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to think that due to lack of state school places parents at private..

(102 Posts)
PancakesAndMapleSyrup Sun 10-Nov-13 22:40:56

Should be able to claim from the government the funding that they would receive for their child at a state school towards their fees? I am well aware that many people believe that private schools are for those with deep pockets but there are many parents who cannot afford to buy a house or rent more than a shed size property near a decent state school therefore approach an indie school, (bursary, no holidays ever, no external activities etc). If all indie schools were to close we would be right up shit street for places as there are a lack of them anyway as it is. So aibu?

Bettercallsaul1 Sun 10-Nov-13 22:44:01

Is there actually a lack of state school places overall, though - or just a severe shortage in the schools that parents would like their children to attend?

EdithWeston Sun 10-Nov-13 22:44:12

That would essentially be a voucher scheme?

I don't think any political party has this as a policy, though it is mooted from time to time. I don't think it is affordable right now.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 10-Nov-13 22:45:55

Exactly how is extracting 7% of the state school budget going to work? How about the parents who would go private, give all the money they would have spent to the state and education improves for everyone? Just as impractical, I'm afraid.

EdithWeston Sun 10-Nov-13 22:48:09

There is an overall lack - not uniformly distributed, but a predicted shortfall.

Existing independent schools are attracting enough parents to be viable both as schools and businesses, so there isn't an acute need to prop up the sector with any new cash (even though I agree it would undoubtedly break the state sector if there were a spate of closures and an influx of pupils ).

To meet the projected shortfall, new schools are needed. Under present policy, they can only be quasi-independent schools in the state sector, such as academies and free schools. I don't know what plans the Opposition has for new schools.

Caitlin17 Mon 11-Nov-13 01:09:58

YABVU. And I say that as a parent who sent a child to a private school . It was our choice. You don't get to pick and choose which bits of what the state pays for but which you don't use and therefore should get money back

Mrs Terry Pratchett, we paid our taxes , what we did with the money thereafter was up to us, but the premise of this post is deeply flawed. Absolutely should not get money back just we because we didn't use the state school.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Mon 11-Nov-13 01:18:48


caroldecker Mon 11-Nov-13 01:22:52

the best system would be a voucher system which parents were able to top up if required. This would be alongside the ability of all schools to expand as necessary and useless/undersubscribed schools to close.
The tradegy of the present system is that bad schools do not close.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 11-Nov-13 01:26:37

I think we agree Caitlin I was being facetious, that's why I said "Just as impractical, I'm afraid." smile

Brittapie Mon 11-Nov-13 01:28:42

YABU - you pay taxes to have the opportunity to use state schools. There IS a place, it just might not be in the school you like, which is a shame. When my DD ended up only being offered a catholic school, and she went for a bit and it didn’t suit her, we home educated and didn't expect funding, because the state school system is there for everyone and we had chosen not to use it (whether religious indoctrination should get state funding is a whole other thread)

We wouldn't have been able to get near the cost of private anyway, but I strongly believe that if you are earning enough for it just to be a case of cutting back a bit to afford fees you don't need any money that has been taken from the education of kids who can never even dream of the things you see it as a hardship to cut back. Sorry.

She is now in a nice normal state school. Not perfect, but at the end of our street and non discriminatory. Which is nice grin

Caitlin17 Mon 11-Nov-13 01:30:11

MrsTP sorry, didn't read it properly. It's a daft idea.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 11-Nov-13 01:35:03

I agree wink

WallyBantersJunkBox Mon 11-Nov-13 01:37:14

I get this in the country we live in. The last monthly invoice I get for my DC's school fees has a tax reimbursement deducted from the bill. It's about 1% of the total fees.

MiniMonty Mon 11-Nov-13 01:53:04

Turn this idea on it's head...

If there were no fee paying schools would all those parents who are so committed to their kids education that they are prepared to pay huge sums put up with the standards at your average state school?
Or would they push (and push and push) for those schools to improve, have better facilities, offer more language tuition, have swimming pools... ?

Fee paying schools don't cream off the best kids, they cream off the best parents and those parents are a genuine loss to the state system.

However, the idea of claiming some kind of "compensation" from the state to pay for something that the state offers for free (and delivers very well overall) is ridiculous.

