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This lethal combination of private benefit and public waste is nowhere more apparent than in the time and effort that private schools devote to working the system, to ease access to those scarce places. ‘Not all private schools are Eton College, just like not all state schools are Grange Hill,’ says Beth. In another type of partial integration, schools would select a proportion of state-funded pupils according to the Schools Admissions Code, meaning that the government or local government would set the principles for selection and the extra places would become an extension to the state system. In Germany, for instance, it is also low, but unlike in Britain is generously state-funded, more strongly regulated and comes with modest fees. A day school costs on average £13,000 a year, while a boarding school will be more than £30,000. Upping the cost Where the fees are substantially raised, making some parents switch away from the private-school sector and opt for state schools. It marked some kind of apotheosis when in July 2014 the appointment of Nicky Morgan (Surbiton High) as education secretary meant that every minister in her department at that time was privately educated. 7 Answers. In the US there is a very small sector of non-sectarian private schools with high fees, but most private schools are, again, religious, with much lower fees than here. The statistics also tell a story. • Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem by Francis Green and David Kynaston is published by Bloomsbury on 7 February (£20). The private schools’ reach is very much broader than their minority share of school pupils implies. If a private school does not offer this, it is not worth the money. Jeremy Clarkson (Repton) can’t stop revving up; Jeremy Paxman (Malvern) still has an attitude problem; Alexandra Shulman (St Paul’s Girls) dictates fashion; Paul Dacre (University College School) makes middle England ever more Mail-centric; Alan Rusbridger (Cranleigh) makes non-middle England ever more Guardian-centric; judge Brian Leveson (Liverpool College) fails to nail the press barons; Justin Welby (Eton) becomes top mitre man; Frank Lampard (Brentwood) becomes a Chelsea legend; Joe Root (Worksop) takes guard; Henry Blofeld (Eton) spots a passing bus. Given the very unequal distribution of academic resources entailed by the British private school system, it is unarguable that a more egalitarian distribution of the same resources would enhance the total educational achievement. Better education. But, more significantly, he has not been duped – as many middle-class parents are – into believing it is worth paying an arm and a leg for a private education. They arrange things somewhat differently elsewhere: among affluent countries, Britain’s private‑school participation is especially exclusive to the rich. To the considerable extent this happens, the privately educated child benefits but the state-educated child loses out. Only about 6% of the UK’s school population attend such schools, and the families accessing private education are highly concentrated among the affluent. In the US there is a very small sector of non-sectarian private schools with high fees, but most private schools are, again, religious, with much lower fees than here. Pros and Cons of Private School. Why Private Schooling Isn't Worth The Money ... An increase in annual fees last year of some 4.6 per cent saw parents paying £13,179 per child in fees. For many families, knowing whether private schools are better for your family is … She's in year 9. in sport, drama, trips etc. It would be an almost immeasurable benefit if this were no longer the case. A brief but expensive history, 1997–2018, offers some guide. Those with enough money are free to purchase and enjoy expensive holidays, cars, houses and meals. It would be a mistake for a parent to think that paying for their child to attend private school is a guaranteed route to school success.’. The private school fees are then paid by paying out dividends to the children. Its effects are deep, long-term and run from one generation to the next. “Those who provide it know it. State vs Private School What are the differences between state and private schools? Life staggers on in austerity Britain mark two. Yet in a name-calling culture, ever ready with the charge of hypocrisy, this reality is all too often ignored. This is tax free for the children because so long as the children don’t have any other earnings or income, they can use their personal tax allowance. A cottage in the country. Allowing, as Britain still does, an unfettered expenditure on high-quality education for only a small minority of the population condemns our society in seeming perpetuity to a damaging degree of social segregation and inequality. ‘If you have a good local state school, why pay? The existence in Britain of a flourishing private-school sector not only limits the life chances of those who attend state schools but also damages society at large, and it should be possible to have a sustained and fully inclusive national conversation about the subject. Underpinning all these areas of advantage are the high revenues from fees: Britain’s private schools can deploy resources whose order of magnitude for each child is approximately three times what is available at the average state school. At a private secondary school, the only difference between kids coming in from state primary schools vs. prep schools is the prep school kids were already decent at French & Latin. Some reforms would have much more of an impact than others. Going to one of the schools in the prestigious Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) still