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Charge parents £500 per year to boost school funds

(105 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 22-Nov-16 21:52:04

A government advisor has suggested that schools plug the ever-widening chasm in their school finances by charging parents £500 per year.

www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/charge-parents-ps500-a-year-boost-school-funds-says-former-adviser

MsAwesomeDragon Tue 22-Nov-16 21:59:41

About half of the parents in my school would think that's a great deal, they're getting a fantastic education at a fraction of the cost of private school.

The other half would be distraught because there's no way they can find £500 per child every year to pay for school, they can barely afford the uniforms an bus fares.

PonderingProsecco Tue 22-Nov-16 22:30:47

A divisive idea....

WatchingFromTheWings Tue 22-Nov-16 22:37:27

That's more than I earn in a month. And I have 2 kids in school.

PhilODox Tue 22-Nov-16 22:40:14

A slippery slope, isn't it?
We're already paying taxes to fund schools. If we want better services, we have to increase tax rates.

gleam Tue 22-Nov-16 23:04:07

What a ridiculous idea.

bojorojo Tue 22-Nov-16 23:38:17

Get the Head to take a pay cut? How much are they on? (Only joking). I think £500 is rather excessive. It is an increasing tactic to get more money though. Plenty would refuse to pay even if they could. This is a form of tax, Phil - but just on the parents in the school!

firefly400 Tue 22-Nov-16 23:43:15

You could perhaps charge up to a £1000 per year for entry to grammar schools.

This is actually is not a new idea , i believe it was suggested that people should pay to attend high performing state schools before.
.
www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jan/19/wealthy-parents-pay-top-state-schools

firefly400 Tue 22-Nov-16 23:48:21

Obviously Anthony Seldon's £20000 idea is ludicrous . However, there should be no reason why parents that are able to should not contribute for access to an exceptional school.

Want a grammar school pay for it !

NameChanger22 Tue 22-Nov-16 23:52:46

I'd say its the worst thing I've heard for a long time, but that wouldn't be completely true in a year of brexit and Trump.

NameChanger22 Tue 22-Nov-16 23:53:59

Maybe those earning more than £30,000 a year could pay it. I don't think it's fair to ask poor people for that kind of money.

BakerStreetSaxRift Tue 22-Nov-16 23:58:36

My grammar school did exactly this. Can't remember if it was £400 or £800 per year, and that was nearly 15-20 years ago.

It's not a new thing.

NameChanger22 Wed 23-Nov-16 00:02:13

And what about the ever-widening chasm in the finances of ordinary people? I didn't have a pay rise for 12 years as a government employee, then got just 1%. Meanwhile the price of nearly everything more than doubles in that time.

I don't know many people with a spare £500.

NameChanger22 Wed 23-Nov-16 00:03:56

It makes no difference whether it's a new thing or not. It's a completely shitty idea.

BakerStreetSaxRift Wed 23-Nov-16 00:09:19

Oh I agree it's shitty.

My point was just that some schools have been doing this, and getting away with it, for donkeys years.

Spice22 Wed 23-Nov-16 07:32:12

Hmm just throwing a spanner here

1. Why increase tax and ask for the childless to pay your kids' school? (I know how tax works etc but here where they want a boost, it's kind of different)

2. Why make it further divisive by saying people earning above a certain amount? I assume those who qualify for FSM will be exempt anyway. But surely even those on £30,000 would struggle to do it ...

Don't really know how I feel about this - am just stirring ;)

myyoyo Wed 23-Nov-16 07:38:40

Asking parents to pay for top performing schools will widen the gap in social mobility even further.

ClarissaDarling Wed 23-Nov-16 07:39:56

I think that this would go the way of the free 'childcare' for under 2 divisiveness. And may in fact lead to bullying in schools re the payers/non-payers.

Badbadbunny Wed 23-Nov-16 08:34:00

If we want better services, we have to increase tax rates.

Why is it always the answer to throw more tax money at a problem? Just as bad as the opposite answer of cost-cutting.

How about improving efficiency - i.e. renting out buildings/land outside school hours? Selling off prime land/buildings and moving schools to cheaper premises/locations? What about other income generating activities?

I know of a school that rents out it's gym after school and weekends for a dance school - it gets £18,000 p.a. in revenue for an otherwise empty gym - it's only extra cost is the power used to light and heat it, and the school get even more money from the vending machines.

