Sunday, August 26, 2018

That Private School Thing.


Melissa Benn recently wrote a long, and very interesting treatise in the Guardian in which she argued the case for 'abolishing private schools in Britain:

...Now, more than ever, there is a strong moral and political argument in support of integration. At a time of growing divides and damaging inequality, we urgently need public institutions that bring the nation together, not further separate and divide us. For many in the UK, the idea of a unified education system to which all subscribe is too great a leap of the imagination, too daring a proposition – and yet the benefits of a common schooling could be immense...


Here in British Columbia I would be very happy if we could just bring ourselves to stop subsidizing so-called 'elite' private schools with public money.


Tip O' The Toque to Paul Willcocks for doing the heavy lifting awhile back on this one in the pixels of The Tyee.



Stephen Rees said...

Well, yes, that would be a start, but it would be nowhere near enough.

For one thing we still seem to be caught up in this obsession that things taxes pay for are somehow luxuries that ought to be curbed. That there is some special virtue in a budget surplus. That economic growth depends on tax cuts - and low wages too of course.

The lesson of Finland is the one the article starts with: good education FOR EVERYONE is a Good Idea. That having an educated population leads to a better society all around - and economic growth too by the way.

It is not enough to stop subsidising private schools. They must be abolished.

Spending on education must be increased and be inclusive of all needs and abilities. Post secondary education should also be seen as part of the same process - not simply a way to better paid jobs for some people who are then handcuffed by debt for the rest of their lives.

These are, of course, revolutionary ideas and will be dismissed as fantasy, except that advanced societies are already doing this successfully.

Anonymous said...

A culture of entitlement.?At the top end?

e.a.f. said...

At one time there was no government money going to private schools. that changed and it was a political decision. Since then, more and more money goes to private schools, when public schools also need more money. Just have a look at Surrey which is very short of schools. Some have argued that students going to private school aren't in the public system, thus saving the public system money. That really isn't true. In the long run, as more students go to private schools, less and less money is spent on public schools. Just have a look at Chicago schools, where they didn't have enough money to heat their public schools this past winter and text books have to be shared.

its the same with private hospitals, the more people who use them, the less society is interested in financing public ones.

If they want private schools, then let them pay for them, themselves. That $350M going to private schools each year, well it sure would help build some more public schools in Surrey. We don't need more entitled people in the world. All children ought to be provided a decent level playing field education.

If all those private school kids in G.B. were tossed into the public schools system you can bet the public school system would be almost as good as that in Finland.

John's Aghast said...

Abolished? Yes, but the very wealthy would just send them off shore to be schooled in the disciplines of the very wealthy. One of the hardships of not being 'very wealthy'. Shudda picked your parents more carefully.
Those of us that rank from 'poor' to 'well off' deserve the same advantages that education brings. The Private Schools should not be able to offer advantages not available in Public Schools - better teachers? better QUALIFIED teachers? smaller class sizes?
'Well off' children already benefit from better nutrition and less stress than their less advantaged peers - they don't require nor should they prosper from taxpayer largesse because of their status.

North Van's Grumps said...

We have been paying a property school tax since 1975 and only half of our money has been going to the education of our children, and now we are supporting our children's children going to the same wood frame school. Why? because we chose to enroll them in an independent school where there are bursaries, not a Christy Clark PRIVATE school like St. Georges or whatever.