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High earners to pay for their children state schools

(483 Posts)
Verycold Sun 19-Jan-14 09:13:52

Verycold Sun 19-Jan-14 09:14:17

StealthPolarBear Sun 19-Jan-14 09:15:38

In fairness that is just a recommendation

MyNameIsKenAdams Sun 19-Jan-14 09:16:06

Utter bollocks.

The wealthy already pay via taxes towards the State.

And I say that as someone whos dh earns little over NMW.

EdithWeston Sun 19-Jan-14 09:17:52

Authored by Seldon - a big "Tony crony", isn't he?

Watch out for this in the Labour manifesto.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 09:18:42

It's utter rubbish and could not be imposed. What would happen to the people on £80k who have a huge mortgage, debts and very little disposable income? Would their children have to travel 10 miles to the nearest poorly performing school because their parents can't afford to pay their top up for a local good school?
In any case, those earning £80k already pay a damn sight more towards the costs of education through their taxes than lower income families do.

ShadowOfTheDay Sun 19-Jan-14 09:19:36

"We have to end this unfair farce whereby middle-class parents dominate the best schools, when they could afford to pay, and even boast of their moral superiority in using the state system when all they are doing is squeezing the poor from the best schools,"


In separate comments, he said that grammar schools were "stuffed full" of middle-class children and do not improve social mobility.

I do totally and wholeheartedly disagree with paying for state school in principle -

BUT - those 2 comments he has made are both VERY, VERY true in our town.... don't think this is the right way to go about changing that, but it is good to get the recognition that it is a problem out there...

hercules1 Sun 19-Jan-14 09:20:19

What if you have dc at university at the same time you have dc at school? Plus large mortgage and debt?

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 19-Jan-14 09:23:59

hmm we'll that's a stupid idea. Given that he's the head of a private School his motive for wanting all high earners to pay seems pretty obvious!

shushpenfold Sun 19-Jan-14 09:25:03

The rest of the article was interesting too. It's all very well for the Head of Wellington to have a 1/4 of the spaces at his school as non-fee paying….many, many independents are not able offer that many bursaries as they simply don't have the cash and are busy trying to keep afloat. Most smaller ones also can't improve their balance books using economies of scale a la Wellington.

rabbitstew Sun 19-Jan-14 09:26:49

What bollocks. Would result in lots of middle class parents trying to persuade Ofsted to downgrade their children's school. grin We all know, after all, that actual results have as much to do with family background and external help as superb teaching. I suspect it's Seldon's way of boosting the private sector.

Hulababy Sun 19-Jan-14 09:27:41

Read this earlier. Silly idea. And wouldn't work.

However he does make one good point. There are many people who state they are all for state education and don't believe in private education but have actually spent a fortune moving into dearer houses in the right catchment area for the best schools. They do seem to forget that they are still paying for the best education - just in another way. And that those with less money can't afford to do what they are doing - so the best schools are not always available to them.

rabbitstew Sun 19-Jan-14 09:29:26

Mind you, if some state schools were stuffed full of parents earning £80,000 a year and more, then getting those parents to contribute towards the cost of their kids' education would, surely, just boost those schools still further? Or would the money not go to the schools in question, but to the schools down the road, which said parents would not be allowed to contribute to in that way if their children actually went there?

rabbitstew Sun 19-Jan-14 09:30:51

I know... his next suggestion could be that the money raised could be given to private schools to help fund their busaries. gringrin

Timetoask Sun 19-Jan-14 09:32:41

I hope this idea doesn't get any wings.
There is a reason why the middle class is called the squeezed middle. What if these families have more than 2 children? What if they have elderly parents they are looking after? What if they live in an expensive part of the country where housing is astronomical.

I can guess that this will lead to one of the parents' staying in a lower paid job to avoid getting above the £80,000 threshold he talks about.

EdithWeston Sun 19-Jan-14 09:33:27

And they could call it the "assisted place scheme"

Or perhaps call schools with high proportion of affluent parents and slightly different funding 'direct grant'

impty Sun 19-Jan-14 09:39:17

Wellington college also sponsors a state academy, and wishes to add more to its portfolio. I'm glad our school rejected them as a sponsor! I suspect there is a hugely obvious ulterior motive. Greed.

Both the state school they sponsor, and the one I know about, they wanted to, are in affluent areas. Many parents will have an income of over £80k- but will also have expensive mortgages etc as its not a cheap place to live.

Of course there are many fee paying schools to choose from to. If we are forced to pay, we would quite simply look at all the fee paying schools available, or move!

I would say that a fair few of us make an active decision to not go down the fee paying route, for a variety of different reasons. This man is just greedy and wants our cash, regardless of whether we have is as disposable income.

I don't believe it will ever happen, but I'm very glad my children are nearing the end of there education!

impty Sun 19-Jan-14 09:40:22


LauraBridges Sun 19-Jan-14 09:56:06

Well it accords with my views so I am smiling...... Taking a state school place when you could afford to pay fees is immoral and like taking food from the mouths of the poor. I have always said so particularly to those rich parents who use state schools who think sending children to private schools is the worst moral wrong.

Quote below from the Sunday Times article on this:
"Dr Anthony Seldon, master at Wellington College, also argues that private schools should have to reserve a quarter of their places for children from the poorest families.

In a report to be published by the Social Market Foundation on Wednesday, Seldon says adopting the plans would save the country money at a time of austerity.

It would also help to close the huge, wasteful and “unfair” gap between the academic achievements and career prospects of the richest and poorest children in the UK because the money raised could be used to pay for more teachers and smaller classes.

