In defence of Eton

Head of Eton College, Tony Little writes in the Guardian, 05/10/12 that he is proud that it offers an education to which all young people should have a right. 

Some will point the finger and say a school like Eton is an ivory tower, a mythical place on the margins of society, a repository of social stereotypes with uniform views, as relevant to "real life" as life on Mars. If any of that were true of Eton, it is 50 years out of date. Like the best of schools, Eton celebrates difference: different characters and skills, different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds. As one 17-year-old put it: "However different you may feel, you will find another boy here who shares your difference." Whatever may be said about Eton, it is not a school for clones.

Neither is it a cosy brotherhood living in cloistered seclusion. Whether running a joint debating group or volunteering to be an academic mentor in a neighbouring school or in a host of other ways, boys are part of the world around them. Programmes of speakers organised by boys and shared with local schools encourage a healthily sceptical, alert awareness of a wide range of contemporary issues. The Eton I live and work in is a busy, lively, challenging, stimulating place.

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