Iâ€™ve been reading some of the very interesting posts here at the Independents forum lately and there were many a time when I was tempted to make a reply. But very soon I kind of lost my way as to where to make a start because of the flurry of postings.
Perhaps, I thought, the best way is to start a completely new thread.
Somehow it saddens me to think there are still a lot of people out there who still find themselves entrapped in a time capsule as far as Eton goes. Donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m not pro independent or pro Eton or pro anything. To me, a good school is a good school, is a good school. Full stop! You can stick any label on it whichever way you like. Iâ€™ve got kids who go(went) to both types, independent and state. And Iâ€™m perfectly happy with both the schools that my kids attend(ed) because both met with my fundamental requirement, i.e. a good education.
The old stereotype who thinks Eton is a school only for the rich and powerful, the titled and the aristocrats, the white â€˜bratsâ€™ from the castles, etc. are, Iâ€™m afraid, still living in the Victorian Age. Let me say, for many years now, there is no guarantee of a place in Eton no matter what your family background is or how wealthy you are or however long (since birth) you have registered your name. The modern Eton requires one to go through a stringent process of suitability test which includes an examination of one kind or other plus interviews.
Whilst it is true to say there are some (boy) â€˜Lordsâ€™ in Eton today (yes, Tipsy, they are officially addressed as such, Lord So & So) these wonderful boys donâ€™t see themselves any more different from (say) the next boy whose family lives in an Inner London housing estate. Neither would a boy whose dad owns some islands in the Medditeranean look down on a boy whose dad only drives a Nissan Micra. They are as competitive as they come, both academically and in the playing fields.
While the school is an ancient Christian school from the Middle Ages, proud to maintain its very many traditions, Eton has also moved on with the times:
â€¢ Two years ago Eton appointed its first woman Housmaster - breaking with its 5Â¾ centuries of tradition - and a â€˜Master-in-Collegeâ€™ at that! [Housemaster of Kingâ€™s Scholars].
â€¢ The school has its own priest, immam, guru, rabbi etc. to tutor its rich mix of boys from the different religious groups that make up the modern world.
â€¢ Although a boys school, Eton boys are regularly ferried to nearby independent girls schools for weekend socials, etc. Girls schools reciprocate by coming to Eton to take on female parts in plays, dramas, etc.
â€¢ More and more female teachers, both permanent and part-time, are employed by the school to teach in the classes as well as in the music rooms.
It seems to me this â€˜worldâ€™s greatest schoolâ€™ is hoping to take things even further by planning to open its doors to all within a decade. A new dawn is in the making - exciting times ahead!
Eton â€˜will be open to allâ€™ within 10 years
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 258222.ece