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'Shocking waste of potential' in British schools

The sharp achievement gap between state and private school-educated pupils means there is a "shocking waste of potential", according to the chairman of educational charity the Sutton Trust.

Sir Peter Lampl's remarks come in the foreword to a new report that shows private school pupils will earn significantly more than their state school peers.

"This is a shocking waste of potential. This report clearly sets out the advantages that can be gained from a good private education," Sir Peter writes.

The Sutton Trust is calling for more independent schools to take on able pupils from less well-off backgrounds.

The charity suggests private schools should get the same funding per pupil as state schools, with the ability to charges fees on a means-tested basis, with the poorest paying nothing.

Their study suggests extending such a scheme to 100 leading private schools would cost the Government about £215 million a year.

Private school pupils 'earn £200,000 more'

Children educated at private school are likely to earn almost £200,000 more over the course of their career than their counterparts in the state system, new research suggests.

Pupils from schools such as Eton will go on to earn significantly more than those educated at state school. Credit: David Parker/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A study by the Social Market Foundation found that between the ages of 26 and 42 a privately educated person will earn approximately £193,700 more on average than someone who went to state school.

The difference means an average private school pupil will earn 43% more than their state school peers by the age of 34, although this falls slightly to 34% by the aged of 42.


Ex-PM admits changing policy after talks with Queen

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major occasionally changed policy as a result of discussions with the Queen, a BBC documentary revealed.

The Queen and former British Prime Minister John Major Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Matthews/Pool

Asked if he remembered being influenced by the Queen, Sir John said: "I think every prime minister can think that, and can think of occasions where that happened.

"But the answer is yes of course. It would be very foolish indeed not to be influenced."

Former PM 'supported Charles' policy intervention'

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major supported Prince Charles' policy interventions, BBC documentary revealed.

I think it is encouraging that the Prince of Wales is entirely free from his unique perspective to write to ministers or the prime minister in a way that is invariably intended to be helpful, and I think to cut that off, or to make sure those letters are much more bland than they otherwise might be, would be a loss.

– John Major, former Prime Minister

The BBC documentary, The Royal Activist, revealed how Prince Charles tried to persuade Tony Blair's government to expand grammar schools in one of his bids to change the government's policies.

Prince Charles 'campaigned for more grammar schools'

Prince Charles campaigned for more grammar schools during the time of Tony Blair's government, the former education secretary has said.

"He was very keen that we should go back to a different era where youngsters had what he would have seen as the opportunity to escape from their background, whereas I wanted to change their background," David Blunkett said.

Prince Charles campaigned for more grammar schools, a documentary reveals Credit: REUTERS/Susana Vera

The Prince of Wales didn't like" it when his request was refused, according to a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

"I would explain that our policy was not to expand grammar schools, and he didn't like that."

Mr Blunkett is one of three former cabinet ministers interviewed for the documentary, The Royal Activist, the BBC reported.

Mr Blunkett added: "I can see constitutionally that there's an argument that the heir to the throne should not get involved in controversy; the honest truth is I didn't mind."

State 'spreading fear and intimidation' in schools

An alliance of campaigners and parents from schools caught up in allegations of a radical Muslim takeover plot have attacked the government's "provocative and unhelpful" response.

Measures including appointing former counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke to investigate claims of extremism in some Birmingham schools, have been criticised by leading campaigner Shabina Bano who claims it is spreading "fear and intimidation" in classrooms.

Michael Gove's response to Ofsted's findings has been criticised. Credit: PA

Two weeks ago the head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw, concluded there "was a culture of fear and intimidation in some schools" after the publication of an unprecedented series of inspections, triggered by the so-called Trojan Horse claims.

Campaigners say the central claim, contained in the Trojan Horse letter, that there was an extremist agenda remain "unproven" following those inspections.

Ofsted did find some schools were failing adequately to protect pupils from the risks of radicalisation, concluding some governors had exerted undue influence.

At a public meeting attended by up to 1,000 people, Salma Yaqoob, the former leader of Respect, said while there were real issues of poor governance to tackle it was necessary to "de-link this issue from terrorism and radicalisation".


State school head: We need access to better facilites

It is "no wonder" more athletes went to private schools than state funded facilities, as they have better access to sports equipment and playing fields, the head of an inner city school told Good Morning Britain.

Serge Cefai, head of London's Sacred Heart School, said it was unfair parents were threatened with arrest if their child was obese and school meals were "micro-managed" while state school pupils were denied access to playing fields.

Denying pupils competitive sport 'cements inequality'

Schools which do not offer pupils the chance to play competitive sport "cement the social inequality that holds our nation back", the head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, who is due to present a report into sports teaching in state and private schools at the Festival of Education at Wellington College, said:

Heads who treat competitive sport with suspicion or as an optional extra are not only denying youngsters the clear dividends that come with encouraging them to compete, they are also cementing the social inequality that holds our nation back.

More state schools are now encouraging sporting excellence.

They use competitive schools sport to energise the entire school culture.

They demonstrate that high school fees and large playing fields are not a pre-requisite to success.

– Sir Michael Wilshaw

Majority of Rugby Union players 'went to private school'

The majority of professional players in the English Rugby Union Premiership went to a fee paying school, according to an Ofsted report into sport in UK schools.

The watchdog also found:

  • More than a third of top cricket players were privately educated.
  • In many state schools, the quality of competitive sport was no better than average, while in a significant number it was weak, inspectors warned.
  • Half of the 1,000 students quizzed by Ofsted said they regularly played sport in school against their classmates or rival schools.
  • Another 40% said they regularly played sport outside of school.
  • The report found that the best schools' competitive sport was flourishing because it was valued and seen as a key part of the culture and ethos.
  • Coaches were hired to work alongside teachers and coach school teams, while teachers gave up their time to help organise activities and run teams.
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