School days are the best of your life preaches every parent, everywhere. But, such wisdom is not valuable until you walk out of the school gate for the very last time and shed a tear for your youthful mathematical days.
I had a wonderful education. I attended public school. I had the same set of friends throughout. Not until university did I mix with those who had been privately educated. They did not look, behave or hold a distinctively different capability from public alumni - even although some would like you to believe they held an essence of Harry Potter's Hermoine.
As the country takes its future stride with our Eton educated Prime Minister at the helm, I listen and read with discontent (yet triumph knowing there is statistical numbers backing my forthcoming point) of the education attached stigma that children face due to their families social standing. My take on the subject propelled after reading the Telegraph article titled 'Our Etonian PM holds the key to a fair society.' To quote the newspaper: "when low ability children from wealthy families do better than high-ability children from poor families, something is badly wrong." IT IS.
Immediately my back was against the wall. Is there doubt that a high-ability child from a poorer family cannot be more intelligent than one from higher social standing? Will they be less likely to succeed later in life because they did not sport a cap and gown as school uniform? Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar are examples of self-made entrepreneurs who did not receive a paid education and they haven't done too shabby for themselves.
At the ripe age of 28, I have came across many high-ranking business men, teachers and creatives who were publicly educated. They applied themselves to achieve their careers. Having family inheritance waiting for you must be a weight off your shoulders when finishing high school or graduating university, but does it qualify society to downgrade the children who slog hard if not harder throughout their schooling days to achieve an equal or higher paid job?
Further figures derived from The Telegraph article enhance my public schooling pom-poms: "in the population as a whole, just 7 per cent go to private school." London alone assists this current low figure of privately educated children. This is a stark difference from a decade ago when the nation's capital was ranked as having some of the worst state schools in the country. With shared educational efforts now they are among some of the best. So much so, I have a friend whose child has not yet been confirmed with a place at their local London public school this coming September due to its stellar reputation and high demand. (Whether children in London attend a public or private school the city's free cultural and creative amenities are on offer to all in order to nurture their educational minds.)
If you have oodles of dosh to send your child to one of the top fee paying schools in the country then it's your right do so; I'm not saying otherwise. I am however acknowledging that rather than categorizing society's children into public v private, should we not break those boundaries and install our children to strive for personal achievement and growth while learning how to count and spell? Finding your way in life can be hard enough so let's not add further pressure in defining children by their school status. I have turned out okay after receiving a public education so there is hope for the rest of you.