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Private Schools proposal for up to 10,000 free places each year

(186 Posts)
Aussiejazz Sun 11-Dec-16 19:10:15

What do you think of this idea to offer up to 10,000 free places to lower income families each year?

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/12/09/government-serious-schools-work-everyone-will-jump-proposal/

AuntieStella Sun 11-Dec-16 19:11:42

Recreation of assisted place scheme, isn't it?

TheLongRoadToXmas Sun 11-Dec-16 19:14:48

While the long-term goal surely has to be spreading that excellence and opportunity outside the private sector, I think it has a lot to recommend it as a short-term fix until we manage to create utopia. Particularly for children for whom the local state option is a bad fit for any reason, or who have particular interests or abilities which aren't catered for well in any of the state options.

I did wonder whether this was just academically selective schools, or included private schools which catered to various types of SEN. And how, practically, the costs of things like uniform / clubs / trips / holiday childcare would work for those involved.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Dec-16 21:41:43

Irrelevant crap.
What if the private schools are not located where the families live?
What if the private schools are already full to capacity?
What if poor people do not want to be looked down on by rich people every day ?

Its all about keeping their tax breaks and nothing to do with widening participation.

"Free places" are rarely anything of the sort once you factor in travel and uniform and music and trips and arts

TheCrowFromBelow Sun 11-Dec-16 21:45:37

I'd rather the money went to better provision for all state school
Pupils TBH as the government- i.e. tax payers - will have to fund these places.
I'm happy to pay more taxes to fund better schools but I'd like my children yo benefit as well - not just a few bright kids who fit a quota close to a fee paying school that wants to justify the tax breaks they get.

meditrina Sun 11-Dec-16 21:49:37

The demographic squeeze which has been making primary school entrance so much more stressful is about to hit secondaries.

This could be the cheapest and fastest way to get more school places.

So if there is a robust mechanism to match/approve funded places to areas where there is a shortfall of places, I agree with TheLongRoad that it could be a good (short-term) fix.

I note the bits in the same paper about sponsoring state schools and other assistance to them aren't grabbing the headlines in the same way.

TheCrowFromBelow Sun 11-Dec-16 22:12:13

But it's highly unlikely to match demand and it won't be open to all.

Bobochic Sun 11-Dec-16 22:14:33

Private schools are too expensive and this does nothing to change this.

gillybeanz Sun 11-Dec-16 22:23:59

Unless they manage to find a solution to issues of class division then I can't see it working.
There would need to be a fair mix of have and have nots for it to work. Maybe a common interest that brought the kids together too, not selective on ability though.

AuntieStella Mon 12-Dec-16 06:37:37

"But it's highly unlikely to match demand and it won't be open to all."

Why wouldn't it be open to all?

TheLongRoadToXmas Mon 12-Dec-16 06:46:20

Auntie I think the argument is that these schools assess ability and therefore aren't open to those who don't pass the exam / interview. Personally, I'm happy with selection by ability as long as anyone can apply and it's as untutorable as possible (but that's a whole other debate), but there are of course some very strong arguments against it, too.

noblegiraffe Mon 12-Dec-16 07:12:01

They're offering this because the Green Paper says they're going to have to do it for free anyway (what do you think we are? A charity??)

Love that they want the taxpayer to pay for them to educate some nice, easy handpicked kids and in return they don't have to pay tax. Very generous.

Maybe they shouldn't get to pick the kids.

meditrina Mon 12-Dec-16 07:16:02

Has that much detail about the working of the scheme been published?

Could you link?

It would be much simpler if it was possible to remove charitable status without having to close the organisation. Though of course bursaries have always existed, and did so alongside other schemes such as the old assisted places.

It's only since about the early 00s that school fees inflation started to rocket.

SaltyMyDear Mon 12-Dec-16 07:26:22

I don't like this idea at all. The govt giving money to private schools feels very wrong.

Propping up failing private schools to stay open feels very wrong.

