Marcus Brigstocke has said that it’s “incredibly dangerous” that so many British politicians were sent away to boarding school at a young age because their experience is so different from the way other children grow up in society.
The comedian and Radio 4 regular, who was sent to a Devon boarding school at the age of seven, said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that it “dramatically changes your relationship with yourself, your ability to form meaningful relationships.
“That’s why I think it’s incredibly dangerous when a large number of the Cabinet are boarding school-educated.”
Of prominent British politicians serving today, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Oliver Letwin are just some of the MPs who attended boarding schools at some point during their education.
“It can be a terrific education, it really can,” said Brigstocke. “Brilliant, and in lots of ways I’m very grateful, but it’s incredibly dangerous that large numbers of the Cabinet were removed from family and feelings and affection and physical contact at the age of seven as a great many of them were.
“It’s not close enough to the experience of enough people. Seven per cent of people go to private schools of whom just about five per cent go to boarding school and less than that start at the age of seven.
“And its such a different experience, such a different way of growing up.”
Brigstocke added that even when the parents of boarders stay closely involved with their education, the school is a greater influence on them than their family could hope to be.
“The fact of the matter is that two thirds of your year is spent away from family and away from the roles that family form — and that’s very difficult to imagine how everyone else lives if that’s your experience.”