Shrug those chips off shoulders

28th April 2000 at 01:00
THE CASE of the former student from a disadvantaged background who wished to be a university lecturer ("What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?" TES, April 14) bears many similarities to my own.

I was in council care, followed by a foster home. I was also educated at the local comp and FE college and achieved four A-grade A-levels. I did not apply to Oxbridge out of inverse snobbery.

Having gone through a red-brick university, achieving a first-class honours in chemistry and later a PhD, I am now a lecturer at Manchester University. I have never experienced animosity from colleagues and neithe was my background a hindrance to obtaining my position.

The article suggests that people learn to hate those who are public-school educated after having met them. I believe we learn to hate these people before we meet them. I was forced to reassess my own prejudices when I did meet them. The enormous chips we carry on our shoulders are a big hindrance to those of us from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.

This article perpetuates the reasons for these chips and only further disadvantages the already disadvantaged.

Anthony Cook

Flat 2, 8 Wolseley Place, Withington,


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