Well done, Fiona, for your principled stance on ensuring that poor children, no matter how bright or hardworking, don't get to go to the sort of schools that 'we' send 'our' children to.
It's inspirational to see how brilliant upper-class, privately educated 'activists' like Tony Crosland and Shirley Williams persuaded the party of the working class to scrap the system which enabled poor but intelligent kids to get a decent education. You, our privately educated Prime Minister, our last privately educated education secretary Ruth Kelly, the privately educated education secretary before that Charles Clarke, and the leader of the Opposition (and former shadow education secretary), the privately educated David Cameron, present a front of steel against those uppity kids who just happen to be bright - even though their parents may be absolute nobodies who'd never get into the Groucho Club. I applaud you.
And it's working superbly - look at this BBC report.
"The proportion of UK university students from state schools has fallen, the latest official figures show. The percentage of young entrants to full-time first degree courses in 2003 who had attended state schools was 86.8%, down from 87.2% the year before."
There is one area of the UK where some of those working class kids sneak through, and take the places reserved for 'our sort'.
"Universities and colleges in Northern Ireland had the highest rates."
Thank heavens for your colleagues Jane Kennedy and Martin McGuinness (who in his previous role taught lessons to many people), who next year will abolish the 11-plus, and reduce still further the threat of provincial grammar-school types clogging up Carfax with their Argos bicycles in future !
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