Melissa Benn has written a lengthy piece in G2 today about the disparities between private and state school education in the UK. In it she quotes Tory MP Oliver Letwin who reportedly said that he would rather “beg on the street” than let his child go to a school like Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington. Aside from the fact that the atmosphere “could not present a greater contrast with schools such as Wellington”; that “75 per cent of the children are on free school meals” and that the school has “a far higher percentage of children with special educational needs”, we don’t learn why Oliver Letwin is so horrified. There’s no mention of the curriculum. We’re told that “successful learning" at the school depends on a “range of support and mentoring” but we are not told what they learning. Perhaps the needs of the students at Lilian Baylis mean that this school doesn’t reflect the range of subjects on offer at the average state school. What is the range of subjects on offer at the average state school? How many comprehensive schools, for example, teach French, German and Spanish? How many offer politics and economics at GCSE? Are there any state schools (excluding grammar schools) that teach Greek and Latin? Or is it that the kids who want to learn have to hope to come across books like Primo Latino in order to teach it to themselves.