Unequal opportunity is hardly novel

On the front of today’s Sunday Times is an article quoting headteachers demanding public exams be ‘scrapped’ this summer.

I am not going to judge on whether that’s the right call. That decision is above my pay grade.

But one passage particularly caught my interest:

Head teachers argue that making children sit exams would be unjust because those in areas with high Covid rates may have missed many more weeks of lessons than others during the pandemic.

This is undoubtedly true. Many children have been victims of geography during this crisis.

Yet it is hardly as if the situation in normal times is completely just. Your GCSE Etonians, Harrovians and Wykehamists – who are generally beneficiaries of the random good luck of being born into affluent families – will generally have an edge on their peers at your average comprehensive. In other words, luck has long played an important role in creating inequality in our education system.

2021 looks like it may be no different.

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