Book Review

Engines of Privilege: Britain's Private School Problem (Book Review)

Citation

Forbes J (2020) Engines of Privilege: Britain's Private School Problem (Book Review). Review of: Engines of Privilege: Britain's Private School Problem. David Kynaston and Francis Green, Bloomsbury. 2019, pp. 336. ISBN: 978-1-3500-4006-9. Scottish Educational Review, 52 (1). http://www.scotedreview.org.uk/online-content/2020/521/

Abstract
First paragraph: Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem aims to ‘kick-start a long overdue national debate’ on the future of ‘Britain’s private fee-paying schools’ (jacket copy). That private schools are ‘engines of inequality’ blocking social mobility is stated at the outset. The authors’ premise is that it should be possible to have a ‘sustained and fully inclusive national conversation’ about Britain’s private school ‘problem’, that ‘the existence in Britain of a flourishing private school sector not only limits the life chances of those who attend state schools, but also damages society at large’ (p.vii). Publication (February 2019) promptly jumpstarted a flurry of review and debate in newspaper ‘heavies’, radio, TV and elsewhere. The book is accessible, a pacy account of ‘the problem’, the authors aiming for ‘clear, vigorous prose’ and ‘forensic analysis’ (jacket copy). Irksomely, ‘Scotland’ is not an Index entry: the two ‘Scottish’ listings concern the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. ‘Engines…’ sets out to consider Britain’s ‘problem’, so a Scottish view being significantly overlooked frequently prompted this reviewer to ask: ‘Meaning what for Scotland?’. The focus of this review is therefore on (the lack of) a Scotland perspective.

Notes
Output Type: Book Review

Journal
Scottish Educational Review: Volume 52, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2020
Publisher URLhttp://www.scotedreview.org.uk/online-content/2020/521/
eISSN0141-9072
Item discussedEngines of Privilege: Britain's Private School Problem. David Kynaston and Francis Green, Bloomsbury. 2019, pp. 336. ISBN: 978-1-3500-4006-9