Is banning private schools a workable solution?

(287 Posts)
APMF Tue 04-Dec-12 17:43:18

Whenever the conversation turns to bias in favour of privately educated people there are always voices that shouts out - ban private schools!

Is this a badly thought out knee jerk reaction or am I missing something?

IMO if private schools were to be banned the following would happen.

a) the rich would educate their kids abroad. Aged 18 those kids will be back to grab those coveted uni places and, on graduating, the top jobs. So no change there.

b) some will choose to buy up the properties around the highly regarded state schools. Thus driving up prices and nudging aside your untutored DC which is what is happening in parts of London

c) Some will take the fees saved and hire tutors in order to give their dcs an advantage.

d) x thousands of kids will rejoin the state system thus busting an already over stretched system. Tax increases for everybody to pay for the extra resources and if you thought that it was hard getting into your over subscribed comp at the moment ......

As I said above, is banning private schools a badly thought out solution or am I missing something?

Schmedz Sat 26-Jan-13 21:24:24

Not to mention that all the council tax paid by parents who send their children to private schools is actually still being used to fund the LEA. They are effectively paying twice (although admittedly a fraction of the cost of their independent school fees).

NessaYork Tue 18-Dec-12 22:40:31

The whole idea of banning private education comes from the notion that 'one size fits all' is the only system of fairness. This is a fallacy. The existence of private education relieves the burden on the state of having to educate ALL children. Can you imagine if ALL children in this country had to go to state schools? The system would collapse. The children who would fare worst are the average, because the G&T club would get their special priviledges, and the SEN would get their rightly needed support. So the ones who are managed as a group, instead of according to their individual needs, are the 'classroom middle class'. Much better to have a system where those who can afford it can take their children elsewhere, and relieve the state of their part of that burden.
Forgive me if I'm revisiting old ground, but haven't read all 280 earlier messages. Thanks!

rabbitstew Fri 07-Dec-12 12:20:04

wordfactory - I'm well aware the current government have no such plans - they are, after all, making education a free for all at the moment (whilst simultaneously dictating the exam system and when times tables should be taught confused - some clever way of persuading all schools to become Academies or set up as free schools so as to avoid increasingly ridiculous levels of interference whilst simultaneously claiming interference is being reduced?).

I was merely making the point that laws change, opinions change, politics changes, and conventions are interpreted in many ways by many different countries, or even roundly ignored by some, if they think they can withstand the political pressure/get away with it/convince others their interpretation is acceptable. So pah to the ECHR.

wordfactory Fri 07-Dec-12 09:34:57

rabbit the current administration have never had anyplans to remove choice in education, whether we are singned up to international law or not.

The Labour government did have plans...but the Badman Review didn't go how they wanted it to wink.

rabbitstew Thu 06-Dec-12 19:55:08

For as long as it's part of British law - for as long as pressure is put on the UK government to follow it. Have they decided on the votes for prisoners thing, yet?

Chandon Thu 06-Dec-12 19:47:33

Does not matter if they hate it, it is part of British law!

rabbitstew Thu 06-Dec-12 19:40:48

Oh yes, the ECHR which the government hates so much. grin

Bonsoir Thu 06-Dec-12 14:52:05

If the state wants to take control of education, it pretty much can, à la française, by keeping a stranglehold on curriculum and examinations and teachers etc. But it's a bad idea - standards go down and down and down...

mam29 Thu 06-Dec-12 13:25:20

yes its illegal in germany to home ed.

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 13:01:52

My understanding is that Home Education is illegal in Germany...or have I dreamed that?

Dromedary Thu 06-Dec-12 12:58:13

Presumably the government could take steps to reduce the influence of the Church of England in taxpayer funded state school education though? If it wanted to.

Chandon Thu 06-Dec-12 12:32:41

Freedom of education is a constitutional, legal concept that has been included in the European Convention of Human Rights, which the UK has signed and ratified. As part of International Law, this rightcan not be over ruled by any national legislation. So no government could make national laws that infringe this right.

Article 2 of this covenant gives parents the right to have their children educated in accordance with their religious and other views.

Therefore, in countries like the UK we can have Catholic schools, Muslim schools, Steiner and Montessori schools, prep schools and SEN schools, and the government could not stop it if they wanted to.

