Hoon admits to private tuition

first_imgCabinet minister Geoff Hoon admitted last Saturday that he used a private tutoring company to help his teenage daughter’s Oxbridge application.The Transport Secretary and former Minister of Defence confirmed that he took his daughter to a presentation by Oxbridge Applications, a private company which charges up to £3000 for the coaching of an individual student. He would not comment on whether he had paid for tuition.Oxbridge Applications claims that applicants who receive its help are almost twice as likely to be offered a place at Oxford or Cambridge. Families who pay the £3000 charge give their child a 47% chance of admissions success, compared to the average of 26%, according to the company’s website.Mr Hoon attended an ‘Interview Preparation Day’ along with his daughter, held at a private school in the West Midlands.Hoon’s decision came to media attention when the father of another applicant noticed him at the meeting and wrote on the political website Guido Fawkes.“‘As I waited for my son in the foyer, I was surprised to see Geoff Hoon sitting a couple of seats away from me. Labour Minister gives offspring an unfair advantage in applying to top university? Surely not!” He wrote.The minister’s daughter attended a comprehensive school in Nottingham, and is currently on a gap year. Hoon himself was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, after having attended an private school on a scholarship.Tories are now accusing the government of double standards following Gordon Brown’s proposed laws to increase social mobility and stop middle-class parents giving their children an ‘unfair advantage’ in education and the workplace.“Time and time again we see double standards from Ministers. They want to change the rules to make it tougher for everyone else while enjoying all the perks for themselves and their families,” said Tory spokesman Chris Grayling.New Labour has a history of MPs paying for their children’s education or tuition. In 2003 it was revealed that MP Diane Abbot had sent her son to a £10000-a-year private school, a decision she later described as ‘indefensible”, while in 2007 ex-education minister Ruth Kelly admitted enrolling her child in a £15000-a-year prep school.last_img read more