Why we should take a gamble on social mobility

As more and more parents game school admissions, Lee Elliot Major argues that a lottery system would be fairer – creating more balanced intakes and giving disadvantaged pupils a second chance in life

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When, in 2015, Times columnist Giles Coren’s daughter Kitty failed to get into the local primary 200 yards away from where he had lived for 20 years, Coren accused his neighbours of being “liars, cheats and hypocrites”.

Sharp-elbowed parents had exploited a loophole in the admissions rules by renting a place nearer the Ofsted “outstanding” school, pretending this was their permanent home. “You are doing poor kids out of school places and homes,” Giles Coren wrote in a column entitled: “Thanks for nothing, you middle-class scum”. “You are making local schools selective on income by the back ...

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