I believe this to be a good thing.

( polishes up ancient law degree)

dapplegrey Thu 06-Dec-12 12:19:43

wordfactory - I think there is a UN rule that the state can't have a monopoly on education which is maybe why Labour governments have been unable to ban private education. (Though I'm not sure how the UN would enforce their rule).

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 12:17:32

I made the point earlier that if you ban private education on the basis of it being unfair/discriminating on the basis of wealth, you have to ban schools that discriminate on the basis of faith. Those are equally unfair.

Of course it would be possible to word any legislation to leave certain education options open but would that be any fairer than the current situation?

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 11:36:34

But with my lawyer's hat on rabbit how could that be workable?

What would be the defininition of each?

rabbitstew Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:14

What is awesome? There's not much about the modern world I find awesome - just lots of technology-obsessed, self-centred power freaks with no interpersonal skills. grin

rabbitstew Thu 06-Dec-12 10:22:43

That's just your interpretation, wordfactory. It is quite possible to word legislation so as to make home education permissible and private education illegal. After all, legislation in this country is not based on logic.

Decemberinthesun Thu 06-Dec-12 10:21:37

APMF, I agree that HK Chinese are awesome.

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 10:12:14

If you ban private schools then you must also make home education illegal.

Either all children must be educated in state establishments or there must be choice.

APMF Thu 06-Dec-12 09:52:26

The HKC regard Singaporeans in the same way as Americans regard their Canadian neighbours ie too nice and polite and not as ambitious or as ruthless as them. This is another reason why the HKCs get a lot of the top jobs. (I worked there for a while so I am not generalizing based on a 24hr stop over smile )

Decemberinthesun Thu 06-Dec-12 09:17:45

I spent 1999-2002 and 2003-2006 working as a HR Director in 2 leading companies in Asia. My remit was to replace the outgoing managers and bring in new managers during aggressive growth. I had to go to operations and tell the no.2's that we wanted them to be promoted and go head up a new operation and that a new person/ someone below them would take over their job. With these promotions came more money. Nearly every Singaporean approached refused the promotion and didn't want to move position, causing bottle necks. As a result we had no choice but to import talent and as the pp mentioned, not without a lot of moaning and griping about foreigners. Many of them are happy to make junior or mid management and then coast. They do not want the grief. Believe it or not but foreign companies would rather have a local boss as they want their operating costs as low as possible. Asia is a cash cow for them, but they still want to squeeze every cent out of it they can. An expat comes with a higher salary, medical for all their family, schooling and flight backs. So there is a gap at the top. My comparison with the uk is not about education, I am just pointing out that this can happen here too, for different reasons. I can already see in my young children's class, many children from different countries whose parents attitude to educAtion is completely different to ours. Fast forward 20 years and it's them we need to worry about, not fighting amongst ourselves.

APMF Thu 06-Dec-12 08:51:36

Singapore ARE 'importing' foreigners. They are called Hong Kong Chinese smile

I have no knowledge of other industries but a lot of the senior managers in the finance companies are HKCs even when its a domestic bank as opposed to foreign owned.

peteneras Thu 06-Dec-12 08:38:51

The truth about Singapore is that the nation's population is not expanding fast enough. At best it's remaining stagnant if not actually shrinking. Educated Singaporeans particularly the female species delay marriages in order to hold on to their careers; many of them remaining spinsters thereafter for 2 reasons: (a) they would have passed their sell-by date when the time comes to swap career for family, (b) they would not marry a younger man or someone who is less qualified academically. The 'suitable' ones are all married by then. sad

This issue is giving the government a major headache - one of its own making. A few decades ago the government was actually penalising families for having more than 2 kids. Now it cannot reverse its own blunder fast enough! They actually have social clubs sponsored by the government to encourage unmarried Singaporeans to meet! I've never heard of any governmental match-making anywhere in the world! grin

The solution (they think) is to import foreigners, especially skilled ones, to run the economy and man other top jobs but that in itself is giving rise to new problems amongst the locals who complain bitterly that the foreigners do not fit into their culture and worse, are taking over their jobs.

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 07:55:11

People always roll out Finland and Singapore as the best.

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 07:54:23

Singapore is above UK in the league tables on education.

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