'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Who are these businesses and charities who could fund places at the top universities? Here's a list I've thought of....

After David Willett's various U turns today following his suggestion that the children of rich parents could buy their places at the top universities,(to 'aid social mobility' - ha ha ha ha ha) it seems that this issue has been firmly knocked on the head - not least by David Cameron, who said "There's no question of people being able to buy their way into university. University access is about ability to learn, not ability to pay."

So that's alright then, panic over

Except I'm not convinced it is all over.

Because we are still left with the notion that the government may allow 'businesses and charities' to fund places at these universities. And the idea of well meaning future employers and educational charities affording the less well off the chance to go to University seems to sit comfortably with many.

(Lets skip over the part where we wonder what's stopping these people going into university in the first place - as they would have had to get the grades anyway to qualify for admission, something else must be putting them off. Couldn't be the tuition fees could it? I'll move on...)

But I'm wondering just who are these benign businesses and charities, with a key interest in education? Well one list of educationally focussed businesses holding charitable status goes something like this...

1. Eton College
2. Harrow School
3. Winchester College

You can see where I'm going with this...

Aha you're thinking, don't worry Richard. Willetts has ruled this out, Indeed he said this afternoon when quizzed on it '"I have been absolutely clear that I have ruled that out".

Except he didn't. What he exactly said in The Commons, when asked if he would allow private schools to buy University places, was...

'It's absolutely not our intention'

Which is a slightly different thing, a tad equivocal, don't you think. And let's not forget, this is 'Two brains' Willetts we're talking about here. Hat tip to the excellent Paul Waugh for picking up on this

Let's keep on our toes everyone...

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