The large number of private school pupils entering top universities is not necessarily a sign of social immobility

In a letter to the Guardian, 26/03/13, Patrick Derham, Headmaster of Rugby School responds to recent reports that universities are discriminating in favour of independent school students.

The large number of private school pupils entering top universities is not necessarily a sign of social immobility (Top universities face accusations of discrimination, 26 March). Here at Rugby school, fully funded bursary places provided by our decade-old access scheme – the Arnold Foundation – have helped send many students from deprived backgrounds to leading academic institutions. Partnerships with inner-city charities IntoUniversity and Eastside Young Leaders Academy have enabled us to widen opportunities among ethnic minorities, especially in the African-Caribbean community. Instead of regarding private schools as clearing houses for privileged children, researchers such as Dr Boliver of Durham university, which conducted the research reported in the Guardian, should embrace the independent sector as a potential partner in the fight to increase aspiration.

Patrick Derham
Headmaster, Rugby school

Click here to read the letter © Guardian News & Media Ltd.