No playing fields of Eton for Arthur Cameron

12 November 2012

The Prime Minister chose his words carefully earlier today when asked if he would be sending his children to private school. Sky News’ eagle-eyed Sophy Ridge reports that Cameron was cross-examined by a pesky school kid at a ‘Cameron Direct’ meeting this morning at the John Cabot Academy in Bristol. Cameron told his inquisitor that he ‘would like’ his children ‘to go to state school’, which is nearly the same thing as saying that they will do.

The Prime Minister pointed out that his two children of school age – Nancy, 8, and Arthur, 6, attend state primary schools, which implies that they will continue to do so at secondary level. Only he didn’t quite say that because what he actually said was: ‘That is my intention.’

Dave is second generation old Etonian. You might have expected him to want his son to benefit from the same level of education, the same head start in life, which propelled Camerons past to the very top. As such, you might think that Arthur would have been registered at his father and late grandfather’s alma mater. Yet it seems that the prime minister is trying to realise his professed intentions: Downing Street sources have confirmed that Arthur is not registered at Eton. Therefore we can assume that the little tyke is headed for the local comp at the start of 2017/2018 academic year. The Camerons, of course, may not be in Downing Street by that stage.

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  • Eddie

    Worth remembering that many who send their kids to local state schools are very careful to choose the best ones (the grammars or de facto grammars – ie the comps in leafy areas like the one Milly went to) – plus, their kids usually have tutors to teach them at home in the evenings. I know, because I used to be one – and taught the son of some Labour party bigwigs.
    But hey, let;s not look at politicians – let’s look at people in the media and the BBC, usually leftwing and pc, and see where they went to school and where they send their kids. So let’s see, Louis Theroux (son of millionaire American writer who went to Westminster with Adam and Joe Cornish), Peter Bazalgette (private), and on and on: most producers in the insecure high-risk world of TV went to private school and/or have a rich family to back them up.

    I am friendly with the daughter of a vicar (no sniggering at the back please) who went to one of the roughest and blackest schools in East London where her daddy was a trendy vicar.

    I knew that both her dad and she saw this as some sort of social experiment – joining in with local poor people and all the vibrant and diverse local people – while her REAL education of the academic variety took place at home from her father and tutors.

    Of course, when she applied to Oxford (where her trendy vicar dad went) she could trumpet her comprehensive credentials (this is why many private school pupils go to state 6th form colleges!). But really, she was massively privileged in every way!
    Life isn’t fair, of course – but perhaps it’s less fair now that white men from working class and lower middle class background are being discriminated against opening in the name of equality, which means more privileged sons and daughetrs of the rich whether state of privately educated will get all the breaks.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Perhaps someone snooping on the state school database can tell us whether young Arthur would be able to pass Common Entrance. The very fact that he isn’t at say Cheam puts him at a disadvantage. Les Ebdon will in any event ensure he doesn’t get to read PPE at Oxford. Perhaps that’s a silver lining…

    • Niamhmunro

      He would have to pass the aptitude test/interview which they take at 10 or 11 to be able to take Common Entrance.

  • Fact checker

    You no longer have to register for Eton at birth, by the age of 10 is fine. Arthur is only six and the next election is only 2.5 years away. I don’t think we should rule out another generation of Cameron Etonians just yet.

  • Aaron D Highside

    Ed Balls, Harriet Harman, Diane Abbott, Tony Blair, etc., etc. Private education is for anyone who puts education at the top of their own personal list of priorities. If they can afford to give their children a better start, it saves the taxpayer having to pick up the bill.

  • William Blakes Ghost

    Sky News’ eagle-eyed Sophy Ridge reports

    Such a description of the very poor Ridge takes gratuitous sycophancy into the realms of parody. She generally breaths life into the hackneyed stereotype of ‘the blonde’. She might have more fun as well.

    What it does demonstrate about Sky (other than their total inability to get capable news editors, political analysts and news anchors) is their obsessive pursuit of mundane trivia and their inability to report any news of substance about the UK. It is the television news equivalent of the Daily Mirror. Given the fact, I cannot bear the liberal coolade served up by the BBC as well it leaves the choice of credible news channels severely limited…..

    Now to the substance of the story, As if Dave would admit he was sending his kids to Eton given the febrile atmosphere of class bigotry, hatred and witch-hunts (mainly instigated by the left) swirling around Westminster, Whitehall and Fleet Street. Imagine the potential abuse ands consequent damage that could rain down on his kids at school if it became public knowledge that he did intend to send them to public schools (let alone Eton)?

    Furthermore, as if a Headmaster of Eton would refuse entrance to the child of a sitting/former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at relatively short notice (particularly one whose father is an old boy) because they were not on ‘the list’. Such a teacher wouldn’t get a Head’s job in a sink estate comp after such a blunder. In such circumstances such revelations about Dave’s plans for his kids mean nothing and understandably so.

    Dave maybe as good as his word but there is nothing there that convinces me one way or another about what his real intentions for his kids are and frankly it is none of mine, yours or anyone else’s business and it’s a disgrace that a news organisation thought it pertinent to drag children (whether they are the PM’s or not) into the foullest type of political gambit (one based on mindless bigotry)!.

  • slickmick

    By all means send your children to state schools, Prime Minister. What a shame that there will be no new grammar schools for them to benefit from.

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