A school magazine with a difference;Diary

19th March 1999 at 00:00
THE Diary loves to keep in touch with the lives of the rich and successful, not to mention minor Greek royals and footballers, and is naturally a regular reader of Hello! magazine.

Always a delightful read, last week's edition came with an added treat. Tucked behind a feature on Maria Aitken's lovely relationship with her actor son Jack Davenport, of This Life fame (and avoiding, naturally, any embarrassing reference to brother Jonathan, at present inconvenienced) was an advertisement for Queen Ethelburga's College in York.

Queen Ethelburga's, the boarding school for nice gels (bring your own horse, free stabling provided), is a trailblazer among private schools, naturally.

It previously advertised on Classic FM and, last year, on Channel 4 (the Diary missed that one, but assumes it didn't go out during Eurotrash), which prompted the Daily Telegraph to sniff that the comfy facilities (TV in every bedroom) didn't seem very character-forming.

Queen Ethelburga's is in classy company. Last week's Hello! also features definitely-not-gay footballer Graham Le Saux and his pretty wife Mariana showing off their lovely home and baby, Michael Barrymore's ex-wife's new love, and Mary from EastEnders helping poor people in Tanzania, bless her.

The Diary gathers the going rate for a full-page colour display advertisement (other advertisers: Harrods, Yves Saint Laurent and, er, Knorr stock cubes) starts at pound;9,000. Two enrolments at Queen E's should see a profit.

Fees last year were a maximum pound;7,800 for day pupils and pound;12,000 for boarders but the ad suggests the school offers scholarships and bursaries to just about everyone.

Such a hard sell for a school which reckons its roll has risen 70 per cent in seven years and can invest pound;15 million in new facilities.

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