Private school abuse like ‘anti-semitism’ says head after Oxbridge places fall

Criticism of private schools is like antisemitic abuse, a leading head teacher has said, after a drop in the number of non-state Oxbridge admissions.

Anthony Wallersteiner, who is the head of posh Stowe School, made his comments after revealing parents were worried about "social engineering".

Dr Wallersteiner said access and participation plans had been successful in reducing the number of Oxford and Cambridge places given to private school pupils.

He claimed that many parents are now making arguments about social engineering and positive discrimination.

The private school head reportedly said there is a "concerted effort" by admissions tutors to drive down the number of places awarded to independent schools.

The teacher, who is of Jewish descent, also likened criticism of elites and private schools to anti-semitism.

He told The Times the rise of populists had created a "micro-industry" in criticising private schools.

"Some of the criticisms echo the conspiratorial language of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," he said.

"It was relatively easy for Hitler and his henchmen to suggest that the Jewish minority was over-represented in key professions: medicine, law, teaching and the creative industries.

“Privately educated pupils in the UK are also being accused of dominating the top jobs and stifling social mobility . . . it is all too facile to stereotype groups and ignore the fact that lawyers, doctors, writers and politicians are individuals.”

Universities consider applicants' ethnicity, gender, family background and type of school.

In 2017, 64.1 per cent of Brit pupils accepted into Cambridge were from state schools, an increase on 61.4 per cent in 2013.

At Oxford, 56.8 per cent were from state schools in 2013 compared to 58.2 per cent four years later.

A Cambridge University spokesman told The Times that the university was “committed to playing its part in facilitating social mobility”.

An Oxford University spokeswoman told the paper: “We are committed to broadening participation in higher education and building an inclusive, vibrant Oxford.

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