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Opening up elite education

The advantages of a private education in Britain are increasing. But there is a way of opening the top careers and elite universities to all. It requires the best private schools to select according to ability, not income

By Peter Lampl   January 1999

When I was at Oxford, in the late 1960s, the university was changing from something akin to a finishing school for academically-inclined public school pupils to a university for the most talented, irrespective of background. There was a rich variety of regional accents from schools such as Manchester Grammar, Bradford Grammar, King Edward’s Birmingham, Rhondda County Grammar, and a feeling that we were in the early stages of establishing a genuine meritocracy.

I visited Oxford again in the late 1980s, after many years working abroad, and was surprised to find that it had not opened up as we had expected.…

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