BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron, once a pupil at the nation’s most famous fee-paying school for boys, said he will send his eldest daughter Nancy to a state-run high school, citing improvements in London’s educational record.
Mr Cameron, who was educated at Eton College, which counts Prince William, second in line to the throne and 18 other British prime ministers among its alumni, is under political pressure not to appear elitist as he cuts public services to tackle the nation’s budget deficit.
‘‘In London there’s a real improvement taking place,’’ Mr Cameron was cited as telling The House magazine, which is distributed to MPs. ‘‘There’s a big culture change in our schools and that’s taking place in London.’’
Nancy, now nine years old, will switch to high school when she’s 11.
Last summer she made headlines when Mr Cameron revealed he mistakenly left her in a pub by herself when he and his wife Samantha left in separate cars, each assuming she was with the other.
‘‘There was no finger-wagging afterwards and Nancy has promised not to brief against me - she actually used that term, she is learning fast,’’ Mr Cameron told the Mail on Sunday tabloid on June 23.
In class-conscious Britain, the decision whether to send children to a fee-paying school is politically charged. Former prime minister Tony Blair was criticised by some MPs when he was in office for sending his three eldest children to a state-funded school that selected applicants for entry.
One of Mr Cameron’s own MPs, Nadine Dorries, called Mr Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who was also privately educated, ‘‘arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’’.