London ,

Letter to the Times about education inequality


Greg Hurst’s article, (“Higher fees fail to deter students from poor areas’’- 30th Jan) highlighted the impressive rise in university applications from poorer students. While this is encouraging, young people from deprived areas are still not competing on a level playing field. Students from fee-paying schools are twice as likely to attend Russell Group universities and five times as likely to attend Oxbridge. What’s needed to drive change is a greater involvement from businesses in state schools, so that young people can benefit from role models and regular mentoring. Charities such as Future First, which we support, are creating alumni networks in state schools to counter the advantage of ‘old boy’ networks that are so established in the UK’s most prestigious schools. Better educational opportunities for all young people is in everybody’s interest.

Mark Boleat, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation