Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Full circle

So the politicians think that there aren’t enough working class youngsters going to medical school. Whose fault is that? 80 years ago you could only contemplate a university education if your parents were well off. The lower classes were kept firmly in their place by this denial of access to the professions. 

Then in the 50s to the 70s there was a window of opportunity. With Grammar schools, free university education, and student grants the playing fields were leveled and the universities started to fill with the son & daughters of the masses. My own year at medical school was a strong illustration of this. 

The first nail in the coffin was the abolition of the Grammar schools, which had provided a state school education that was the equal of the public schools. Since then, in their political quest for egalitarianism, British state schools have sunk to a state of uniform mediocrity.  Add in tuition fees and student loans and we have come back full circle.

DZ was born into a working class family. There is no way today I think I would ever have got to med school.


  1. Taking away Grammar School has to be the worst crime of all times. We had four Grammar Schools in HK and they were a match of any private school. Most years, medical school admission would be nearly 60% from Grammar Schools.

  2. medicine how to31 May 2012 at 12:33

    'DZ was born into a working class family. There is no way today I think I would ever have got to med school.'

    Scholarship or unis in other countries; my relative (with family well established in own country) went to study medicine to... Ukraine because she was working-class-not-enough while her father was in the gov structures. Of course her father was in the party. She failed thanks to points given for 'ancestry' in her own country, yeah, sick. So much for equal opportunities (ancient story, just as yours). When there's a will, there's a way.

  3. SFD...

    Also the product of a working class family here. Managed to get assisted place to public school from state primary school. Then full grant through med school (until final 2 years when subsistence grants were frozen and loans were just creeping in).

    Being now middle class (albeit a single parent) has meant I can send dyslexic son to specialist private school. V. bright teenaged daughter has been lucky enough to be bright enough to get scholarship to local private school too (to help make their exam results look better!) - but no way I could've afforded this on an average wage. Only my elevation into the lower middle classes allows this.

  4. Well for each person educational grants are very helpful. Recently some of the universities offers the grant for Online Affiliate Marketing and this is cost-efficient way to assist people.