Stability is all well and good - but we also need people to rock the boat
There must have been a collective sigh of relief in the halls of Ireland's well-heeled, fee-paying schools yesterday, when the case brought by Mary Stokes against the practice of schools reserving places for the sons and daughters of past pupils was kicked out of the Supreme Court.
Had she won, it would have caused mayhem in many schools.
Certain schools like to see themselves as maintaining societal traditions and as tradition implies something that is passed down, it's not hard to see why they equate families with continuity. In fact, it may sound not very politically correct, but given that the admittance policies to schools is the educational equivalent of the school's HR department, maybe getting the family to do your hard work for you isn't that stupid on the part of the school. And, at least in the eyes of the school, it minimizes the risk that the tradition of the school will wither.