I was listening recently to a radio documentary series about GCHQ, Britain’s communications intelligence agency. What struck me was that many of the senior staff interviewed did not sound as though they had enjoyed the benefit of a private education. To me, that suggested that ability was more important there than privileged background. GCHQ is one of few British government agencies these days that enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence. Could there be a link between the promotion of talent regardless of secondary school attended and a British agency that actually functions acceptably well?