In response to figures showing no children on free school meals in Cambridgeshire get in to Cambridge University, Daniel Zeichner MP said:
“People are right to be shocked by this report’s findings -; but it comes as no surprise to those of us who have been pointing out for some time that Cambridge is a very divided city, and Cambridgeshire a very divided county. Whether it is low wages and zero-hours contracts, or the remorseless rise in people turning to foodbanks, life is very hard for many of our fellow citizens.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in coalition abolished the Educational Maintenance Allowance,which was a lifeline for young people from poorer backgrounds. They also left Cambridgeshire schools woefully under-funded. Getting to Cambridge is only one measure of success, and many of our young people do very well at other educational institutions, but a very divided society is bad for everybody. I am sure that the University of Cambridge will want to look once again at the admissions process, but the real challenge lies earlier, and there is much to be done.”