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Would you be prepared to pay more tax to get better state education for all?

(707 Posts)
happygardening Tue 26-Feb-13 16:53:19

Any other suggestions welcome to ensure that all where ever they live and whatever their background have access to education of the highest quality.

LaVolcan Tue 05-Mar-13 16:04:06

I'm not entirely sure of that seeker - I think children in the middle often get overlooked.

seeker Tue 05-Mar-13 13:41:42

Absolutely, slipshodsybil and rabbit. These threads always focus on the top 5%-20% - and that is not where the money and the attention needs to go.

slipshodsibyl Tue 05-Mar-13 10:26:29

more money on Pupil Referral Units, then, so that schools CAN do something about disruptive children who still need to be educated??... No point paying someone more to deal with children they aren't trained to deal with and don't want to deal with however much you pay them - pay someone else who IS appropriately trained to deal with them

Yes. I can't help feeling this would be more useful to society than taking out the top few percent of academic performers. But then I (think I) value social cohesion more than I value the rights of a putative elite.

rabbitstew Tue 05-Mar-13 10:24:21

There are definitely not enough good HTs around. There aren't even enough HTs for all our schools. There's nothing worse for a school than a bully of a headteacher who tells staff what to do but provides no support to enable them to do it - but with the increasingly silly, arbitrary targets set by government and ramping up of pressure, there are bound to be more and more HTs so stressed out by it all that they dump all their stress on their staff. In fact, the government in general is behaving like a bullying headteacher which sets silly targets for everyone without providing them with any support.

slipshodsibyl Tue 05-Mar-13 10:22:53

Recruitment and retention encompasses far more than salary alone. It would address low status (which is at the root of the things you mention above). One way of improving status would be to raise the bar for entry into teaching and continue high quality training thereafter. An excellent headteacher would offer support and be unlikely to be unsupportive without reason.

This wouldn't, I accept, simply solve the societal problems implicit in the events you mention, which teachers are expected to deal with, but it would be a big step in the right direction.

I do not mean to suggest that teachers are underqualified and undertrained at present - there are so many talented and dedicated people in education - but there could be a greater consistency in quality.

rabbitstew Tue 05-Mar-13 10:19:39

So, more money on Pupil Referral Units, then, so that schools CAN do something about disruptive children who still need to be educated??... No point paying someone more to deal with children they aren't trained to deal with and don't want to deal with however much you pay them - pay someone else who IS appropriately trained to deal with them. But that costs extra MONEY, surely?

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 10:03:18

A few years ago I read an article in the Sunday Times and pay came low down in the list of reasons why teachers left the profession.

Disruptive pupils, aggressive parents, unsupportive HM and/or LA were all more prominent reasons. One teacher friend left after the school gave a teenager who was abusive towards her yet another chance. She is now working in HR and has no regrets.

slipshodsibyl Tue 05-Mar-13 09:47:22

what would you spend the money on?

Training, recruitment and retention of excellent teachers and headteachers.

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 08:37:55

I didn't stop to buy the paper but headlines read 'Billions spent on NHS fails to halt decline".

Throwing lots of money at schools will result in same headlines.

That aside, what would you spend the money on? It's just that the discussion seems to stop at getting more money as if that is it.

FillyPutty Mon 04-Mar-13 18:44:28

That is true about deductions. In the US they can deduct lots of things:

in particular mortgages, but also moving expenses when going to a new job, medical premiums, and many others. The US system of taxation is a factor in why they give so much more to charity.

You can't compare headline tax rates necessarily.

noviceoftheday Mon 04-Mar-13 18:42:45

I wouldnt pay more, no.

MTSgroupie Mon 04-Mar-13 18:33:27

I get the impression, from reading the allocation threads, that the bad schools are bad because of teachers/HM and/or disruptive kids. Lack of funds is never mentioned.

Money isn't the root of the (main) problem so no to the tax question.

Xenia Mon 04-Mar-13 16:44:42

The basic rate of tax and NI is 32% (20% tax and 12% NI). It is pointless saying it is 20% when you have to pay 32%.

The current 2013 upper rate of tax and NI is 52% (which is more like a marginal upper rate of 66% when you take into account that single person allowance is lost at higher income levels).

Also we have fewer deductions against tax whereas in the past when we used to have rates as high as this we used to have them for mortgage interest, child tax allowances etc (eg childcare can be £25k for many UK full time working parents and can be as low as £1500 in some states). Also we have very high petrol and other indirect taxes adn VAT ant 20% plus council tax (I pay about £3k or more of council tax). It all adds up to being taxed high at every turn.

