Why private schools are not better

Emma Lycett argues why “posh prejudice” is a load of tosh

Private School State School the tab the tab exeter

Most of you have probably read, or at least heard about, the astoundingly pompous Bristol Tab article praising the private school system in Britain – the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

May we first deal with the apparent victimisation of the posh: the poor, poor moneyed posh. To live in a world where – to some people, clearly – “posh prejudice” can be as offensive and as damaging as racism and homophobia truly sickens me. It really does.

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Eton, where a number of Exeter students come from

Surely, the thousands spent on that private education would have taught the ostensibly cleverest students in the country the difference between being denied basic human rights and being called a toff or a sleazy snob (as most people are in Mosaic)?

Yes, perhaps that is a complete generalisation and caricature of those who were privately educated. Sadly, though, there still remains a handful of those people with an inherent sense of arrogance and superiority due to their educational background.

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Thankfully, these stereotypes have all but vanished

As is often the case in Exeter – with nearly a third of Exeter students hailing from the private educational sector, as The Tab revealed earlier this year – all my housemates were privately educated.

Like the majority privately-educated of students, six of them remain humble about their own schooling and uncritical towards my own state education.

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There are indeed rah-ther a lot of us

But my remaining housemate seems to possess an intrinsic prejudice attitude towards my background and his own private schooling – often referring to me as “state school scum” or “povo,” even though he knows I achieved higher A Level and GCSE results than him.

It is this same pompous ignorance that pervades the Bristol student’s article and fuels the hatred against private education. Moreover, I can’t help but notice that this harsh judgement on the state school system somewhat undermines the class argument of the victims of “posh prejudice.”

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State students at Tiverton School pick up their GCSE results

Fundamentally, although I don’t necessarily agree with the private school system nor think it is fair, if an individual is intelligent, naturally talented and hard-working, whether they are privately or state educated is irrelevant: they are going to be academically and professionally successful.