This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 5 November 2019, 6.30pm to 8pm
  • Location: Room V/N/045, Vanbrugh College, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required (Sold out)

Event details

The York Union and The University of York Labour Club debate

Please note that due to unprecented demand the venue for this event has changed to Room V/N/045, Vanbrugh College

After the publication of Posh Boys: How Public Schools ruin Britain, in which Robert Verkaik outlines his case for the ‘slow euthanasia’ of Britain’s private schools, Verkaik has been campaigning for wholesale private school reform and advocating for the integration of the private education sector into the state. He will be making the case to York students and members of the public, where former High Master of St Paul’s, Dr Martin Stephen shall be putting up a defence of their existence. After opening addresses audience members will be free to ask our distinguished guests questions on the matter.

Dr Martin Stephen and Mr Robert Verkaik

Proposing the motion is Robert Verkaik, author of 'Posh Boys: How The English Public Schools Ruin Britain.' Verkaik is a journalist specialising in education and extremism. He was home affairs editor and law editor at The Independent, where he worked for 12 years, and security editor at the Mail on Sunday. In 2013 he was runner-up at the National Press Awards for specialist journalism and he’s been long-listed for the Orwell Prize and the Paul Foot Award. Robert is also social media lead at Private School Policy Reform.

Opposing the motion is Dr Martin Stephen. Stephen is the former High Master of St Paul’s School in London. Prior to that, he was High Master of The Manchester Grammar School and Headmaster of The Perse School, Cambridge. He was described as ‘the most influential Head in the independent sector’ by the Times Educational Supplement and the Daily Telegraph.
He is Director of Education for GEMS (Global Educational Management Systems) in the UK and writes a personal blog for the Daily Telegraph. He is widely in demand as a naval historian and is an expert on the poetry of the First World War.

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop


The York Union