This House Would Send Its Children To Private School

Before wading carelessly into a subject that is as awkward as it is divisively controversial, I’d like to make something quite clear: on a purely theoretical and philosophical level, I believe the principle of private education to be completely wrong. Knowledge is a human fundamental, like health, which should not be sold as a commodity, where he who pays highest gets the best product. Don’t worry; I’ve not forgotten on which side of the argument I stand, but it’s worth acknowledging that it’s a difficult question when we, as (predominantly) young, unmarried undergraduates, neither have children nor have any particularly immediate plans to have them.

However, were I to have children, I sincerely hope that I would have the strength to put people before principles. It is a simple and sad fact that class sizes in private schools are, on average, much smaller than those in state schools. Whilst there is, on average, one teacher for every 22 pupils in the state sector, this figure falls to one teacher for every 9 pupils in the private sector. Larger class sizes mean that teachers are not able to offer the same consistently high levels of care to every single child – there is simply no way it’s possible. Continue reading

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Review: Welcome Break

There’s something really comforting about seeing two people who you know are highly likely to be funny get up on stage to be funny – it’s like moulding into your favourite armchair, and even before the show properly started the audience were primed to find everything and anything hilarious. It is obvious, then, that the reputations of Ben Pope and Alex McKeith precede them, and rightly so. Continue reading

Joke’s Over at the OUSU

For those of us on twitter, #LJTrup4OUSU4Change may not have been a trend at the forefront of our tweeting experience over the past few weeks. Louis Trup, a third year student at Brasenose College, Oxford, has baffled many by winning the OUSU Presidential Elections last week – his manifesto, written on lined paper in coloured crayon, was headlined by the aforementioned hashtag, and proposed the abolition of 5th week (a pledge over which many of our students might dribble), double beds for all, world peace, and a monorail to enable faster transit to some of the more out-of-town colleges, among others. Continue reading

Review: Gender The Elephant

Whatever else may be said about this production of Bethan Kitchen’s new play Gender the Elephant, the performance given by India Semper-Hughes must be lauded as unavoidably, undeniably, and utterly brilliant.

She manages to completely capture the audience, and cultivate the stage to her own devices for the full hour of the play’s duration – there is never a moment when you tire of seeing one actor on stage, or bore of her monologues, dialogues, addresses, dances, and myriad other interactions with the viewer. Continue reading

The ‘JENƏRƏL SINƏD’ & Why it Matters

‘General’ –|jenərəl| adj. affecting or concerning all or most people, places, or things; widespread.

‘Synod’ – |sinəd| n. an assembly of the clergy and sometimes also the laity in a diocese or other division of a particular church.

The General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body of the Church of England –they meet to determine the laws of the Church of England. The General Synod meets three times a year, in London and in York, and is made up of various ‘houses’ – the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity.

So why has the General Synod come into the forefront of the national news recently? They convened for the third time in 2012 in London this November, and the most prominent motion up for debate was perhaps one of the most controversial in its history – the motion for the appointment of women bishops in the Church of England. We talked to Reverend Juliette Hulme, our school chaplain, about the outcome of the vote and what her thoughts on the matter are. Continue reading