State schools

Oxbridge needs a ’tilt back’ in favor of public schools, says Ben Kentish

May 14, 2022, 3:34 p.m.

Oxbridge needs a “rollback” to public schools, argues Ben Kentish.

Credit: LBC/Alamy

Ben Kentish argued Oxbridge needed to ‘step back’ in favor of state schools so it ‘no longer discriminates’ against children who haven’t had the ‘training’ and ‘education they need to go into these best universities”.

It comes as the Education Secretary said Britain should be ‘very proud’ of its private schools as he floated suggestions that elite universities should ’tilt the system’ to accept more public school students.

Nadhim Zahawi has pushed back against the idea that Oxford and Cambridge should accept more pupils from state schools and exclude ‘high performing’ children

Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope recently told private schools to accept they would take fewer students to Oxbridge in future, saying they would ‘welcome others’ instead than telling private school students “we don’t want you”. .

Ben Kentish, who is a former Cambridge graduate, said: “I think the system is already incredibly tilted. When you look at how overrepresented kids who went to private schools are in our top universities, I have really hard to see how you could say otherwise..

“So I think the system needs to be tilted. It needs to be reversed, so that it no longer discriminates against children who have gone to certain largely comprehensive public schools who have not received the training , maybe the education they need to go to those graduate schools.

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Ben continued: “I think Oxbridge is right that they will actively seek them out and actively give them opportunities that they don’t provide to children who have had a better upbringing, a more privileged upbringing.

“Some public schools do that, [and Oxbridge are] don’t discriminate against people who went to good public schools, and some would say that’s unfair.

“The difference for me is that admissions should be based on genuine merit – how smart, hardworking and capable you are, and that doesn’t necessarily correlate with money.

“So what Oxbridge is saying here is ‘if your parents were able to buy you a better education then it will work against you’.”

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