We’ve got your social mobility right here

Nearly half of pupils from poorer backgrounds whose private school fees were paid by the last Tory government are now earning at least £90,000 a year.

More than 75,000 children took part in the Assisted Places Scheme, which ran for 17 years from 1980 before it was abolished by Labour.

A study revealed ‘virtually all’ have gone into well paid professional and managerial positions, including more than 40 per cent whose annual pay is £90,000 or more – nearly four times the national average salary of £24,000.

Escaping the soft bigotry of low expectations in the state sector seems to work then.

Ho hum.

15 comments on “We’ve got your social mobility right here

  1. I can see why Labour abolished those – every child boosted into prosperity is a Labour vote lost.

  2. I can only speak from experience. I was in a streamed junior school and the top stream were expected to pass 11+, the rest weren’t. So they didn’t make any effort except for the top stream. Needless to say, their predictions came true.

    Having failed my 11+ I was sent to a shitty secondary modern where they didn’t give a fuck either. In fact, most of the teachers seemed to resent being forced to teach the ‘dregs’ of society.

    I had the good fortune to have my parents move before the damage was irreparable, and luckily I was sent to a comprehensive in Bristol where the teachers *did* care.

  3. My rudimentary understanding of the ejmcation thing is that co-edding brings the underachievers up and the overachievers down. Same when you co-ed girls and boys, the girls do worse and the boys better, than they would in single-sex schooling.

    So you really do have a huge social question here, and one that has no simple answer when starting from liberal dogma, while the socialists and statists can give an easy answer based on their axioms.

  4. I.e., it’s possible to do “the best for the common good” depending on your definition of “common good”, but it isn’t possible to do the best for all individuals individually – you physically can’t put all the girls in single-sex schools and all the boys in mixed schools.

  5. As one of those 75,000 children, my income is currently under £10k a year. Guess I’m the bottom end of the scale.
    Would have done better at a state school – less travelling, lot less homework, more time to have fun.

  6. @Martin Davies
    Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    Had you gone to the Orchard Secondary Modern when I did, you’d almost never have had homework, and even then, the little that was given was rarely marked. It still makes me angry after 40+ years. :-|

  7. It’s not as much help as one may think though. Tis the old “graduate” problem. When small numbers are graduates, they get a huge premium. If you try sending everyone to university, the graduate premium collapses.

    I went to a private prep school and them impecuniosity meant I switcehd to State comprehensive. My sister, similarly. We’ve discussed quite often this experience, and both feel that the primary advantage of private schools is networking into the middle (i.e. modern upper) class rather than the edjumakashun per se. If that is the case, (or even if not, really), the premium is obviously dependent on the inequalitiness of society. It thus follows that while best of luck to those who get the boost into the elite, it’s not a generalisable policy, which is the whole problem with “social mobility”. It doesn’t solve the inequality issue. It just means some people are able to shift position within the pyramid. You’re not changing the number of people at each economic level.

    It’d also be interesting to see how many of these are in the private sector, and how many are in the State, Third or subsidised guild cartels (law, medicine) etc.

  8. One reason Labour abolished it, according to one of their MPs at the time, was that many of the pupils were the “wrong sort of poor” – the children of parsons, abandoned mothers, and so forth.

  9. What might be an idea would be to allow all children, rich or poor, to sit an exam, around 10-12, that would, if they passed, entitle them to go to a school designed to cater for their abilities. Although some rich bastards would try to manipulate the system by coaching their sprogs to pass the exam, poor kids would pass the exam and have opportunities opened up to them that the local secondary modern wouldn’t provide.

    Who knows, council house born and bred kids could even become multi-millionaire engineers with a PhD.

  10. @ dearieme

    “One reason Labour abolished it, according to one of their MPs at the time, was that many of the pupils were the “wrong sort of poor” – the children of parsons, abandoned mothers, and so forth.”

    The sort of poor the masons look after (although religion and politics are not discussed in a lodge).

  11. I ducked the first time I saw this because I might have been offensive.
    As previously stated, when I was young Manchester Grammar set more boys to Oxford than Eton did. The tripartite system provided kids with an education suitable (or intended to be suitable) to their abilities. I was lucky that I got an open scholarship to a Public School – a significant minority of the boys there got means-tested bursaries under something similar to the assisted places scheme. Eton snottily talked down to us, Harrow did not. My little sister’s reserve boyfriend (for nearly a decade they went out together when they didn’t have someone else) went to a Secondary Tech, became an apprentice, qualified, and later moved into a middle-class job (and married someone else). [She went to the local day school for young ladies and then to London and Columbia universities with a scholarship at each]
    I don’t know what happened to every one of those on means-tested bursaries but I do know that several went to Cambridge.

  12. @: Steve Crook
    When I was sub-11, my local state primary school had three streams and expected to get 49 out of 50 in the top stream and some in the middle stream into grammar school. You should blame your teachers rather than the system.

  13. “Having failed my 11+ I was sent to a shitty secondary modern where they didn’t give a fuck either. In fact, most of the teachers seemed to resent being forced to teach the ‘dregs’ of society.”

    Pretty much like most of the comprehensives today then.

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