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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. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    So let them receive a pro rata charitable exemption based on special educational needs numbers. The more special needs kids the greater the exemption.
    Joe likes this.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is one a couple of hundred yards away from my house. The notion they are all Eton, Charterhouse etc is a myth. I live in a decidedly working class area and I suspect the school is good for the local economy. Its a PITA road wise as every single kid gets dropped off in a huge 4x4 and it just makes for gridlock.

    PS Back in the 1990s I put in a proposal to restructure the LAN and computer infrastructure at Charterhouse. I didn’t end up getting the contract, but it was fascinating to see the place. I’m glad I didn’t get it to be honest, it was a real fiddly job due to the listed status and number of different outbuildings etc. I always far preferred highly paid contracts where I could sit with my feet on the desk all day playing Doom or Quake, and that certainly wasn’t going to be one of them!
  3. philiphifi

    philiphifi pfm Member

    i think it's easy to classify privately educated families as being privileged. I think it is true that some are but the majority of families are from taxi drivers, shop owners and ordinary workers who want to spend a higher portion of their income to educate their children. Many people struggle to put their kids through because they do not have a good school nearby.
  4. 35451

    35451 Guest

    Red herring?

    By your numbers that 30 is still less than 1% of the total independent sector.

    Yet for too many here, that 1% defines the entire sector.
    Rockmeister likes this.
  5. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    The problem with that is the nearby school never becomes 'a good school'. Being coached to the exam paper in a public school doesn't necessarily mean those kids are getting a better education either...
    Steven Toy likes this.
  6. philiphifi

    philiphifi pfm Member

    It's not even about better education per se. Most kids at private schools have to work hard because they are told by their parents to do so for obvious reasons. I think the standard is much more uniform and less disruptions in the classroom
    sean99 likes this.
  7. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    You are moving the goalposts ...why would you care if the 'over privileged ' are not getting a "better education" ?
  8. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    You like the sound of your own voice today ;) I was adressing the point that @philiphifi was making about people scrimping and saving to buy their kids what they perceive to be a better education. This is a part of the con trick of these Schools.

    I taught for 20 odd years at a Russell Group university and I have seen all sorts let me tell you.
  9. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Odd way to look at it. Who is running this 'con'?

    Imagine yourself a parent of an average to gifted child. You want them to be happy and successful in life. There are three Schools near you. One has a pupil pass rate of grades C and above of 32%, one of 54% and one of 87%. The latter one has few discipline problems, children are well behaved, polite, impressive at interview and well motivated. Often also have better sport facilites and better pastoral and out of hours support and activities. Sadly it'll cost you but you can afford it.
    What's your choice, and if it's political expedient fro you to choose the 32%, what do tell you child about that choice when class disruption, poor equipment and etc ruin their chance?

    That isn't exactly the way it is, but how it is perceived.

    I voted no, because you can't now.
    If you have a magic wand and can restart next term with state education being as well organised, taught, funded and supported as happens in the independent system, I'll happily change to YES. I don't like privilege as such, but I know 2 things.
    1. The vast majority of kids want to learn and do well when they start out in life, and
    2. Independent education across all the thousands of those Schools is much much better at it's job than any state school can be. Sad, wrong, annoying but currently, true.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr and 35451 like this.
  10. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    The con is the belief that you are buying into a better education. It must be better because you've paid good money for it - it's the same kind of thing as people wanting to read good reviews of other luxuries that they've bought into, smartphones, hifi, cars whatever it might be...
  11. Spike

    Spike pfm Member

    they exist and have do for many years.
    Snufkin likes this.
  12. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    OK I get your point but in education, there are several simple measures to evaluate the final product.
    How are exam results?
    How is the child?
    How much 'extra' has that system added to their abilities? (Music, Trips, Sport, Drama etc)
    and finally, have they left achieving all the things they wanted to?
    Colin Barron likes this.
  13. bor

    bor queue jumper

    I voted to ban.

