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02 Mar

It’s a tradition most people would assume had long since died out, yet, as the Daily Mail discovered, many modern parents with limited funds are choosing to buy their boy’s education, while putting their girl through the state system.

Take the Reverend Andy Jolley and his GP wife Ricky, who were faced with such a dilemma three years ago.

Matty is a day boy at the £3,300-a-term King Edward’s School at Edgbaston, Warwickshire, while his elder sister, Beth, 15, attends the highly regarded King Edward VI grammar school.

‘We felt torn and it seemed unfair to have to chose one method of education over another, but two sets of school fees would have crippled us,’ says Rev Jolley, 47, who lives with his family in Aston, Birmingham.

Rev Jolley is adamant that, in his family, this will not be the case.‘Beth and Matty tease each other all the time - but that’s just what children do. She knows we love her and that we did what was right for our children based on their individual needs.’ A return to such old-fashioned ­values is hard to believe, but it’s a trend that does not surprise educational psychologist Tim Francis, an expert in assessing pupils for university entry.

‘Fortunately now that she is studying for her A-levels, the situation is slightly better because some of the most badly behaved pupils have left.’ The family agonised as to whether they could also send Poppy to an independent school, but there was no way their finances could stretch.In the majority of cases, a son will be favoured over a daughter.Yet surely such blatant favouring of one child will lead to simmering feelings of resentment, if not now then later?‘Before she took her GCSEs, she was in a class of 30 and she says some of the children ran riot.Poppy is conscientious and hard-working, and said trying to concentrate was a nightmare.