Advert for a second-rate English colonial education posing as ‘news’

The colonial mindset of fee-paying schools in Scotland is revealed by their choice of the English A-Level curriculum over the Scottish Higher curriculum, in an effort to gain advantage in entry to Oxbridge and from there into membership of UK elites.

In the Herald today, this ‘top school’ and ‘one of Scotland’s most renowned independent schools’, turns out to be Clifton Hall in Edinburgh:

cliftonhall-wide - Clifton Hall School Clifton Hall School

It looks oh-so ‘top’ but is it?

Well it’s not even a ‘top’ independent school. If you want your progeny to get the A grades they need to get into the ‘best’ universities, it doesn’t make the grade:

It’ll be better than those scruffy comprehensives in the state sector though? Nope.

The highest scoring state schools do better than any private school. Five Highers are far better than a couple of scraped A levels.

Here are the ‘top’ Scottish schools:

Footnote: I don’t subscribe to the idea of ‘top’ schools in this sense at all, of course.

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9 thoughts on “Advert for a second-rate English colonial education posing as ‘news’

    1. Unfortunately they are not necessarily educated. They are likely coached and rehearsed to pass an exam.
      Do we desire educated children or “badged” children.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The public school system was based on the Romans’ ideas and designed to produce civil servants to run the empire.
        Now that the empire has gone,it is simply a means by which the elite remain elite,not through academic achievement but through the old boys system that guarantees success in future employment.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. ‘A’ levels limit choice. Scotland broader education system. 3 ‘A’ Levels restrict choice. 5 higher equivalent course. Gives a better variety and choice of subjects. A broader, diverse education system. Fees elsewhere £9000. Student loans a burden.

    Oxbridge funded 22 to 1 of all other universities. Privileged education system. Based on ability to pay. Not ability to learn. The graduates go on to destroy the world. Cameron etc 1st class degree. To destroy the economy and the world. Unequal and unfair.

    Private education sector pays less tax. Tax evasion. Charitable status. A subsidy. William and Kate. Eton £33,000+ a year. Exempt from Gordonstoun. To subsidised Scottish education place. Branson tax evasion. Child subsidised place st Scottish medical school. Does not practise.

    Scotland has the best education system in the world by far. It could be even better without Westminster colossal interference. .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Most Parents will,if they can afford it, put money into giving their children the best start they can. It could be a Private school. It could also be a tutor for one subject.

    A child taken on holiday to Europe will have an advantage of kids who never leave the scheme. A child in the habit of going to good quality restaurants and hotels will have a social advantage over others.

    You cannot change the desire of parents/grandparents etc.

    The issue is the use of the “school name”, the connections, etc.

    Prince Charles attend Gordonstoun School, gets one O level and continues with mediocre attainment but still rises quickly through the Royal Navy ranks. A kid from the scheme wouldn’t get into the Forces with the level of passes presented to Charles by sycophantic teachers.

    Which School did you go to could impact an application to the Shipyards in Scotland for decades. (Did you have a blue jacket or a green jacket)

    Go for an interview in London and a Scottish or Geordie accent will still be a disadvantage.

    The key point of this article should be the tax status of these schools. They should have zero support or relief. Every penny should be directed to the schools that need it to level the field.

    You want to give advantage to your kids, fine but pay the full cost.
    No charitable status, no loopholes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If i had the power, notice would be served that as of 3 yrs from now Private education in Scotland will end.
    I attended a old fashioned Catholic state gramma school and in my ‘O ‘ level year at age 15 the comprehensive system was
    However for tutoring of English we had Fri.a double period after the compulsory R.E. period
    My teacher although English himself was a very fine human indeed and with hindsight i say thank you to the fine chap
    But as i used to deliver milk from 0500 hrs to 0800 hrs, then catch the school bus and as my dble. Period of English was from 1000-1200 hrs.invariably i used to fall asleep during the lessons and given it was in a class of 56 number seated in the top left corner of the classroom
    I was in a way hidden from my teachers clear line of view
    But one day early in my ‘O’ level term
    The teacher awoke me from what i considered to be a well earned nap to recover from my sterling efforts each morning delivering the good Burghers of my Home their milk upon the doorsteps
    He asked me why i always appeared to be falling asleep,replied with the truth
    But added that he appeared to LET me away with it
    Quite rightly he replied you are not here to sleep but to be educated
    To which i countered Sir would you care to inform me as to what such a word as educated actually means
    Reply Blah Blah Blah
    Well Sir may I inform you that such word
    Has it origins in Ancient Greek and means “To Free the Mind ”
    So may i put it to you that indeed i am not being educated but in fact having my mind trapped
    He then in a eloquent manner proceeded to tell me
    That i was being taught English etc.along with Shakespeare etc.
    But then he unbeknown to him committed a fatal error when he mentioned The Magna Carta .
    To which I countered Sir could you please inform me if you have read The Declaration of Arbroath.
    No came his reply what is it
    I said Sir please take the trouble to search it out and read it and as a matter of urgency and importance
    Well let’s cut to few days later and upon
    Opening his lesson for the day He called me out front
    Shook my hand and stated indeed I am trapping your mind,go back to your desk
    Rest your head all so that you can continue to partake of the Public Library services and continue to EDUCATE yourself properly
    And all that demonstrates indeed he was a very fine fellow indeed
    PS With regards my ‘O’ Level English
    Somehow I not only passed but then went on to gain a Higher the next year

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “The colonial mindset of fee-paying schools in Scotland is revealed by their choice of the English A-Level curriculum over the Scottish Higher curriculum, ..”

    That may be the case but the practice of following an English curriculum may be less widespread than one might assume. And specifically, it’s a criticism that can’t be levelled at Clifton Hall – and just to be clear, I respond here on the grounds of fairness/accuracy and NOT in any way, shape or form as a supporter of private education!!!

    From the Clifton Hall website: “The Senior School: … We want our pupils to achieve a broad range of qualifications so we follow the Scottish Curricular Guidelines, offering subject provision in English, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Modern Studies and IT as well as nurturing the skills required for Art, Music and Physical Education. ….

    “In all of these areas we prepare our pupils for SQA National Assessments at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Levels.”

    For further perspective, this is from the website of The Edinburgh Academy: “Our Senior Years are geared towards studying for SQA Highers and Advanced Highers and our results in these examinations are amongst the best in the country. The School also offers the Scottish Baccalaureate to students in the 6ths (S5) and 7ths (S6).” And from the High School of Dundee’s website: “The School follows the Scottish examination system.” These two schools are at the top of the fee-paying school league table included in the blog post.

    Perhaps change is afoot but reforms beyond curricular ones are needed too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a scholarship kid who went to the High School of Dundee. I had the option of A levels, though I chose highers and got five, but never managed to get past ‘o’ grade maths or physics. 🙂

    I do know a bit about educational theory and practice though, as my professional training was focused on critical approaches to de-colonising culture. 😉

    Social Justice and Equity in the UK Education System


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