09:20 GMT04 August 2020
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    The advertisement, which has been widely condemned by netizens and the Independent Association of Prep Schools, portrayed an imaginary student wanting to buy his dad a fancy Jaguar to replace his apparently less prestigious Volvo.

    A contentious open day advertisement paid for by Vinehall School in East Sussex triggered a public backlash on Twitter. The promo, published in the local magazine Wealden Advertiser, depicted a prospective student visiting one of the school's open days in the family's "Volvo Estate."

    In the advertisement, an imaginary pupil wishes his father owned a Jaguar. According to the ad, the student attends the school and becomes a successful businessman, eventually buying a Jaguar for his father when the latter retires.

    Internet users have described the ad as "hideous," with some people voicing outrage that the school would send such a message to its pupils.


    The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), which unites around 670, mostly UK-based, preparatory schools, also condemned the advert. "We understand that the school deeply regrets the advert and has apologized to the parents," an IAPS spokesman said, as cited by The Telegraph.

    Joff Powis, the school's headmaster, apologized for the advertisement, which he said "should have never seen the light of the day." "I must stress it is in no way a reflection of the ethos of our school and the worthwhile work we do here."

    The message has been removed from the online publication of Wealden Advertiser. The school website now opens with a pop-up apology from the headmaster.

    Vinehall School is an independent day and boarding school near the town of Robertsbridge, East Sussex, which caters to children aged between two and 13 and charges fees of up to 23,000 pounds (almost $30,000).


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