Many parents will be happy to buy books for their children, such as revision or exam practice books - why aren't the schools selling them instead of sitting idly by as the parents buy them from Amazon?

Each school has a captive audience of several hundred pupils and another several hundred parents, if not thousands. They need to tap into that market.

allegretto Wed 23-Nov-16 08:36:38

No, taxes already pay for schools and a good education benefits the whole of society, not just those with children in schools at the moment.

missyB1 Wed 23-Nov-16 08:44:55

Why on earth would we want to make highly performing schools even harder for poorer pupils to get into? Paying for Grammer schools or top performing schools is like trying to privatise them by the back door!
Mind you this Government would probably think that's a wonderful idea as they are busy trying to privatise the NHS anyway.

PhilODox Wed 23-Nov-16 08:55:07

Firefly what about children that want an exceptional school? What do they get? How do they pay for it? What happens to those whose parents cannot or will not fund things for them?

We already have a system where those that want to be able to access excellent schooling can do so by paying - they're called Independent Schools. They're seen as highly divisive, and discouraging of social mobility, and unless your parents grandparents happen to be exceptionally wealthy, or completely penniless, 90% of children have no hope of ever accessing them.

I think a parent in £30k p.a. in many places would not be able to find an extra £500 p.a.- housing cost increases have outstripped salary increases for so long. £30k a year is less than £2000 a month net. Rents in my area (typical city, not London) are £750 for 2 bed. £900 for 3 bed. Doesn't leave much for everything else if you've more than one child.

Spice it's not a 'boost' as in 'oh we'd like to replace the laptops and paint the canteen'. This is to attempt to ameliorate the cuts to schools funding in most of the country, where schools are having to cut teaching staff. But I'm sure it will be fine if there are three classes of forty instead of four classes of thirty, the children will cope fine. hmm
Perhaps I should campaign to stop funding NHS treatments that I'll never personally get? A well-educated population is important for everyone, childless included. Everyone you work with, that serves you in shops, that maintains your roads, that diagnoses and treats you, that maintains National Security, etc was a child that was educated, 93% of them by the state, paid for by taxes.
It's in your own personal benefit if those people are literate and knowledgeable.

PhilODox Wed 23-Nov-16 09:00:31

Badbadbunny- schools already do those things! And it isn't possible in city authorities to sell off land and building somewhere cheaper-- nowhere is cheaper! There isn't anywhere to bloody build!
There's a free school in my authority that had raised £8m in funds, and had to wait 6 years for a suitable site. The site but ended up at isn't particularly wonderful, either. Schools need to be where children are. Knocking them down and building houses, which will house ever more children, but re-siting the schools three miles away? How does that help?

Artandco Wed 23-Nov-16 09:10:09

I think it's a good idea TBH to have to pay for schools. In most countries in Europe you have to pay for school supplies ie text books and paper etc per year and it's around £150-300 a year.
You can make it as an amount proportional to income so it's fair
People would just know it's costs £100-500 a year for school, they would know from birth so can begin to save. But TBH £100 a year is less than £2 a week, almost everyone could afford £2 a week

Badbadbunny Wed 23-Nov-16 09:18:29

PhilODox - of course not all schools can move, but some will be able to. Not all schools maximise potential revenue streams.

And yes, a school can be closed down in a residential area and the kids moved to an out of town site. It's happened near us. There's a huge secondary school that used to be tiny, basically in a rural village, that's grown enormously over the past few years and now has an intake of around 1,000. There aren't 100 kids around the village who could walk to it, let alone 1,000. It's an academy just over the county border so does things differently outside LA control. There are 10/15 school buses (subsidised by the school) that take pupils from 3 nearby towns to it, actually passing other failing schools and a school that was recently closed down after decades of failure. It's not the only one, there's another slightly further away in another rural village that also has it's intake mostly from these three towns, and again, a fleet of buses to get the kids there. Parents are moving their kids to these schools because the town centre ones are failing - so why keep the town centre ones open at huge cost (ancient buildings that cost a fortune to heat and maintain). The new schools are modern, built in open areas, so not only are they cheaper to run, they can easily expand.

Open minds and new ideas are needed - not just throwing more money at something just because it's what we always did!

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