Do you think we should abolish private schools? Watch

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thewagwag
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What it says on the tin.

I just left a private school, and I think the government should try to get state schools (the average) up to private school level before thinking about abolishing them. Why drag everyone down just in the name of faux 'equality'?

Discuss.
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The_Duck
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The issue is more the idea that if a child's future is decided by their parent's income, then we are not equal from birth, which is the equality that we tend to aim for.
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ckingalt
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If I could afford to send my kids to private school and private schools were abolished by the state. I would seriously consider sending my child to an elite boarding school abroad. Regardless, I am going to find a way to use my wealth to give my children an advantage. After all, there is nothing more important to spend my money on.

The way to seek equality without becoming a tyrant is to attempt to improve opportunity, not diminish privilege.
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willbee
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No, we shouldn't get rid of private schools. Most wealthy people have earned their wealth, and if they want to send their children to the best school they can afford that's their prerogative. It's not their fault so many state schools are of such a low standard.

I agree wholeheartedly with ckingalt. You shouldn't punish the fortunate for their good fortune, just try to spread it around more. I've heard a lot of people who say they hate that private schools exist but I bet they wouldn't say that if they could afford to go to them!

I've never been to a private school but I know people who have and it seems like they really try to ensure that every kid achieves their best, whereas at most of the schools I went to, the teachers just wanted everyone to get a pass at GCSE; not enough help for those aiming higher and not enough help for those 'anomalies' or 'special needs' who had been written off and were expected to miss the mark. If I could've afforded private education I would've gone, and if I can afford it for my kids I'll definitely send them there.

Also, I think most privately educated kids seem to appreciate their education more, because they know it's paid for. So when people talk about how their grades are 'paid for', I do think some merit should be awarded to the student, even if they had more help they still sat the exams / coursework themselves. If my parents had invested a lot of money in my education, I think that would encourage me further to strive for higher grades.
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tania<3
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Not every private school is "good" though. The secondary school I went was a private girl's school and their results were considerably worse than some state schools in my area :dontknow: And quite a lot of the girls left after year 11, so A Level results weren't great either...
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james22
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(Original post by The_Duck)
The issue is more the idea that if a child's future is decided by their parent's income, then we are not equal from birth, which is the equality that we tend to aim for.
Equality should not be our primary aim, our primary aim should be to increase the stadard of living of the poorest in society. If this means that the rich get even better still, that doesn't really matter.
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Little Wolf Taima
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(Original post by tania<3)
Not every private school is "good" though. The secondary school I went was a private girl's school and their results were considerably worse than some state schools in my area :dontknow: And quite a lot of the girls left after year 11, so A Level results weren't great either...
Exactly. Everyone assumes that an expensive school automatically means a better school. It's about the individual and their desire to learn inside and outside the classroom that makes the difference. The environment means little if the child has access to a local library.

I went to a £7,000 a term private school on a bursary and most of those kids had more money than sense. It was the other working class kids who put their heads down that got good grades and some of the teachers were abysmal.
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ChemistryChic
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I think we should.
We're in a country where education is supposed to be free. Why do people pay for private education? Are people are paying because they don't believe the level of free education is of a good enough standard?
If so then we need to make public education of a higher standard, otherwise it will create a greater class divide in this country (which is already split pretty clearly into "rich" and "poor" by the recession).


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Birkenhead
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(Original post by ChemistryChic)
I think we should.
We're in a country where education is supposed to be free. Why do people pay for private education? Are people are paying because they don't believe the level of free education is of a good enough standard?
If so then we need to make public education of a higher standard
^Summary: Abolish private schools to improve state education standards. Great logic :yy:

As others have said, a government should work not by bringing the privileged down but raising the disadvantaged up. To achieve you have to work hard anywhere: all private schools do is allow the most talented and hard-working among the rich/scholars/bursary-recipients to capitalise upon their abilities. Getting rid of private schools wouldn't bring anyone up but it would send a lot of deserving students down. Getting rid of them in the name of equality is authoritarian and moreover a complete waste of time.
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cant_think_of_name
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(Original post by ChemistryChic)
I think we should.
We're in a country where education is supposed to be free. Why do people pay for private education? Are people are paying because they don't believe the level of free education is of a good enough standard?
If so then we need to make public education of a higher standard, otherwise it will create a greater class divide in this country (which is already split pretty clearly into "rich" and "poor" by the recession).