gives a 35 times better chance of entering Who’s Who than if one has not attended an HMC school; while those attending the historic crème de la crème, the so-called Clarendon Schools (Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow, Merchant Taylors’, Rugby, St Paul’s, Shrewsbury, Westminster, Winchester), are 94 times more likely to join the elite than any ordinary British-educated person. While many agree that private education is at the root of inequality in Britain, open discussion about the issue remains puzzlingly absent. Ultimately, the issue is at least as much about what kind of society one might hope the Britain of the 2020s and 2030s to be. The Cameron-Osborne (Eton-St Paul’s) axis takes over the country; Nick Clegg (Westminster) runs errands. Julie also points out that whilst exam results are high, ‘the development of soft skills is greatly encouraged at independent schools, with pupils learning to be self-disciplined, ambitious, curious and self-confident’. And those who receive it know it, or should.”. While as for the many hundreds of individual links between “top people” and private schools, often in the form of sitting on governing bodies, it only needs a glance at Who’s Who to get the gist. ... unaware that every year across the UK, ... Aos received a full academic bursary worth around £20,000. Almost 170,000 children (one in three) are currently receiving help with their fees, according to Julie Robinson, general secretary of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), with both the amount available and the number of children benefitting rising. It offers “a wide range of high-level extracurricular activities, through which boys discover latent talent, develop individual character and gain skills in leadership and teamwork”. At the 99th rung – families with incomes upwards of £300,000 – six out of every 10 children are at private school. It makes a big difference what any teacher can both see and accomplish with 12 kids vs 24 kids. But private schools don’t have to follow the national curriculum and critics argue that because they are not obliged to employ qualified teachers, standards can vary. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. For secondary school, and even more so sixth forms, the fees are appreciably higher. The only realistic starting point for an analysis lies with the assertion that, in the modern era, most of these schools are of high quality, offering a good educational environment. Perhaps once it might have been conceivable to argue that private education was a symptom rather than a cause of how privilege in Britain was transferred from one generation to the next, but that day is long gone: the centrality of schooling in both social and economic life – and the Noah’s flood of resources channelled into private schools for the few – are seemingly permanent features of the modern era. Private school fees are always going to be expensive, that’s a given. 1. Top schools, top universities: the pattern of privilege is systemic, and not just confined to the dreaming spires. But being reminded of quite how expensive is a shock. W ell, not all parents who send their children to private schools think only of grades. Ultimately, does any of this matter? Pros of private school: Smaller classes; In my opinion, smaller class sizes is probably the biggest advantage of a private school over public schools. Unless some radical reform is set in train, an unreconstructed private-school system, with its enormous resource superiority and exclusiveness hanging over the state system as a beacon for unequal treatment and privilege, would make it hard to sustain a fully comprehensive and fair state education system. There is, moreover, the sheer extravagance. If private schooling in Britain remains fundamentally unreconstructed, it will remain predominantly intended and destined for the advantage of the already privileged children who attend. “Here, the salary you earn is more linked to what your father got paid than in any other major country. DD1 is at a state school. during a sermon at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, December 2017 all sitting members resigned in frustration. More than 140,000 pupils at private schools don’t pay all – or any – of their fees. It would be manifestly absurd to pin the blame entirely on the existence over the past few centuries of a flourishing private-school sector. They are looking for other advantages: connections, confidence, access to facilities. For the building of such a society, or anything even remotely close, the issue of private education is pivotal, both symbolically and substantively. Any study must take account of where the children are coming from. A private school is more likely to have better sporting and arts facilities, and more often than not smaller class sizes, but none of these things are a certainty. Private schools remain one of the few service providers planning to charge full price for a pared-down service this summer. Of course, things to a degree have changed since Thompson’s time. Depends on the student's willingness to learn, the teacher and the school. Those who pay for it know it. At both stages, GCSE and A-level, the gap is invariably huge. The reform of private schools will not alone be sufficient to achieve a good education system for all, let alone the good society; but it surely is a necessary condition. At every rung of the income ladder there are a small number of private-school attenders; but it is only at the very top, above the 95th rung of the ladder – where families have an income of at least £120,000 – that there are appreciable numbers of private-school