A believer in the importance of classical studies for everyone, Professor Beard writes:
"We should not be confusing social exclusivity with an intellectually elitist subject. All bright children, no matter how wealthy or privileged they are, should have the opportunity to learn classical languages. One of the biggest crimes of the national curriculum is having eased Latin out of the maintained sector (though not entirely, I'm pleased to report). But it is no more sensible to put Latin on the curriculum of the less academically able than it is to put Mandarin Chinese or quantum physics there. In fact, paradoxically, it is the sheer difficulty of Latin that makes it something of a social leveller, and a route to intellectual upward mobility."