Tasmania Mon 04-Mar-13 12:23:09

LaVolcan - we might not be taxed as high as other countries, but it feels as though we are because our wages don't stretch as far as on the continent. When the Pound was stronger, it looked like we were earning more, but not so new. I know a girl whose net earnings as an engineer in Paris is EUR90k a year. You'd probably get half of that gross per year here... doing exactly the same thing.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 11:18:11

That's too Tasmania BTW.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 11:17:23

Quite so, house prices don't have much to do with tax. Your argument is that we shouldn't pay more tax because the cost of living is high, which is a perfectly valid arguement, but not something I was taking issue with.

I was querying Xenia's argument which seemed to boil down to we shouldn't pay more tax because we are already among the highest taxed in Europe. She has yet to convince me that this is so for a majority of people.

Tasmania Mon 04-Mar-13 11:12:26


I don't work in banking - but a related industry, but I agree with you on the City people pricing ordinary people out of the market. I'd much rather like less volatile earnings, but steady and affordable homes.

Re schooling - personally, I am not sure I will ever get all I want from education through the state sector, so I would rather like to have the private option available.

Tasmania Mon 04-Mar-13 10:57:30

Housing is less expensive, but housing costs aren't high because of the tax paid on them.

Not true. In Germany, approx. 80% of the population rent - they don't own homes. Because of this, there's a generally big interest in keeping rental prices steady... because 80% is one hell of a majority vote, and legislation is designed to benefit tenants, with all laws heavily falling in their favour. In addition, rental cost must adhere to the Mietspiegel - and index that tracks the rental cost in any city or state. People either rent from big consortiums or private landlords. There's healthy competition. Because many people prefer to rent, rather than buy, property prices don't go up in the same manner as here in the UK. Landlords generally buy property for the income it produces, not the growth of the property value - which is what it should be.

Also, one major thing in keeping house prices low is very prudent bank lending. LTV ratios barely ever go beyond 80%. In fact, a 20% deposit is often seen as no enough, when here in the UK, it is seen as "too much for us to save".

If you look at UK house prices, they have only really started growing exponentially when in the 70s, the law was changed, allowing high street banks to offer mortgages, and not just building societies. Competitions amongst these financial institutions increased, resulting in mortgages being made available to a wider population. Within that decade alone, house prices increased tenfold, because prudent lending went out of the window...

House prices really don't have much to do with tax, but rather supply and demand. Suppy is limited because the UK is a very small country, that does not really "build into the sky". Demand depends on how many people manage to get hold of the money...

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 10:36:29

And of course you don't pay NI on earnings once you reach pensionable age.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 10:32:40

Yes, I know about NI.

I think it's quite a common misconception that people have that the state pension isn't taxable.

meditrina Mon 04-Mar-13 10:19:47

LaVolcan: it's an important difference. Pensions are taxable, but not subject to NI (which is paid only on earnings, not other income streams).

rabbitstew Mon 04-Mar-13 09:09:54

But Tasmania, we have a little bit of everything in education far more in the UK than in other EU countries - I thought we'd established that? And it doesn't actually seem to work very well to have grammar schools, faith schools, secondary modern/high schools, comprehensive schools, private selective schools, private all-comer schools, very expensive public schools... and real free choice is a myth - your choice is generally limited to what is close enough to home and has enough space. And as for high tax versus high house prices, I'm not sure many people would vote for high house prices, they just don't want negative equity, so are trapped into expecting high prices for the property that they own, even if they recognise how unwholesome this is. And City bonuses didn't help the situation in the South East, as people started paying silly prices for investment purposes, because their huge bonuses allowed them to, so pricing more ordinarily paid people out of the market and encouraging foreign investors to do the same.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 09:08:40

The 12% isn't income tax, it's tax on earnings - a very important difference to old age pensioners, and those drawing medical pensions (eg disability early retirement)

Sorry, I am not sure what you mean here: pensions are taxable, including the state pension.

Maybe I should clarify what I meant by 20%. That's the lowest rate band after your personal allowances. Yes, if you pay national insurance then it comes to roughly 33% deduction for someone on average earnings. In theory though, national insurance isn't a tax because it entitles you to some benefits, but admittedly, I think you could argue about this.

meditrina Mon 04-Mar-13 07:06:35

There is a scale of income tax, from 20%-40%.

There is no 32% band.

The 12% isn't income tax, it's tax on earnings - a very important difference to old age pensioners, and those drawing medical pensions (eg disability early retirement)

FillyPutty Mon 04-Mar-13 03:21:51

We don't have 20% income tax, we have 32% income tax.

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