children. The poll reveals, moreover, that even those who have been privately educated, or have chosen to educate their own children privately, are more likely than not to have a perception of unfairness. Choosing a school for your child is an exciting but often overwhelming task. Education is different. The underlying reality of our private-school problem is stark. Private schools may be under more pressure to get the grades and this pressure may be transferred on to pupils. Further inefficiency arises from education’s “positional” aspect. For me, the fee paying school was of a lower standard that the free schools, so I went to a free school, and achieved respectable grades. Nevertheless, the picture presented by several studies is one of relatively small but still significant effects at every stage of education; and over the course of a school career, the cumulative effects build up to a notable gain in academic achievements. Relevance. Private school fees are always going to be expensive, that’s a given. Private school costs: From the age of five to 18, it will set you back around £195,745 per child 1) A DISCOUNT FOR HELPING THE SCHOOL INVEST These can … The public schools in my state (community colleges and state schools) are very competitive. Indeed, the small number of income-poor families going private can only do so through other sources: typically, grandparents’ assets and/or endowment-supported bursaries from some of the richest schools. All rights reserved. The unavoidable truth is that, by and large, the increasingly privileged and entitled products of an elite private education have – almost inevitably – only a limited and partial understanding of, and empathy with, the realities of everyday life as lived by most people. Prince George (Thomas’s Battersea) and Princess Charlotte (Willcocks) start school. But being reminded of quite how expensive is a shock. If you don’t, then public grade school is a good choice as well. Even the behaviour of the children is no worse at the state and is probably tolerated even less than at the private school tbh. They just don't have the room to accept everyone. Crossing the tracksThere are several proposed schemes for enabling children from low-income families to attend private schools. For the sake of avoiding misunderstanding, we should state briefly our own backgrounds and choices. The relevant figures for university admissions are thus almost entirely predictable. They focus on preparing their students for college (and life). Theresa May (St Juliana’s) and Jeremy Corbyn (Castle House prep school) face off. The biggest thing parents worry about is regret. The proportion of prominent people in every area who have been educated privately is striking, in some cases grotesque. School days, after all, are supposed to be the best of your life – and the most important consideration is finding a school where your child will be happiest. Among worries about location, size and exam results, there’s a school’s culture and the extra-curricular activities on offer to consider too. Everything is potentially on the table. Multiple theatres, large swimming pools and beautiful surroundings with expensive upkeep are, of course, nice to have and look suitably seductive on sales brochures – but add relatively little educational value. HandicapsContextual admissions to universities Where universities, especially the high-status ones, make substantial allowances for candidates’ school background; alternatively, as another method of positive discrimination, some form of a quota system. Of course, this is far from the truth. – Plan early – this is easier said than done, but if you have an inkling you’d like to send your child to private school, starting from birth gives you the best possible chance. Pupils also received higher average scores in all subjects at GCSE level. There are, of course, some very real contextual factors to these bald and striking figures. “The decision to send our kids to a private school was easy.” Private education is a pricey choice. In short, access to private schooling is, for the most part, available only to wealthy households. We do not necessarily accept that all private schools are “marvellous”; but by and large we recognise that, in their own terms of fulfilling what their customers demand, they deliver the goods. The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty (Eton) sorts out Baltimore. Third, the high – and therefore exclusive – price tag sustains a peer group of children mainly drawn from supportive and affluent families. This argument – the resources point aside – is not an altogether easy one for the left to accept, against a background of it having historically been undecided whether (in the words of one Labour education minister’s senior civil servant in the 1960s) “these schools are so bloody they ought to be abolished, or so marvellous they ought to be made available to everyone”. Some 5.2 per cent of these children come from outside the UK. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99. The term “the establishment” can be a tiresome one, too often loosely and inaccurately used, but in the sense of complementary networks of people at or close to the centres of power and wealth, it actually does mean something. A poll we commissioned from Populus shows a virtually landslide majority for a perception of unfairness about private education, indicating that public opinion is potentially receptive to grappling with the issue and what to do about it. These days, thanks to scholarships and bursaries, private schools admit many children from all kinds of backgrounds.’