Racism, sexism and homophobia… a former pupil’s shocking revalations about one of Britain’s top private schools
A University of Oxford student has revealed a shocking insight into one of the UK’s most prestigious grammar schools and revealed how the institution is rife with racism, sexism and homophobia.
The astonishing claims were made by Matt Broomfield, 22, who attended the £10,000-a-year Adam’s Grammar School, in Newport, Shrops., before leaving in 2010.
During his time at the school – regarded as one of the best in the country – he said he was subjected to “institutionalised hatred” on a daily basis
The English Literature BA student said he was mocked for having a black girlfriend by fellow students would regularly make monkey noises at him.
He claims other black pupils were called “n***ers” and made to wear KFC buckets on their heads while white boys “guffawed”.
Shockingly, Matt, now studying at Oxbridge’s Wadham College, also revealed a Muslim head boy at the posh school had to endure endless jokes about bombs and famine.
Meanwhile, he confessed girls were treated with “secondary value” and were regularly “groped, bullied and harassed.”
Homophobia was also rife within the walls of the 358-year-old school with male students referred to as “bummers” and “faggots”, he said.
The straight-A student also claimed there was a culture of “superiority” drilled into students that they were better than people at normal schools.
Writing for student newspaper The Tab, he confessed how his time at the school had turned him into a bigot after being taught Adams Boys were “inherently superior to the rest of the world.”
Matt, who achieved the school’s highest GCSE results with 11 A*s in 2010, said: “I dated a black girl when I was 17.
“When my school friends found out, some of them laughed openly in my face.
“They asked me if her vagina smelt of sh**. They made monkey noises.
“This happened in England in the 21st century.
“When one of the three black guys in my year walked into a room, people would sometimes hide their possessions as a joke, because ‘all n*ggers are thieves’.
“People said ‘n*gger’ a lot, as a joke. People said ‘faggot’ a lot too.
“A friend of mine who left the school a couple of years before me often used the word faggot; I have since heard that he has started sleeping with men at university.
“If he had gone public with this information at school, he would have been laughed at and ostracised. At Adams’, “faggots” were a source of derision and disgust.
“Girls were referred to as ‘rat’, collectively the word was also a synonym for ‘vagina’.
“If you had female friends, you were not a ‘lad’ but a ‘bummer’.
“Girls were generally treated as objects, for calling ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ and ‘stupid’. They were of secondary value.
“I saw black boys posing with KFC buckets on their heads while a room full of rich white boys guffawed.
“The girls put up with being groped, bullied and harassed on a daily basis.
“I was well-liked at school, and had a great time during my seven years there.
“This is not the bitterness of a victim or the posturing of a saint; it is the confession of a bigot.
“And arrogance combined with ignorance creates bigotry.
“The ethos of self-advancement, self-protection and self-promotion was echoed everywhere from the assembly hall to the rugby field.
“From my perspective the fundamental doctrine that Adams’ taught was that we should define ourselves by our perceived superiority to others.
“In effect, we were taught that to be Adams’ Boys was to be inherently superior to the rest of the world.”
Revealing his decision to expose the school Matt from Shrewsbury, Shrops., said yesterday (Wed) he wanted people to know the truth about what went on behind closed doors.
Matt, who also achieved an A* in English Literature, A* in History and an A* in Government and Politics at A-Level at the school, added: “I feel I have to speak out.
“Every day, female classmates were treated badly.
“Adams’ drilled into us that the strong were always superior to the weak.
“The arrogant confidence I learnt at Adams’ taught me to capitalise on my privilege.
“In my year, no-one publicly identified themselves as homosexual. It was something that was laughed down, treated as a joke.
“The head boy in my year was a Muslim. He was very popular but he still had to endure racist jokes.
“There were very few good people at the school. It was wife with racism, homophobia as well as sexism. All three were clearly prevalent.
“I felt I had to let people know that this kind of behaviour even goes on at prestigious grammar schools like this.”
The Church of England selective grammar school has historic links with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a senior livery company in the City of London.
Judged outstanding by Ofsted, it caters for boys aged 11-18 as day pupils or boarders and girls aged 16-18 as day girls in sixth form.
It was founded in 1656 by local benefactor and Haberdasher William Adams and has gone on to be one the UK’s most successful grammar schools.
As part of the Combined Cadet Force the school sends many recruits to Sandhurst, Royal Air Force College Cranwell and the Britannia Royal Naval College.
There is no charge for education but attendees pay #10,230 every year for the full boarding provision.
Sonya Wilson, marketing manager at the school, said it disagreed “wholeheartedly” that racism, sexism and homophobia was institutionalised within its walls.
She said: “Staff at Adams’ were saddened to read an article written by a former pupil that attacked the school, its ethos and values.
“We disagree wholeheartedly with the view that Adams’ supports racism, sexism and homophobia.
“In fact, precisely the opposite is the case: we make every effort to educate our pupils to be tolerant and respectful of diversity, and to counter prejudices that are, sadly, still all too common in the world outside school.
“We also emphasise to our pupils that their academic talent should not be mistaken for moral superiority, but rather places a special obligation on them to use their talents wisely for the common good.
“Adams’, like all schools, continues to be challenged by some kinds of unacceptable pupil behaviour, but nobody should be in any doubt that the ethos of the school, its policies, and its day-to-day practice, are all designed to eradicate such behaviour and to create young people who are confident themselves about combating racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of intolerance and prejudice.
“An Ofsted inspection which took place last November praised ‘students’ excellent attitudes to learning and behaviour, their mutual respect for each other and support are significant factors in creating a positive culture for learning’.
“The school takes a firm stand against any prejudice-based bullying such as racist, homophobic and trans-gender bullying and sexism.
“Students stated they felt accepted for who they are.
“All students spoken to stated they felt safe at school and in the rare instances of bullying knew who to go to for support.
“They are confident that any bullying is dealt with swiftly.’
“Students regulate their own behaviour.
“The sixth-form students, especially in boarding houses and the house system, are key to ensuring this.
“Older students model high standards of behaviour for younger students.
“They take responsibility for the care and welfare of younger students and ensure that school is a caring community.
“The Good Schools Guide, who visited the school in July 2014, praised the school’s ‘very active and visible commitment to celebrating diversity.
“What used to be casually swept aside as male ‘banter’ is now no longer acceptable and is rigourously scrutinised for racist, sexist or homophobic overtones by the boys themselves.
“The school would like to thank the many pupils, parents and Old Novaportans for their messages of support.”