If you can afford private education do you have a moral obligation to privately educate?

(31 Posts)
momacharlie Sat 20-Apr-13 19:41:39

Just wondering what people think. On a separate thread I was asking for advice on a particular London borough schools and whether people could help me decide whether to state educate or go privately. One view was that if you can afford to educate privately then you should do as there is no point taking a place in an outstanding state primary that could benefit a child with less choices. Thoughts?

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 21-Apr-13 21:51:55

If one is fortunate enough to have the choice surely the only "obligation" is to choose the school that is best for your child? IMO, there is no moral obligation.

Talkinpeace Sun 21-Apr-13 21:45:09

round here there are a LOT more rich people than private school places : many of the kids at the local boarding schools come from outside the area

difficultpickle Sun 21-Apr-13 19:50:55

If you did impose this there would be a lot of movement in an out of private and state schools. I know plenty of people whom have chosen state schooling. Their local state school is excellent. The catchment area is small and the housing is extremely expensive - £600-£700 for a semi and we aren't in London. The school offers no wraparound care at all as the pupils are collected by their parents (mostly sahm).

Ds started his education at a private school for many reasons the main one of which was nothing to do with the education he would actually receive. If I could have found the same (non-education) provision in our local state school then that is where he would have gone.

You have a moral obligation to pay luxury tax on the school placement imo, as on health insurance.

juniper9 Sun 21-Apr-13 19:10:29

Morally, I will be putting my children through state school regardless of income.

I completely disagree with the concept of buying an education. If private schools are so good, they should be available to everyone, rather than the elite.

Biscuitsneeded Sun 21-Apr-13 14:45:13

That's bonkers. The state education system is for the children of the state. We could possibly avoid private if we went without holidays, stopped all out-of-school activities etc, but I wouldn't want to. Private schools are an option open to some parts of society who can afford them. But they are luxuries, not really any different from things like ski-ing holidays, private health care, expensive cars, designer clothes and so on. I wouldn't feel I had to go on a holiday or buy a bigger car just because I could afford one, and I wouldn't want to force my children into a more narrow experience of society than the perfectly good one for which my taxes currently pay!

lljkk Sun 21-Apr-13 10:01:21

Obviously you pay your taxes so have an entitlement to state education

NO YOU DO NOT.

No one should pay taxes so that they can get something back personally for them and only them. That is not the purpose of taxation.

The point of taxation is to have a general environment that benefits us all. ALL. I shudder to think what quality of life I would have if few people around me had access to a decent education & decent medical care, good policing, etc.

lljkk Sun 21-Apr-13 09:57:12

Anyone who can afford private school (or has a child bright enough to get a cheap place) has a moral obligation to try to put them thru state school to keep the general standard of state schools up which benefits everyone in society. To keep more of us, especially the relatively more privileged, more invested in the quality of the state education sector. And the better state education, the better for all of society.

So the case is strongly in opposition to OP's hypothesis.
I sent DS to private school for a while, btw, it was what he needed (higher pastoral support than state). I am not one to go around living my life as a moral example to others. But if I did...

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 21-Apr-13 07:54:27

Don't be ridiculous. That's snobbery talking not sense. Don't mix with the oiks if u don't need to. Can do wealthy kids good to see mix of people. It's a very much horses for courses decision but please, send kids because u want to and it's best for ur specific kids. No other reasons!

momacharlie Sun 21-Apr-13 07:49:06

Interesting debate! I do sympathise with the 'bugger off to private and let us have the place' post which is why I thought it would be interesting to see what people thought. If a system is overloaded (some kids in our borough got no offer of a state primary school place) then I can see the argument that getting rid of a few people who could afford to educate privately would help. Same with private doctors/hospitals taking the strain off NHS waiting times. Obviously you pay your taxes so have an entitlement to state education but does this mean you should? If you went elsewhere, a child with less choices would get a better education

mamadoc Sat 20-Apr-13 23:54:07

I think there's a moral obligation not to!

I could possibly afford to send Dd private if I thought it was a worthwhile use of our money but I don't. I strongly believe that she should go to our local school. I have made no effort at all to live near an especially good one either. I just live where I've lived for 10 years before dc were even in prospect.

