On the recommendation of a Twitter friend, I recently watched a film from 1948, The Guinea Pig, starring Richard Attenborough. It follows Jack Read, the 14 year old son of a London tobacconist, as he takes up a scholarship at Saintbury, a (fictional) English public school, under a scheme to encourage what we’d now call social mobility.
As you might expect, Read faces bullying and snobbery (the latter from masters as well as other pupils). He struggles to adapt to the social expectations of Saintbury, and his Housemaster, Mr Hartley, a long-serving reactionary, makes life difficult for him. Back at home old friends joke that he might get above himself. Read does eventually manage to flourish, with the help of a sympathetic master, Mr Lorraine.