Sign up now for FREE to read our insider reviews in full Sign Up Now

BBC programme 'Darren McGarvey: The State We're In'

The programme looks at the education system across the UK, and features a section about Gordonstoun


BBC background about the programme: 

“How can the attainment gap between the wealthiest and the poorest children be narrowed? Darren McGarvey heads back to the classroom to find out. Starting with education fit for a king, Darren travels to the north of Scotland to visit Gordonstoun, the school that educated King Charles and his father, Prince Philip. Given unique access to the teachers and pupils, Darren embeds in the school to find out how private education gives its pupils the advantage. Darren then travels across the country to state schools charged with educating the rest of the UK’s children, a generation of kids unalterably changed by lockdown and growing up amidst a cost-of-living crisis. Travelling to Finland, Darren encounters a school system where equity takes priority above all else and asks whether the UK can ever close its attainment gap when society remains so unequal. Returning home, Darren meets the innovators determined to give every child in Britain an equal start. He meets the early years group tackling inequality in the first two years of life, before heading to a Glasgow primary school where play takes priority, and a punk school in Doncaster where children are taught that kindness and compassion are just as important as exam grades.”

Key Quotes;

(07: 27) “I’ll admit that I’m slightly surprised by how understated and normal everything looks.” 

(08:57) “It’s almost, as if, you need to level up the State System. It just feels like you just need to re-categorise what the minimum standard of education is.” 

(12:28) “My time at Gordonstoun has been an immersive and, at times, overpowering experience challenging my preconceptions about independent schools, the type of people who there and the attitudes that they hold.” 

(12:53): "Gordonstoun school is not a school, it's a village, where everyone from the Principal to the cafeteria staff, are all pulling in the same direction, and that is whatever direction is best for the child." 

Please find a link to the programme here.

February 2024