I think a school should be for everyone in the local community and then everyone will buy into making it a good place. I am a governor at our school and I hope in that way I'm giving some of my time and expertise to improve it. Other people do PTA or listen to reading or help out in other ways and there's a lovely friendly atmosphere and a very diverse school community.

I would imagine that some other folk at our school could afford to go private if they really wanted to (I don't know any millionaires but there are others with solid middle class jobs) but I would be sad if they did as it would weaken the school.

Callthemidlife Sat 20-Apr-13 23:29:09

See, now, I see it totally differently. Round my way there are either unbelievably good grammars, or shit secondary moderns. No in between in the state sector. And I think it absolutely appalling that parents spend a fortune at the primary level on either independent schools or on tutors to grab the places at the grammar. We have a private school here where the ONLY selling point for the school is a 92-95% success rate in getting the kids to grammar. It is quite clearly morally abhorrent that some children are tutored to within an inch of their lives so that they can nick the spaces of more clever children who don't have the same advantage.

So, the moral obligation is whether or not you should be depriving a more able child of their educational opportunities by dint of being able to buy an unfair advantage. Of course not. Therefore by definition you do have a moral obligation to let the more able child take the place. The difficulty is that of dont know which child is more able. and unless your child is extraordinarily bright, you can only assume that you've bought yourself an unfair advantage and that's morally crap.

And I say all of that as a mum with kids in the private sector.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 20-Apr-13 23:08:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sat 20-Apr-13 23:07:38

No, of course not.

And sadly, the odds are that the place at teh outstanding school will not go to a disadvantaged four year old from a low income family, but some other middle class child marginally outside the current effective catchment. That's what property prices tend to do.

couldwinterstopnowplease Sat 20-Apr-13 22:58:25

Rather than it being an excuse to justify a decision to go private, I assumed the poster on the other thread was saying it in a 'well bugger off private and let the rest of us have the place' way.

As I said on the other thread to the OP, if you pay your taxes, you are entitled to a place in a state school and no way should you feel bad even if you can afford to go private!

difficultpickle Sat 20-Apr-13 22:34:45

rabbit you may be right but they cover a broad spectrum of income, jobs and social class. I just have no wish to have a satellite dish on my house and our road cannot have cable and I don't watch enough tv to justify the cost (seems expensive to me).

rabbitstew Sat 20-Apr-13 22:28:33

bisjo - you must have a rather limited circle of friends if you are the only person you know who doesn't have Sky or cable TV! grin

As already pointed out, one person's moral obligation to pay private school fees is another person's moral outrage that such behaviour encourages the state and the taxpayer to think they are spending enough on state education when there aren't even enough state school places to go round.

Asinine Sat 20-Apr-13 22:10:25

I am exercising my moral duty not to use up private school places even though I could potentially afford it, by sending mine to state school. wink

exoticfruits Sat 20-Apr-13 22:09:33

No

CruCru Sat 20-Apr-13 21:58:41

It's a funny idea. It would mean that in very affluent areas no children would go to the local state school.

difficultpickle Sat 20-Apr-13 21:26:51

There are very very few people who can afford to educate their dcs privately without it having some effect on their way of life. The question of affordability is subjective. There is a lot of other expenditure that I forego in order to have the money to pay school fees. Some of the things that I don't have others view as a necessity (eg I am the only person I know who doesn't have Sky or cable tv - not that not having it is any kind of loss imvho).

ipadquietly Sat 20-Apr-13 20:04:25

'an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong; "he did it out of a feeling of moral obligation".'

That would be a severe indictment of the state system, attended by 93% of children in the country!

No.

Parents interested in education contribute to good state schools. If they want to make a financial contribution then a few donations to the library/PTA/building fund go a long way.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 20-Apr-13 20:00:46

Erm, no, how bizarre. If you've already paid in once, why should you be obliged to pay in again unless you want to hmm. My dc go to private school, but if I wanted to use the failing state school in my catchment then I would. If there was a better school I'd use it and save my cash.

MirandaWest Sat 20-Apr-13 19:57:30

Of course there is no moral obligation. That is daft.

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