Private schools aren't even ofsted inspected. Some private schools are terrible.

I also don't know what demographics look like down the line. Are these extra state school places temporary or needed for quite a few years?

TenaciousOne Mon 12-Dec-16 07:27:00

Some private schools help with the cost of uniform but from experience DS's uniform at the local state school was more expensive then his private school uniform. The logo'd polo shirt cost more than a pack of two white shirts at M&S and the PE uniform which is horrible cheap material cost more than the logo'd PE shirt of the private. Lastly the book bag was more expensive. The only real difference was I didn't have to buy a branded coat.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Mon 12-Dec-16 07:31:01

The offer is, as far as I can tell, by ISC schools and members of that organisation are the least likely to be 'failing'

And it's meant to be cost-neutral to the government - a bit like a voucher scheme? We all know how that concept hasn't ever caught on, no matter how often it's been floated.

user7214743615 Mon 12-Dec-16 08:17:31

Propping up failing private schools to stay open feels very wrong.

The government won't pay the full cost of these places, so the places will be subsidised by parents at the private schools. 5k government funding would be less than 1/3 of a place at my DC's school. Providing tens of assisted places in my DC's school would mean that the fees would have to go up by 1-2k per year or class sizes would have to be increased.

Fees have already increased enormously and take up a large fraction of our income. A relatively small increase in fees would make private education no longer a reasonable option for us. And we are not in the lowest income group in DC's school - I would bet that a fair number of parents would have to remove their children if fees jumped further.

noblegiraffe Mon 12-Dec-16 08:53:35

Nonsense to suggest private schools will have to increase fees, they'll just stick an extra chair in the classroom. The teachers, buildings, electricity and so on are already paid for. Given the tax rebate, the private schools could even profit.

sashh Mon 12-Dec-16 09:08:11

Recreation of assisted place scheme, isn't it?

Yep, the system that was stopped because 90% of assisted places went to children already in the private school.

This is a way for private schools to boost their exam results at the cost of the local comp, the local comp will take all the children with SN, additional needs etc and their results will suffer, not because they are not good at teaching but because the high achievers will be creamed off.

Bigbiscuits Mon 12-Dec-16 09:49:47

I had an assisted place in the mid 1980s

No way could my parents have afforded the feed without it

MollyHuaCha Mon 12-Dec-16 10:32:49

Strange... it's like the government saying "State schools are so rubbish, we'll pay for some of you to experience something a lot better... ". 😐

user7214743615 Mon 12-Dec-16 11:06:43

Nonsense to suggest private schools will have to increase fees, they'll just stick an extra chair in the classroom.

Not in schools that are already very selective, over-subscribed and full.

This is a way for private schools to boost their exam results at the cost of the local comp, the local comp will take all the children with SN, additional needs etc and their results will suffer, not because they are not good at teaching but because the high achievers will be creamed off.

The proposed numbers of children involved are not likely to be high enough to substantially effect the results at the local state schools. BTW even academically selective private schools do have some SEN children.

Inkspot Mon 12-Dec-16 11:18:12

Terrible idea. No way should the stat be giving more money to private schools. The ones near me do FA to justify their privileged tax status as it is

sashh Mon 12-Dec-16 11:31:29

The proposed numbers of children involved are not likely to be high enough to substantially effect the results at the local state schools.

A school near me has an A Level class with 4 children in it, if they lose one then they lose 25% of the students sitting that subject.

If the child that goes is the one predicted to be A* and the other three are B grade that is a substantial impact.

BTW even academically selective private schools do have some SEN children.

Yes, they have academically bright SEN children, they don't have the children with severe behaviour issues.

I wonder if these funded places can be withdrawn for poor behaviour?

noblegiraffe Mon 12-Dec-16 13:11:42

I hear private schools have very small classes, are you saying they are so packed tight they physically couldn't fit another body in the classroom?

This goes for some of my classes but I figured that was a state school thing.

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