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  • One of the prestigious Oxford colleges that more state school pupils are gaining access to.

    One of the prestigious Oxford colleges that more state school pupils are gaining access to. | Photo: Flickr

Published 11 May 2019

“Tasteless Holocaust analogies do not belong in the debate about education in this country.”

A principal at one of the U.K.’s leading private schools said that fewer private school students are getting into Britain’s elite universities, blaming discrimination against such schools and comparing it to ‘antisemitism’.

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Anthony Wallersteiner, principal of the £38,000-a-year Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, one of Britain’s leading private schools, said that criticism of private schools “echo the conspiratorial language” of antisemitic discourse, adding  “The rise of populists and polemicists has created a micro-industry in bashing private schools.”

These comments were in response to news that more students from state schools are gaining access to Britain’s two leading universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

In response, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Tasteless Holocaust analogies do not belong in the debate about education in this country.”

Many have suggested that the comments from Stowe principal come in the context of the ‘antisemitism row’ within the Labour Party whereby Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-Palestine stance and criticisms of bankers has been labeled as anti-semitic by the editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, a leading pro-Israel publication.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones condemned the principal’s comments saying “The Times have actually run a front-page story not only claiming that the privately educated are being discriminated against by Oxbridge - but that pointing out people who went to private school dominate society is akin to Adolf Hitler's persecution of the Jews.”

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