And guess what... The kids who do well in education (fee paying or not) are those who are supported at home by parents who read with them, take them to museums and concerts, insist on supper at the table every night, expose them to culture and history, who show their kids that the library is exciting, who expose them to a life in a wide community wherever they live - in short, the kids that do well are the kids of the parents who TRY - and trying is free. As are the libraries, the concerts, the culture, the community and insisting on supper at the table.

intitgrand Mon 11-Nov-13 08:30:11

and another point.Who paid to train the teachers at private school in the first place?

friday16 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:32:02

take them to museums and concerts, insist on supper at the table every night, expose them to culture and history, who show their kids that the library is exciting

Although whether that's a cause or an effect is an interesting research project. If you gave single parents who left school at sixteen with few qualifications, living in deprived areas, tickets and transport to the RSC once a month, would there be a net benefit to their children? There might be. But it might be that the real benefit to children of theatre going (as an example) occurs on the way there and back, with parents who can use Richard II as a teachable moment, and those parents are finding those teachable moments (and being able to exploit them) in many more places than visits to the theatre.

You could probably equally observe that children who do well at GCSE are disproportionately likely to wear, and have parents that wear, Boden, but distributing vouchers for sensible clothes in natural fibres to underachieving schools seems a rather indirect way to boost 5 A*-C results.

And culture isn't free. Aside from the cost of tickets, which may be free, there's also the transport cost of getting to the event, the opportunity cost of not working, the lunch you need, etc. There's a slight whiff of "let them eat cake" to the proposition that just because the main collection at the National Gallery is free, single parents in Doncaster are remiss for not showing their children more Van Gogh, and I'm not sure what in isolation that visit would achieve. Cultural capital is about a lot more than standing in the room, and the reasons why children who have backgrounds that value culture tend to do better at school is a complex mesh of causes and effects.

WooWooOwl Mon 11-Nov-13 08:33:15

YABU. But I do think that school fees should be tax deductable.

friday16 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:33:24

and another point.Who paid to train the teachers at private school in the first place?

Under current funding arrangements? The teachers themselves, in large part.

whois Mon 11-Nov-13 08:34:10

Excellent post MiniMonty

CloverkissSparklecheeks Mon 11-Nov-13 08:37:44

I definitely do not agree with giving money to parents towards private school fees however there is definitely a lack of state school places in some local authorities, nothing to do with not wanting to send your children to the local school at all.

The problem in our area is mainly infants and secondary and this is even in an area that has a high number of private schools, there are children without school places every year. The government are paying to put portacabins in playgrounds and adding extentions to buildings to accomodate more children. This is fine to get children a school place but the quality of these originally very small schools is suffering hugely as they are going from being run as a 1 form intake to 2 or 3 form intake with no additional management/admin help. It is a real shame.

My DCs are at a private school but I agree with MiniMonty's post in theory, in practise I do not believe it would make any difference in the 'school life time' of my children so I selfishly made a decision to suit us. Unfortunately we also live in an area with very poor state school results, some may say this is because of the high number of private schools but we will never know if this is the case, these are not all particularly academic private schools as mainly non-selective (and not mega expensive) who have varying results.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Mon 11-Nov-13 08:42:01

Childcare vouchers are still valid for private school fees up to the the term after the child's 5th birthday which is a massive help.

We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination so any additional help would be helpful however I do not think this is an area that the government should be investing in as there are other more important areas. What about all those additional parents who would then be able to afford private school fees as a result, would this mean state education would become even worse, schools would get less funding if less children.

SteamWisher Mon 11-Nov-13 08:42:20


Those who use private schools choose to do so.

They could send their kids to state school, they could get more involved eg via school governors or, if theydont have time, email governors etc etc instead of fleeing to the private sector. To then get pay back would be pretty galling.

SteamWisher Mon 11-Nov-13 08:44:29

As for the shortage of school places, the government need to take a more strategic approach.
For example, where I live, there are housing developings with family homes being built left, right and centre.
Are they building new schools and other facilities to accommodate? No, they are not, which is downright stupid. Instead existing schools are expected to cram in extra classes.

Bettercallsaul1 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:44:54

I don't think that's ever going to happen, WooWooOwl!

Grennie Mon 11-Nov-13 08:47:29

Given the massive cuts being made to basic services to help very vulnerable people, I would be extremely angry if the Government put funding into an initiative such as this.

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