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Saturday 13-Aug-2016
【信報:寄宿學校攻略】英國公校 人才搖籃

上星期講過,英國的Public School其實最Private,因為它們雖然前身是為大眾教育的慈善學校,但由於「1868年公校法」為部分學校賦上歷史使命,讓它們可以獨立運作,再加上與英國管治階層及上流社會的親密關係,這些學校都演變成收生嚴謹兼收費高的貴族學校。今時今日,Public School亦以歷史悠久、地位崇高、提供精英教育見稱,公校學生亦因成績優越聞名遐邇,不少都能進入赫赫有名的大學如牛津及劍橋。

 

一共7間當年因享有特權能獨立的Public School芳名如下:

Charterhouse School (查特豪斯公學)、Eton College (伊頓公學)、Harrow School (哈羅公學)、Rugby School (拉格比公學)、Shrewsbury School (什魯斯伯里學校)、Westminster School (西敏公學)、Winchester College (溫切斯特公學)

 

人才輩出

公校人才輩出,自不用說。當中講最有歷史的,要數十四世紀成立的溫切斯特公學,但論蜚聲國際,則以伊頓公學最佳。這所學校於1440年由英皇亨利六世所創辦,有國王作創校人已夠巴閉,最犀利是有「未來國皇」入讀,皆因威廉和哈里王子也是伊頓畢業。

 

有人可能會表示,皇位是世襲,不代表學校培育國家領袖有功。不過數字顯示,截至2010年,英國國會議員內便有半數在伊頓受敎育。單是英國首相,伊頓至今已培育出19個!剛離任的卡梅倫是伊頓仔,現任外長、前倫敦市長約翰遜也是舊生。

 

此外,文壇泰斗、《動物農莊》作者喬治歐維爾和《占士邦》作者Ian Fleming也是校友。學校出的也不盡是書呆子,現活躍於演藝界的伊頓仔有Dr House 的Hugh Laurie,及近日因與樂壇天后Taylor Swift熱戀而成為全球熱話的邪神演員Tom Hiddleston。

 

這類公校,學費自然不菲,以伊頓為例,學費加宿費每年便達三萬多磅。李麗珊話養一個孩子要400萬,但如果孩子要上伊頓,中學讀完400萬便沒了一大截。不過,學校裏大多數學生非富即貴,卻不代表學校只收非富則貴的學生。再拿伊頓作例子,學校裏有約兩成學生有接受獎學金或助學金等經濟資助,可見成績異常標青但經濟能力一般的學生,也不一定只能望門興嘆。

 



電郵:smschan1@gmail.com

面書:www.facebook.com/ukchitchat

(原文刊載於信報《銘想英國》專欄:http://www1.hkej.com/dailynews/culture/article/1365420/

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