAS system hosts details of over 30,000 courses, yet half of all independent school accepts are to just 1500 of them.

“In the last few years, the employment market has diversified and all schools, not just the independents, should encourage students to look the full range of courses now on offer and which recognise this.”