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As someone who benefited from a private school bursary, I find it difficult to support the Labour Party says a teacher and coach at Latymer Upper School

Sam Burns who teaches biology and coaches rugby and netball at Latymer Upper School in West London explains the dilemma of being a left-leaning private school teacher.

“It’s a dilemma faced by many of my left-leaning school friends. Like me, they experienced a life-changing education at Christ’s Hospital – working class kids who benefitted from a bursary to an independent school. We’ve stayed close, following one another’s career progress as lawyers, accountants, medics, teachers and entrepreneurs – all of us mindful that our lives may have been very different had Christ’s Hospital not played such an important role. 

But these are testing times. Messages between us on our WhatsApp group are now peppered with question marks over Labour’s proposals to dismantle independent schools. On paper we fall under the banner of "privileged professionals": educated at independent schools and Russell Group universities (in my case, the first member of my family to gain a degree) before embarking on a career in the professions. But dig deeper and it’s not so straightforward. 

The discourse on education is now so polarised that many of my classmates are in the position of having to choose between supporting their political party and an educational institution that also has social mobility at its heart. Of course, it’s impossible to read the future, but I can vouch for the past and an education that significantly improved my life chances.”

Read full article at: https://www.tes.com/news/dilemma-left-leaning-private-school-teacher

Good grades and a desk 'key for university hopes'

Having a desk to work at, good grades and high expectations from parents, as well as being happy at school, are key factors in encouraging children to go on to university, a study suggests.

Researchers in Croatia found these influences were more important than class size, school, average grades at the school or the wealth of an area.And they say this suggests schemes to raise aspirations should be targeted at an individual rather than school level.

Researchers from the Institute for Social Research, in Zagreb, asked 1,050 pupils aged 13, 14 and 15 at 23 schools in the city:

  • whether they would like to continue to higher education
  • about their parents' aspirations for them
  • what level of academic support they received from each of their parents
  • whether they had their own room, computer and desk
  • whether they enjoyed school

The researchers also gathered data on the pupils' academic grades, as well as on the size of each school and its classes, the average grade for each school and property prices in the local area.

They found none of the school-level factors had any influence on the pupils' desire to continue to higher education.

But several factors related to parents and home life did.

Gender was also found to play a part, with the girls more likely than the boys to want to progress to university study.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-50421027