The age of inequality

March 20, 1998

I went to Oxford through the entrance examination and have since held academic posts both in Oxbridge and elsewhere. I was from a poor background, went to a comprehensive school and no member of my family had ever been to university. I have no interest in maintaining social exclusion, but my worry is that Ms Eagle is reinforcing the class images that she aims to deny.

People from comprehensives are wanted by Oxbridge. Target schools schemes aim to bring in more applicants. But people often fail to apply because the media repeats an out-of-date image. The problem lies in long-held social anxieties in Britain. The best way to escape class is not to fight the class war. If only it were that easy.

Dominic Janes

London SE4

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