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I think most would agree that we need to improve standards in state schools. But banning private schools doesn't solve anything. I personally dislike the idea of private schools, and I wish that we lived in a world where we had free schools of a high enough quality that private schools didn't need to exist. But unfortunately, due to quite a few factors, that isn't the case, so private schools do (and will, for the foreseeable future) exist.
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IlexBlue
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The middle class ignorance is almost suffocating.

Provided that more effort would be put into bringing state schools up to the current private standard, only then would I say yes. I think it's disgusting that enjoying a happy school environment and doing well in your academic work depends a great deal on your parents' wealth.

I moved from a state to a private school - I was fortunate enough that I had the grades necessary to receive financial support - and the difference was overwhelming. But some children desperately want to do well, and want to work hard, and yet if they're not naturally "wired" (intelligence =/= school marks) to achieve top grades in school, and their parents aren't well off, they get stuck in with the pillocks who ruin it for everyone and have to cope with substandard schooling.

For one thing, much harsher penalties need to be brought in for the ones who bully/ mess around/ generally cause mayhem so that conditions can improve for all students. I'm sick to death of this mollycoddling approach where some twisted little chav gets away with murder because "they just need to be understood" and the teachers are too gutless to do anything, so everyone else gets disrupted.
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Architecture-er
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(Original post by The_Duck)
The issue is more the idea that if a child's future is decided by their parent's income, then we are not equal from birth, which is the equality that we tend to aim for.
Actually, don't we aim to enable every child to achieve their maximum potential in life?

Where they start from is largely irrelevant, to restrict a child's education to something below that which their parents can afford is simply applying an inequality to those who are better off...

For example I went to a comprehensive, and I'm sitting alongside classmates who were privately educated because I wasn't restricted on what I could strive for - I think that that's equality, rather than putting those classmates into a comp with me
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by thewagwag)
What it says on the tin.

I just left a private school, and I think the government should try to get state schools (the average) up to private school level before thinking about abolishing them. Why drag everyone down just in the name of faux 'equality'?

Discuss
As the right to private education is guaranteed by ECHR (Protocol 1 Article 2) although possibly not the right to charge fees (this has not been litigated), any suggestion of abolishing private schools amounts to a suggestion that the UK withdraws from the ECHR.
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Birkenhead
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Provided that more effort would be put into bringing state schools up to the current private standard, only then would I say yes.
I don't see any logic in this at all. Could you explain?

I think it's disgusting that enjoying a happy school environment and doing well in your academic work depends a great deal on your parents' wealth.
The question is, what good would removing the ability of some parents to send their children to private schools do in addressing lower standards? You haven't explained how removing educational privilege would help the educationally disadvantaged. It's an illusion, a 'faux equality', as another posted said. Remove the richer and everyone is more equal: but everyone is not better off; many students such as you and I who benefited from the bursaries and scholarships, and thereby achieved far more academically than we would otherwise, would be much worse off.

I moved from a state to a private school - I was fortunate enough that I had the grades necessary to receive financial support - and the difference was overwhelming. But some children desperately want to do well, and want to work hard, and yet if they're not naturally "wired" (intelligence =/= school marks) to achieve top grades in school, and their parents aren't well off, they get stuck in with the pillocks who ruin it for everyone and have to cope with substandard schooling.
Abolishing private schools would not address this at all.

For one thing, much harsher penalties need to be brought in for the ones who bully/ mess around/ generally cause mayhem so that conditions can improve for all students. I'm sick to death of this mollycoddling approach where some twisted little chav gets away with murder because "they just need to be understood" and the teachers are too gutless to do anything, so everyone else gets disrupted.
For someone accusing others of being ignorant, (without elaboration, naturally) I think this is a very ignorant approach. If someone is acting out, punishing them is only going to inflame the problem, as Educating Yorkshire showed us repeatedly. Someone acting out almost certainly feels like they have nothing to lose by sabotaging their education and that of others. What good would putting them in isolation/detention do other than to estrange them further from a system in which they feel they have no stock? I'm not proposing an alternative solution but what you're suggesting certainly isn't it.

'twisted little chav', by the way. 'The middle class ignorance is almost suffocating', you might say...
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techno-thriller
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OP is outta his mind.
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Limebuddhist
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Everyone is saying 'what good would abolishing private schools be for getting better overall education?'
You don't seem to understand that the best teachers will be drawn to private schools because they pay the most. If there were no private schools good teachers would be spread across the board, giving everyone better opportunities
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Cnuofesd
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It's almost as if Student Room is a circlejerk of middle-class suburbia and privately educated people who have been guided by their parents into the mentality they are only of worth if they get into Oxbridge...