. A glance at the annual fees is relevant here. You’ll only know if the money was worth it at retirement age. Private education is not fair, he famously declared in June 2014 during a sermon at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Is it possible in Britain over the next 10 or 20 years to build a sufficiently widespread consensus for reform?Or, at the very least, to begin to have a serious, sustained, non-name-calling, non-guilt-ridden national conversation on the subject of private education? Among the new entrants to Who’s Who in the 21st century, the proportion of the privately educated has remained constant at around 45%. At this particular moment in our island story, the future seems peculiarly a blank sheet. But as a result of these fees independent schools have the advantage of investing profits back into improving their often already impressive facilities. For those seeking to educate their children privately, it’s becoming increasingly expensive: school fees have trebled in real terms since 1980, with their cost as a proportion of household budgets rising remarkably. Answer Save. I would personally say it depends on the quality of the free schools in the area. Above all, private schools succeed when it comes to preparing their pupils for public exams – the gateways to universities. This reveals the fruits of exploring well over a century of biographical data in Who’s Who, that indispensable annual guide to the composition of the British elite. Alternatively, something that would “hurt” a bit more, government could directly tax school fees (as in Labour’s manifesto pledge to impose VAT or in Andrew Adonis’s proposed 25% “educational opportunity tax”). “Britain has the lowest social mobility in the developed world,” laments David Cameron in 2015. Take first the cohort born in 1958: in terms of those with comparable social backgrounds, demographic characteristics and early tested skills, and different only in what type of school they attended when they were 11, by the time they were in their early 30s (around 1990) the privately educated were earning 7% more than the state-educated. From judges (74% privately educated) through to MPs (32%), the numbers tell us of a society where bought educational privilege also buys lifetime privilege and influence. On social mobility, there has been in recent years an abundance of apparently sincere, well-meaning rhetoric, not least from our leading politicians. But if spending $100,000 on college after years of paying thousands of dollars in private school results in an unemployed young adult with a ton of debt, is it worth it? For if not now, when? In Britain, private schools – including their fundamental unfairness – remain the elephant in the room. 3 years ago. If you make at least 5X the private grade school tuition per child, I think private grade school is worth it. Even if one’s child never achieves celebrity, sending him or her to a private school is usually a shrewd investment – indeed, increasingly so, to judge by the relevant longitudinal studies of two different generations. Even so, given that these schools have been and still are places that – when the feelgood verbiage is stripped away – ensure that their already advantaged pupils retain and extend their socio‑economic advantages in later life, common sense places them squarely in the centre of the frame. Compare that with those born in 1970: by the same stage (the early 2000s), the gap between the two categories – again, similar in all other respects – had risen to 21% in favour of the privately educated. ‘One of the most common reservations people have about private schools is that they won’t ‘fit in’,’ says Beth Noakes, editor of The Good Schools Guide. For most parents, an independent education is aspirational and the decision about whether to pay school fees of between £10,000 and £43,000 per year comes down to one simple fact – how much money is available. You’ll only know if the money was worth it at retirement age. But education is not just another material asset: it is fundamental to creating who we are. OP asked if private schooling could prevent her daughter having a bad time, and this can't be guaranteed, but any decent private school will deal with incidents of bad behaviour very swiftly. Yet it would be a huge mistake to underestimate the seriously negative educational aspects of the current dispensation and to continue to marginalise the private-school question. Or take the City of London, where in that historic and massively wealthy square mile not only do individual livery companies have an intimate involvement with a range of private schools, but the City corporation itself supports an elite trio in Surrey and London (City of London, City of London school for girls, City of London Freemen’s school). The crucial point to make here is that although extra resources for each school (whether private or state) are always valuable, that value is at a diminishing rate the wealthier the school is. , this reality is all too often ignored some call for the sake of avoiding misunderstanding, we state! The range of extracurricular activities and the financial advice or call 0330 333 6846 families to attend private.! Improvement in our island story, the range of extracurricular activities and the advice! Low-Income families to attend private schools may be transferred on to pupils year the... Or call 0330 333 6846 require excessive commitments from the truth mismatch between such sentiments and policymakers ’ practical is! Are the differences between state and is probably tolerated even less than at the school also received higher scores! How they select their pupils during a sermon at King ’ s private-school configuration is, in,. 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