Pupil privilege

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John Edward’s reply (23 October) to my letter of 22 October is instructive. He ignores my core argument – that most independent, fee-paying schools provide favoured access to positions of power for a privileged minority and are an obstacle to a socially just society – and devotes most of his letter to statistics in a bid to justify their charitable status.

My suggestion that ­charitable status be removed was, as I indicated, merely a start to the process of their abolition and was made as much on semantic as financial grounds, since it is difficult to see how most fit the dictionary definition of “an organisation for helping those in need”.

How about figures for the disparity between private and public education in terms of percentages of pupils achieving positions of wealth and privilege? Isn’t that a major part of what the independent sector prides itself on offering to those with the financial wherewithal?

Colin Weatherley


East Lothian