The major conflict here is between the idea that people have a right to spend to spend their money how they wish (Free Market), and that private schools prohibit equal opportunity and consequently certain people are not rewarded for their potential ability. I would argue that it is a major contradiction in the first of the stated positions. To suggest that the market justifies private schools socially, i.e. "there is no incentive to earn money if I can't use it to benefit my children". This is because it is an accurate statement to suggest that Private school students will attend universities they may otherwise not have got into had they not gone to a state school. This means that instead of people being selected based on their ability - meritocracy - people are chosen based on their financial position - plutocracy. Because you have less efficient workers in certain jobs, then society as a whole is hurt. Rather than a doctor that can treat 4 patients a day, you get one who can treat 3. It is inherently flawed to suggest that not regulating a "Market" for education is better for society as whole. While this is a very utilitarian view to take it is to do with upbringing and is linked to the opening line.

The second issue is in terms of social mobility and empathy. I mentioned earlier the impact of upbringing on personality, and this is reflected in private school students. That is not to say all students who attend private schools are destined to become polo playing toffs, but being brought up in an extremely affluent environment with the prestige of going to private school certainly gives some people who I attend University with a distinguished mentality - that of an automatic superiority and entitlement. To re-emphasize, this is not a personal attack and may not be reflective of an overall trend. Merely a personal experience.
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Munrot07
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Before thinking about abolishing private school you should look at what actually is the difference between state schools and private schools. I go to a private school (my parents are literally spending their last penny to send me there so they are not wealthy and my not arrogant or posh, just a normal guy (i hope :P )) but I have also been to a state school. I was talking to a teacher at my school about this. She has worked in both state schools and private schools. Now look at just her, her teaching didn't improve from being in a private school. She also said that the majority of pupils in the state school were no different from most of us in the private. We we all kind, hardworking, got along, were quite clever.

The differences were this: Smaller class sizes in private schools (I'm in A level and my class sizes and 3, 4 and 5 and the school has 250 pupils, which is less than some years in state schools). More disruptive pupils in a class (due to bigger class sizes and people who don't want school). At Private schools, if you mess around a lot, bully other pupils etc. you are punished very quickly and harshly in cases (fair enough, bullying should not be tolerated) but at state schools the punishments aren't as effective (my teachers words).

The differences in the standard of teaching aren’t that great. At my school I have had some absolutely awful teachers, no one in the class knew anything about the subject lots had to get tutors (myself included) and then we did well and equally there are some amazing teachers at state schools.

Anyway, of course this is very generalised and taken from the experience of a few people but basically my point is that we should look at what are the real differences in the experiences children have at state schools and private schools and look to reduce those changes in the state system to help, e.g. perhaps reducing class size in state schools (obviously would be harder in practice) but something like that could help.

This is just my opinion but essentially, no we shouldn't ban them
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Birkenhead)
[/I] Case dismissed! [I]
As the canniest political operator (this is a euphemism for couldn't lie straight in a coffin) since WWII, Harold Wilson, said "politics is the art of the possible".

However the art of dismantling the other side's policy is being lost from politics. Robin Cook was one of the last on the Labour side but during the Tories' long years of opposition between 1997-2010 there was no Conservative politician who was consistently able to show that the government's policy couldn't work.

I have some hopes for the Scots. Salmond's independence policy is suffering a death of a thousand reality checks.

The opposition to Gove's free schools and academies was entirely ideological but their real weakness was always that the kids were given the keys to the sweetie cupboard. Even in Derby, where one initially thought the problem was religious, it turns out that hands were in tills and snouts in troughs. Yet no opposition politician broke the policy on the practicalities of delivery.
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Mackay
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(Original post by Little Wolf Taima)
Exactly. Everyone assumes that an expensive school automatically means a better school. It's about the individual and their desire to learn inside and outside the classroom that makes the difference. The environment means little if the child has access to a local library.

I went to a £7,000 a term private school on a bursary and most of those kids had more money than sense. It was the other working class kids who put their heads down that got good grades and some of the teachers were abysmal.
This.

I live in Bedfordshire where there is quite a big private-school culture, but the state school I attended got better results than all of them for GCSE and A-Levels.
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