Ex-Harrow head warns the Left sees being middle-class as ‘obscene’

Ex-Harrow head warns that the Left sees being middle-class as ‘obscene’ and says anti-private school sentiment is fuelled by distaste for old Etonians

  • Former Harrow School headmaster says that being middle-class is now a ‘sin’
  • Barnaby Lenon hits out at those who judge parents for paying for education
  • He said an anti-private school sentiment was fuelled by a distaste of old Etonians

Former Harrow School headmaster Barnaby Lenon said Left-wing commentators were ‘virtue signallers’ who ‘took offence on purpose’ as an easy way to feel superior to others

Being middle-class is seen as ‘obscene’ rather than a virtue, the leader of a private schools’ group said yesterday.

Former Harrow School headmaster Barnaby Lenon criticised those who judge parents for paying for their children’s education but not those who splash out on luxuries.

He told an education conference in Brighton that Left-wing commentators were ‘virtue signallers’ who ‘took offence on purpose’ as an easy way to feel superior to others.

He said: ‘Being middle-class, which used to be a virtue, is now regarded as a sin. There’s an attitude that it’s okay, if you have money, to buy a big house or a big car. But if you buy education for your child, it comes at the expense of other children who can’t afford it.’

Mr Lenon, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said the rise of anti-private school sentiment was fuelled by a distaste at former old Etonians such as Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

But he added: I feel also that most of these Left-wing commentators are hypocrites because most of them went to independent schools.’

And he said moves by Labour and the Tories to squeeze private schools would not help poorer students, adding: ‘Selection by house prices, access to tutors, manipulating the system by going to church – these things will remain, even if private schools are abolished.’

His comments came after the Government echoed a proposal by Labour to charge VAT on private school fees.


Mr Lenon, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said the rise of anti-private school sentiment was fuelled by a distaste at former old Etonians such as Boris Johnson, left, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, pictured right

 

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