U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he will send his eldest son Antonio to the London Oratory, a selective state-funded Catholic high school that former premier Tony Blair’s children attended.
Clegg’s plans for his children’s education came under scrutiny after Prime Minister David Cameron, once a pupil at Eton, Britain’s most famous fee-paying school for boys, said Jan. 18 he will send his eldest daughter Nancy to a state-run high school, citing improvements in London’s educational record.
Clegg was also privately educated at London’s Westminster School, yards from Parliament. His children with his Spanish wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, are called Antonio, Alberto and Miguel. Antonio, 11, will start high school this fall.
“Nick and Miriam can confirm that they have decided to send their oldest son, Antonio, from September onwards to the London Oratory School, a state Catholic secondary school,” Clegg’s office said in an e-mailed statement. “He is currently a pupil at a state Catholic primary school, Our Lady of the Victories in Putney, where he has been going for the last six years.”
In class-conscious Britain, the decision whether to send children to a fee-paying school is politically charged. Blair was criticized by some lawmakers when he was in office for sending his three eldest children to the London Oratory because it selects applicants for entry based on their faith as well as academic ability.
An investigation by the Daily Mail newspaper published Feb. 26 showed an 11-fold increase in the past five years of parents lying about their address in order to secure a place for their child at a good state-funded school.
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