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Private schools & politics: London 2021

Private Education Policy Forum (PEPF) hosted a high-profile panel debate to discuss the relationship between UK private schools and politics, on Tuesday 14 September 2021.

We have gathered a highlight of the best (and most intriguing) quotes from the evening here:

Taking place at National Education Union headquarters, Hamilton House in London, the line-up was as follows…


James Tooley – Low-cost private education specialist and professor of educational entrepreneurship and of education policy and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Buckingham

Lord Ralph Lucas – Conservative peer, vice-chair of the APPG for Independent Education and owner/publisher of The Good Schools Guide

Ash Sarkar – Activist, academic and journalist (senior editor at Novara Media)

Robert Verkaik – Journalist and author of Posh Boys: How Public Schools Ruin Britain


Fiona Millar – Guardian journalist and education campaigner

During the debate, the panel discussed questions including…

– Is the path to power from private schools to Westminster overstated? Or evidenced?

– Do private schools offer justifiable or unjustifiable advantages towards accessing power?

– What aspects of private schools help produce high numbers of politicians? And could they be applied to the state system?

– What are the implications of the number of UK politicians who are privately educated on social policy?

– What policy reform options, if any, should be considered to address any perceived unfairness?

The evening also featured a Q&A section with the audience and live stream to those watching from home.


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