Tomorrow, The Times will lead with a story by a fee-paying school headteacher highlighting the "woe over the rise of state pupils at Oxbridge". The story also links criticism of private schools and the elite to ... antisemitic abuse.

I believe it. Almost a third of the year applied to Oxbridge, I think seven accepted places, and at least two turned down offers (to got to LSE for Economics and UEA for History, both applied just to know if they had what it takes).

The state college I had been to had either one or no students go on to Oxbridge that year; it was highly rated, in a wealthy town, and my small circle had a number of extremely capable students.

A friend is a primary teacher in the middle of bumfuck nowhere in the borders. She simply hasn't got the time to challenge her most capable students, as the semi-literate kids have to be dragged up to a baseline in tests or her job's in jeopardy. She says she just lets the most motivated kids read whatever they have with them a lot of the time. You can't expect many in that environment to achieve their full potential.

I just remembered an open day at Edinburgh, kinda makes me sick now. When the chap heard I was predicted three As by my college, he offered me an unconditional place if I agreed not to apply elsewhere. I'm nothing special academically - I scraped into my grades and my only extracurriculars were part time jobs as a potwash and cleaning an office lol - but I was offered places at all six of my applications.

When I spoke to my friends from the state college, people I rated far wittier, inquisitive, and studious, none of them had such an easy time applying. Several, including people who'd helped me and/or (quite rightly) laughed at my stupidity more than once, failed to make their grades despite, I don't doubt, giving it their all.

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