“We have to end this unfair farce whereby middle-class parents dominate the best schools, when they could afford to pay, and even boast of their moral superiority in using the state system when all they are doing is squeezing out the poor from the best schools,” said Seldon.

He said he has discussed the plans with politicians from both main parties. Lord Adonis, the former Labour minister for schools, is due to attend the event on Wednesday.

Seldon said the principle of paying for state-backed education has already been established in universities, which now charge students £9,000 a year for degree-level teaching which was previously free. In his report Seldon says all families with an income of more than £80,000 a year — the average income of the top 10% of the population when combined — should be charged if their child attends an oversubscribed state school. “The more the parents earn, the more they should pay,” he says.

Fees would also be higher at the most popular schools under the proposals. “Grammar schools, popular academies and comprehensives would be the most expensive schools,” says Seldon, who points out that only 3% of pupils at the country’s 166 grammar schools come from the poorest homes.

Families earning more than £200,000 a year with children at the most oversubscribed schools would pay the most — up to £20,000 a year for a secondary school place and £15,000 a year for a primary school place, equivalent to the fees for a private school.

The move is needed, says Seldon, because social mobility has stalled in the UK as a result of the unequal educational opportunities offered to children.

He points out that privately educated pupils are much more likely to be accepted at a leading university and to land a job in one of the top professions, such as law or medicine, than state school pupils.

Twice as much is spent on schooling per pupil in private schools as in state schools and privately educated pupils are taught in smaller classes by better-qualified teachers.

The waste of talent is hampering the country’s economic progress, argues Seldon. The wealthy also cream off places in the best state schools by buying houses in catchment areas and paying for private tutoring to ensure their children pass the entry exams required for grammar schools.

Seldon says it is only fair that if parents can afford to pay for better schooling, which they have secured by using their sharp elbows to monopolise the best schools, then they should be made to do so.

“Instead of estate agents and private tutors getting rich, let’s put this money into the state system,” he says.
The report also suggests that more private schools should sponsor state academies and free schools and give them their name."

End of quote

rabbitstew Sun 19-Jan-14 10:01:53

Does Dr Seldon discuss how "the most popular state schools" will be assessed as such? Where I live, there's not much difference between the comprehensives and you send your child to the nearest one...

As for inequality being a result of education, methinks the market being incapable of controlling ludicrous bonuses doesn't help. And I wonder where most of those overpaid people send their children to school?

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 10:13:13

Well it accords with my views so I am smiling...... Taking a state school place when you could afford to pay fees is immoral and like taking food from the mouths of the poor. I have always said so particularly to those rich parents who use state schools who think sending children to private schools is the worst moral wrong.

Those earning a higher salary pay more in taxes to support the state schools, so I don't see how you can calculate that it is immoral for them to utilise the state schools if they choose to do so. If we want to charge people to use state education based on their income then we should lower the taxes that they pay to reflect the new charges as we can't expect them to pay twice. It would be a winner for those who currently choose private education and are effectively paying twice for their child's education as they would no longer need to contribute towards the state education that they are not using.
Perhaps we should think its immoral for those not paying much in taxes to use state schools as they haven't contributed towards the cost. That isn't something that I would agree with either but it does highlight how warped this idea of morality that you mention regarding payment for education is.

LauraBridges Sun 19-Jan-14 10:15:29

You can make a case either way. Immoral that some parents on £50k pay for a private school place by going without holidays etc when parents on £100k next door take up a state school place. Equity would be ensured either by charging the £100k parent for the state school place or by giving the private school parents a voucher they can use at the private school for the cost of a state school place. The current situation is not fair however.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 10:20:44

The 100k parent is already paying towards the cost of their state school place - through taxation. The 50k parent has made a choice to pay twice. The fact is that currently people have a choice to either pay once through taxation or pay twice through taxation and fees. The idea that you are proposing would mean that all higher earners have to pay twice. And the voucher scheme is ridiculous as at the present time the country cannot afford to pay for people's voluntary choices.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 19-Jan-14 10:23:41

The London challenge unhooked that perceived connection between outstanding schools and middle class catchments. They proved that you can deliver better outcomes to children in deprived areas and now OFSTED are targeting all those schools in leafy suburbs that are failing poor pupils. The latest school to get outstanding around here serves the most deprived area. It isn't social engineering that is needed, Seddons proposal might generate more money but it will entrench the differences in schools. What is needed is simply, as the London challenge focused on, improving leadership and processes and sharing best practise. Letting the education professionals get on with their jobs without more dogma driven political interference. If all schools were good then you wouldn't need to try to manage the middle classes manipulating the system.

Grammar schools used to be a vehicle for social mobility, certainly in my family. There again the problem is with the fact that the middle classes can manipulate the system because they have made the entrance exams tutorable. Selective private schools do quite well at eliminating the tutor effect (even if parents don't realise it) but Grammar Schools have been complacent, happy with their nice middle class intakes of reasonably bright kids, and with the nice cheap predictable VR NVR tests. They moved away from the old system of having primary Heads nominate which children were grammar school candidates with testing of those at the borderline (now it would not be legal) at one grammar school in the north ten years ago and since then the tutoring industry has emerged and the social mix at the school has all but disappeared. Getting the middle classes to pay isn't going to address the underlying problem. The Grammar School Heads and governing bodies need to be held to account for having admissions processes that genuinely test ability not cramming.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 19-Jan-14 10:25:47

London schools are not representative because most schools in London have a range of children from socially diverse backgrounds and all London schools receive much higher funding per pupil than other schools.

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