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To think that if you send DC to independent school or home-ed you should not have to pay for state education?

(113 Posts)
valhala Sat 26-Sep-09 23:09:17

I think I can see all sides of this debate, which came up amongst a group of friends and I today. The group was about 60% female and was socially quite mixed, with a range of ages, classes and income brackets. The topic of conversation came round to whether, if you do not have your child educated in the state sector but instead opt to home educate or send him to an independent school, you should receive a tax credit to reflect this which could go towards the cost of your choice of schooling.

The state school parents were perhaps the least enthusiastic but by no means did all of them reject the idea, whilst the home-eders had reservations about the cost of this plan in terms of restrictions on how they taught being implemented by a government anxious to tighten up home education law although they agreed that they would like the money to help them do the job themselves (which they told me was on average £5K p.a.) .

Interestingly, some of those who send their children to independent schools were not as anxious to see their money refunded as others - although whether due to social conscience or just being too darn well-off to care, I didn't like to ask!

Out of fascination I thought I'd post the question here - if I say that a tax credit should be paid under these circumstances, AIBU?

colditz Sat 26-Sep-09 23:10:53


because the option is being kept open foryou. It's being kept open at the expense of the taxpayer - therefore, you should be one of those taxpayers.

bronze Sat 26-Sep-09 23:11:01

You could do this for anything though. I don't drive and I know someone who creates no rubbish. It just doesn't work if you want to have a cohesive society

shonaspurtle Sat 26-Sep-09 23:12:04

A fraction of your taxes pays for your dc's education. You pay for future doctors, nurses, teachers (including those who teach in independent schools), police, firemen...basically opt out or no you are still part of society and your taxes contribute to that.

Quattrocento Sat 26-Sep-09 23:13:24

No, yanbu in principle

Except of course hell will freeze over before it ever happens. The economy is in a pretty dire state.

tattycoram Sat 26-Sep-09 23:13:27

Totally unreasonable. It's not like going shopping. Everybody who pays taxes pays towards education regardless of whether they have children or not because society needs an educated workforce.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 26-Sep-09 23:13:31

I don't think we pay to service ourselves and our own. I think we pay to service the society in which we live. Which in its turn is in our own best interests, as our children will live in the society we shape for them, peopled by other people's children. I want them to be well educated.

But then, I'm a state school teacher, so perhaps I have a vested interest...wink

PeachesMcLean Sat 26-Sep-09 23:14:01


I've never used intensive care. I've never needed an ambulance. I've never needed the fire service. And I've never claimed an old age pension. But do you know, I think some other people out there might find these services rather useful! The very thought that I might opt out because I'm alright Jack, is quite preposterous.

Firawla Sat 26-Sep-09 23:14:59

no, that does not make sense because even people without kids or without school age kids still have to pay the same. so why should people be let off just because they have kids and dont send to state school?

bronze Sat 26-Sep-09 23:15:32

I've always thought when people complain about things like this (also no kids but dont want to pay for other peoples) dont think of your taxes paying for now. Think of them paying for what you had, so your schooling and your birth etc.

morocco Sat 26-Sep-09 23:16:47



valhala Sat 26-Sep-09 23:17:08

The home edders argued that they are saving the system money by their choice. I gave the same argument as Bronze to a pro the idea independent Dad who agreed but pointed out that we already have tax credits for those on lower incomes who have children, and the childless paid, yet many are up in arms that they must do so....

As I said, I can see all sides (I think!) so am undecided.

morocco Sat 26-Sep-09 23:17:22

are you david cameron?

daftpunk Sat 26-Sep-09 23:19:56

yabu...your choice to opt out.....

would never work anyway..too complicated.

Bleh Sat 26-Sep-09 23:20:33

I don't think it would work, and as others have said, if you opt of out that, what else can you opt out of? So, if you choose to have private health insurance, do you then claim a refund from the NHs, if you don't have children, claim a refund for not being able to claim child benefit, and so on.

SlackSally Sat 26-Sep-09 23:20:59

I'm always puzzled by this argument. The way I see it, you don't pay taxes for your children to go to school, but for the education you received yourself, which was overwhelmingly likely to have been provided by the state. (Which is also what I think when childless people try and argue a rebate for themselves.)

And if your parents opted to educate you privately, then that was their lookout, and lucky them that they had that kind of choice.

I can't remember the last time I went to a doctor and I'm no whining about a refund, because I know if I DID want to go, it would be there for me to use. Exactly as state schools are to all private school pupils.

Your choice: suck it up.

fluffles Sat 26-Sep-09 23:21:32

nope, no way, because then you'd have to give rebates to people who reach menopause or have a vasectomy having had no children at all...

then you'd end up only splitting the cost of state education between those who are actively using it - which would work out about the same price as private education and in no way affordable for most!!!

valhala Sat 26-Sep-09 23:23:22

Ugh! Perish the thought morocco!

Another idea put forward was one similar to school uniform vouchers - that something similar should be given and that legislation demanded that they be spent on what they were meant to be spent on but WHERE parents spent them was their choice, be it state, private or tutors/books/stationery/pc for a home ed child, just as those with uniform vouchers must spend them on school clothing but can opt to go to M&S/Tesco/independent shop etc.

Won't happen in a million years but interesting.

wannaBe Sat 26-Sep-09 23:25:44

where do you draw the line though?

I have private medical insurance, therefore I should not pay as much towards the nhs; I don't drive, so take a bit more off for my lack of road use; I don't go out at night, so a bit more off for me not using street lights. Where does it end?

PeachesMcLean Sat 26-Sep-09 23:26:28

My goodness you've got some interesting friends hmm

Tortington Sat 26-Sep-09 23:27:58

i think the poor people shouldn't get education and those that do should have teachers only fed lychees

daftpunk Sat 26-Sep-09 23:28:09

where do you get uniform vouchers from..? iv'e never had them..

valhala Sat 26-Sep-09 23:29:12

Oh my word Peaches, I'll grant you that! An ecclectic mix is the politest way I can describe them!! wink

Ewe Sat 26-Sep-09 23:29:56


Quite clearly a ridiculous unworkable ludicrous idea. You don't get to opt in and opt out of society. I actually started to type out the reasons why it was stupid but decided I couldn't be arsed, it really should be clear enough.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 26-Sep-09 23:32:23

At least some of the teachers in private schools will have been state educated, so pay those taxes. Plus all the other points made above.

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