    I think it's unacceptable that some kids get an advantage over other kids. There should at least be an attempt to have a level playing field.
    At the very least, there should be no tax free status for what are businesses.
    If this increases the funding requirements for state schools, then it should be funded, through increases in income tax if necessary.

    *I send my kid to a fee paying school.
    Snufkin and gavreid like this.
  14. philiphifi

    philiphifi pfm Member

    I agree with Rockmeister. If private education is a big expense for the parents, it is unlikely that they are so naive to pay so much money year after year based on an unfounded belief. You only have to look at a website like mumsnet to see how many questions are asked about a particular school before any money is parted. I understand and appreciate the frustration of some parents because they simply cannot afford it and there are only limited scholarships available but to deny a whole system of education is not correct either. If i could suggest an improvement, it would be to raise the standard of education (and discipline) in state schools higher and properly invest in the facilities to make the selection naturally more difficult. I think parents would think twice to pay for an education if they can do without.
    Rockmeister and 35451 like this.
  15. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    That's the flawed logic (not yours) behind league tables. Just because somebody has been heavily coached in how to pass an exam (a set piece thing that's quite predictable in this day and age of private exam boards) does not mean they are necessarily better equipped to be able to think independently, or to solve problems in the real world. I agree about the advantages of the 'extras', these often exist in state schools but they are not free - i don't mean skiing trips, but music lessons, or sports that require some outdoor, properly maintained space, things that used to be free until relatively recently. The disadvantage is the kids often lack any comprehension of how the vast majority live, think, socialise etc
  16. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    if the kids of MPs were put into the underfunded state sector, you can be yer’arse it won’t stay underfunded for long
  17. 35451

    35451 Guest

    I would assume many already are in that sector, so your theory may not be worth betting your chuff on ;-)
    Rockmeister likes this.
  18. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    This gets repeated a lot, but is it based on data / experience or supposition ? I ask because my parents sent me to a private school and we were not coached to the exams. We were taught the same as kids in state school, who also sat mock O and A levels. The biggest advantage of private school was a (relative) lack of disruptive pupils, and peers who, by and large, were doing their homework, studying and trying to do the best they could. Some teachers were great, others were quite poor - same as at any school.

    I agree that in an ideal world school would be a level playing field, but until state schools (and parents of some of their pupils) get to grips with dealing with disruption of lessons and bullying there will be a market for private education.

    My daughter goes to a public school here in the US, but we moved to a good school district (expensive small, old house) so that she wouldn't have to deal with bullying and a culture of under-achievement. Our experience in 2015 at an Ofsted outstanding school in Cambridgeshire suggested that many state schools in the UK are still unable to control disruptive pupils, who then get to ruin the school experience for their peers.
    35451 likes this.
  19. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Looking for the matching asterisk in the text. This does look like blatant hypocrisy, but I guess there might be extenuating circumstances here (?)

    With the opening of many 'religious' schools and the re-designation of many existing over the last decade plus, there's now a plethora of different primary and secondary educational establishments. Education is crucial, however derived, and in this country, I believe that all are monitored by Ofsted in some fashion. The banning of a type of school which itself covers a gamut of forms is utterly ridiculous.

    Private schools cater for many parental situations; they bring in foreign money, they assist local state schools (partly under duress, possibly) and they tend to have a more holistic educational bias, esp. when boarding. Charitable status? Why should they be taxed when others aren't?

    Variety and benefit is the key here. The politics of envy , or indeed, politics at all, should have no place in our diverse educational system. Choice is paramount and the fact that most parents pay twice, in effect, is more than a sufficient hurdle.

    I've read (and experienced in a small way) that home education is now widespread. I have my doubts about this, but in a similar way, it's paid for (twice) by the parent. I don't know why this form of child education is increasing, as it seems rather counter-intuitive from both an educational and social p.o.v.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  20. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Must disagree with this. Life itself is not a level playing field, and hypothetically, even if you started at that level, it wouldn't stay there. Every child is different just like adults, and require different tiers of education to suit. What a grey world it would be if everything was reduced to its lowest common denominator.

    I do think that all schools should have playing fields; level would be fine but as long as they're green. :)
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.

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