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Plenty of 'posh' amid the Oxford spires

If you are a resident of Oxford, the "posh" profile does not seem as "imaginary" as Libby Purves claims (TES, August 10). From the time the streets are blocked in October with mummy and daddy unloading the Volvo, through to the champagne-spraying groups of June, the young rich seem to be often in evidence.

The founder of Balliol College, Dervorguilla, foresaw the danger when she specified in her charter in 1282: "And that better provision be made for the support of the poor, for whose profit we purpose to labour, we will that the richer in the society of our scholars study to live so temperately that the poor be in no wise burdened on account of heavy expenses."

If only. If her statutes were the rule throughout the university, then the aims of the Sutton Trust might be more easily met.

Joan Clanchy

Retired headteacher, Oxford

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