Melvyn Roffe

Don’t pit independents and state schools against each other

Critics bemoan the divide between mainstream and private education, but by lambasting independent schools as the cause of the problem, politicians overlook the role the sector could play in bridging the gap and raising standards for everyone, argues headteacher Melvyn Roffe

Bridging the gap

Apparently, too many Etonians become actors, or is it that there are too many Harrovians in the music industry? There are certainly too many Olympic rowers, cyclists, yachtspeople (the “sitting-down sports”, in other words) who come from “posh schools”. And that, it seems, is our fault.

I do wonder how many aspiring state-school educated cyclists were pushed off their bikes by the overindulged products of independent schools on their way to the Olympic finals. Or could it be instead that the historic underfunding of elite sport in the UK (only quite recently rectified thanks to the National ...

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