Even in the middle of an international sporting festival, where nothing but raw talent should count, you can't get away from the British class system.Because, obviously, those who went to fee-paying schools must not have any of that ‘raw talent’. They must have got where they are through privilege alone…
The preferred explanation for the over-representation of fee-charging schools among elite sports players is the same as that advanced for the dominance of such schools in Westminster politics, Whitehall, the judiciary, medicine, senior media positions and so on. State school teachers are in thrall to egalitarian ideology and therefore discourage talented children from aspiring to the top, whether in sport, academic work or career ambition. All would be well if we could bring state schools up to private school standards.Well, there’s certainly a fair bit of that about, it can’t be denied. And if we could get rid of the ‘all must have prizes’ nonsense it’d help, but it still wouldn’t be enough.
You see, for a start, there’s that sell-off of playing fields, as even Wilby has to admit to:
We can attribute some of the declining success of state school alumni to the sale of playing fields and to teachers' greater reluctance to supervise out-of-hours sport, partly because of changes in their contracts, partly because of increased pressure to meet academic targets.Odd. Is he saying that teachers at fee-paying schools don’t feel any of that pressure?
Even pop music is now, according to one recent analysis of the Top 40, dominated by the products of private education.Umm…
We should be thankful that football, for all its faults, still gives children from less affluent homes a chance of success.Yes, they can seek to emulate these sterling examples of the noble sport, can’t they?
Wilby isn't the only one peddling this nonsense, as MacHeath points out.