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Labour to abolish independent schools?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Steven Toy, Oct 31, 2019.


Should we abolish independent schools in the UK?

  1. Yes

    20 vote(s)
  2. No

    57 vote(s)
  3. Undecided

    4 vote(s)
  1. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    ‘Perceived’ privilage? Me thinks it’s a definite, enshrined, traditional, and concrete privilege that goes beyond perception
    gavreid likes this.
  2. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    Similar problem in the US. There's a story today concerning an overall drop in 4th and 8th grade reading scores on a national test taken every other year. And so of course Trump's education lackey, Devos, will use this to push subsidies for charter schools and in effect take it from public schooling by arguing the money they throw at it now isn't working. Which was the plan all along and why they mandate ineffective guidelines to follow for schools to obtain the money in the first place, knowing the tests will be above that level and let them carve funding.

    It's not as if wealthy people care since their kids are already in private schools, as are a lot of Bougie kids. And it's an easy sell to Bubba and Jane using dog whistle racism and then make them think they'll get vouchers for a privately run system since Jane hates the haughty teachers and Bubba loathes their pensions. It's all so effed up there's not much hope.
    vuk likes this.
  3. Stemcor

    Stemcor I should be listening to music

    I want to look at this slightly differently.

    Mrs S was a headteacher in a state school until I literally made he take early retirement. 100 hour working weeks are not good for one’s health.

    Miss S is also a teacher. She was also working 100 weeks until she realised that the lack of a work / life balance was not sustainable.

    I’m not against public schools in principle because there is no doubt that they provide a good education. But let’s put that to the test. Instead of charging parents £000’s per term, abolish fees and let the school be funded at the same “cost per pupil” as surrounding state schools. No “top ups” or “gifts” and the school to publish its accounts.

    If public schools are so good then there will not be a drop in standards (academic or otherwise).

    I’m not trying to annoy anybody but having seen the consequences of the education policies of successive governments over the last 30 something years I cannot understand why fee paying schools should generate privileges. Education should be for all regardless of background. I cannot help but wonder how many so called “ordinary people” could have become doctors, barristers, prime ministers etc if their pathway was not continually blocked.
    ks.234, bor, droodzilla and 1 other person like this.
  4. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I voted yes. I want Labour to do everything possible to prevent the rich having advantage due to.. well due to being rich!
    Tax them till the pips squeak! Then use the money to improve the lot of all those who have feck all! For the many not the few.

    Never mind equal opportunities for all... I want similarity of outcome for all! Notice I said similarity and not equal.... I don't begrudge the cleverest and hardest working some advantage, in being able to still afford decent holidays, a nice car etc etc....

    But no one should have to be deciding between heating and eating... or forced to exist on a diet of economy baked beans on toast, whilst others are deciding between the £2000 and the £3000 bottle of wine!
    Snufkin and gavreid like this.
  5. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Should they not start with the low hanging fruit of grammar schools or is that a different argument?
  6. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    That Argument has largely been won bar a few remaining grammars.
  7. 35451

    35451 Guest

    There are 32000 schools in UK.

    Of them 2400 are independent.

    These educate 500,000 students. Not al of these are sons of oligarchs, industrialists or politicians.

    There is one Eton.

    Many independent pupils are also majorly funded by charitable trusts bursaries and scholarships for particular disciplines, arts or sports. This includes special needs placements. These are bequeathed by benefactors who wish their estates to help fund specific places at the independents.

    Bearing in mind that the donating estates (large and small) will have been taxed as they were earned and then in death duties , they are effectivlely tax paid. With charitable status removed schools would have to pay VAt on incomes, then increase their fees accordingly.

    A significant proportion also sacrifice massively to send their kids to school of choice. By this I mean couples working longer hours, extra jobs, grandparent funding, driving old bangers, forsaking holidays etc. SELLING their hi fis....
    They are not all loaded.

    Adding back the 500,000 students, many with special needs, would place a significant extra load on the already over burdened and often underfunded state sector.
  8. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    That would result in an increase of at least 30% per head at the school I went to aged 12-16. We had no computers at all when the state schools did, we had no metal or wood workshops, no domestic science/studies kitchens, the chemistry and physics labs were ancient, classrooms smaller and more crowded, we had to buy our textbooks, etc.
  9. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    That pretty much covers it, one of my OH's biggest regrets is spending a few nights in the pub every week rather than sending their son to a decent school.

    If we ban independent schools will we also ban private coaching? A big problem to me is the short working day of state schools; we couldn't have covered

    the syllabus let alone all the optional extras like sport, music, Spanish, sports physio, media studies etc. On top of that I had a target of reading one book a week.
  10. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    And again you are fixated by "privilege". As I have said before ..the 'privileged' schools as you see them represent a very small proportion of independent schools.

    If you allow charitable status to exist then the tax breaks follow. But that applies to Oxfam , Release,Shelter, Amnesty, Friends of the Earth and a plethora of others charities.It isn't that the top schools are doing anything's that you just don't like them.

    FWIW I utterly dislike the influence that the children educated at those schools go on to have..influence out of all proportion in Government and Commerce but banning the schools out of existence won't be the answer. For one thing the parents will just educate their offspring elsewhere and this country will lose out greatly in the long run. It will lose world influence at a time when we desperately need friends all over the world.

    You see this as a simple black and white issue. I do not. To you this is just class war I think.
  11. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I was under the impression that charitable donations were exempt from inheritance tax.

    So not tax paid.
    Snufkin likes this.
  12. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    I doubt we’d miss one PPE graduate.
  13. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    My vote was for undecided btw.

    I am split on the two sides of the argument and swayed/persuaded somewhat by the civil liberties arguments and the fact that not all independent schools are like Eton. Some cater for special needs and therefore deserve charitable status.

    I'm not a 'class warrior' either.

    I also live near a village where the local economy is boosted by the presence of an independent school and have personally benefited from this.

    I also had the uncomfortable experience of taking an accompanied child to a safe house in London a while back after he had been excluded. The child is from China, has behavioural and emotional problems and the school effectively washed their hands of him. He was also kept in the dark regarding his future at the school.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  14. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Which is of course a luxury afforded all independent schools denied to state schools.
  15. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    That's another red herring. There are about 30 schools within the Eton and Rugby groups that form the major public schools today, beneath which there is a broad array of fee paying independent Schools. The wiki entry is quite good, especially on the links to the aristocracy and the ruling class
  16. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    Independent schools ae also effectively private business's . You are thinking of them as part of the educational system. They are not. They are independent.

    Perhaps you would equally like to tell Rolls Royce that they may only make Ford Fiesta's ?
  17. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Private education for school age children without special educational needs shouldnt be funded by charitable status paid for by everyone. Plain and simple that's as ****ed up as bailing out the banks with no benefit being returned to the tax payer.

    Take the money these private schools get in tax breaks and put it back into education for the most needy.

    Each according to their ability and need.
  18. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    The vote in this poll is 2:1 against abolition so ,under Pinkfish Brexit Rules , you are wrong.:cool:
  19. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    We should abolish the private health racket while we're at it
  20. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    The problem is Si that these top schools get around that simply by admitting some "charity cases". They would only need to admit a couple of disabled kids a year to get around your ruling.

    It a really difficult line to walk this private education issue. I remember long discussions about it in my Labour Party meetings in the 70's and 80's about how to address the iniquities of the system and still the issue remains.

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