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Schools, hospitals and elites

Why has Britain's state run health system been so much more successful than the state education system? The answer lies in the success of the NHS in creating an effective cross-class institution which has survived the rise of the new "superclass"

By Andrew Adonis   October 1997

Britain’s national health Service is widely seen as an international model of its kind. By contrast, the state education system in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland are different) is almost universally decried. Little attempt is made to explain this dichotomy; rarely, indeed, is it even pointed out, so compartmentalised is public discussion of the welfare state. Yet it demands explanation if reformers are to learn from experience.

Class dynamics lie at the heart of the health/education dichotomy, an argument I elaborate on in my book with Stephen Pollard A Class Act: The Myth of Britain’s Classless Society. We…

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