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Should the government not fund private schools


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I think not. 'Private' schools should be private and they shouldn't receive taxpayers' money at all - whether directly through subsidies or indirectly through charitable status or tax rebates.

I base this view on the fact that all governments oblige children to attend school up to the age of 16. Parents and children are therefore not consumers in the same way as they are when they buy DVDs, sweets or hamburgers from MacDonalds. I.e. they can't choose *not* to buy anything. In my view, if the state requires my children to attend school, then the state has the responsibility to provide the schools. If the state condones the existence of schools which you can attend if you pay, then I see this as the state avoiding the responsibility it took upon itself by making school attendance compulsory.

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I agree with David - private schools should not be funded by the government. The government schools need their fundings - to give part of these funds to schools that have the opportunity to get additional fundings from the private sector creates an unfavourable situation. Government schools will be emptied of resources and skilled teachers. This is already a reality in several countries!

In Sweden (in Gothenburg) private schools get fundings for the amount of students they receive, just like the local "government" schools (the Swedish schools are not really government schools anymore - each county/commune have the responsibility of the schools in their district, not the state/government). The difference is that the private schools then have private fundings plus the right to demand fees. On top of this they don't have to pay fees to the local school administration and they have more control over rents and other local fees.

In Sweden each accepted student is funded by a certain amount of money that is payed to the school - private as well as "government" schools. The state has suggested a fixed sum per student but the local administrations decide if they will follow this recommendation or not. In Gothenburg we receive quite a bit less than the recommended sum. Here comes another difference between local "government" schools and private ones - the local "government" schools have to accept the suggested sum but the private schools can choose if they want to accept the local suggestion or the state sum. Guess which one they choose in Gothenburg? This is an unfair system that has created a lot of private schools in our city - it has also forced several local "government" schools to close.

Another problem - If a private school end up in economical difficulties and is forced to close - who have to "clean up" the mess? The local "government"! More local recourses is then spent on finding places for the students at new schools as well as the personal (sometimes the local government even sponsor a private school so they make it to the end of the school-year). All the above mentioned problems create less and less fundings for the government schools which is extremely unfair!

In the end we also have the democratic aspect. No one should be able to buy a place at a better school - all young people should be offered the same opportunities! It's one of the main tasks of a government to see that the schools are well funded so we all can provide the same high level of education no matter what school the individual student choose. This is not possible with private schools being funded by the government.

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What Anders describes is what is happening in Australia. Private schools are funded by both our state govt (25%) and the federal govt and the formula for funding which has developed during the current Liberal rule has become so inequitable and elitist that already wealthy private schools are receiving more money than poorer ones, can charge whatever fees they want, have no accountability, while govt schools are starved of funds and fast becoming ghettos.

Here, many of those who send their children to private schools claim that the govt SHOULD fund them because they pay their taxes and should be entitled to get them back via school funding. However, I much prefer the arguments offered above about govts insisting on schooling and therefore providing the best.

It is an extremely touchy subject here and rates third in our current election issues after terrorism and health - our health system, once one of the best in the world is falling apart. We have 30% of students in private schools, which is absolutely ridiculous.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The UK government is at the moment considering tightening the rules given independent (public) schools charitable status. Elite public schools receive about £100m a year in subsidies from their charitable status. The government plans to link this to a promise to use its resources and expertise to benefit the wider public.

A parliamentary committee looking into the government proposals is unimpressed and is expected to publish a highly critical report next month. Apparently, the Charity Commission has told the parliamentary committee that the proposed legislation would have no impact, since it gives them no new powers to remove the charitable status of fee-paying schools.

Can this government explain why independent schools and independent hospitals enjoy the tax perks of charitable status. They are all of course profit-making organizations. Why then are they described as charities?

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The UK government is at the moment considering tightening the rules given independent (public) schools charitable status. Elite public schools receive about £100m a year in subsidies from their charitable status. The government plans to link this to a promise to use its resources and expertise to benefit the wider public.

A parliamentary committee looking into the government proposals is unimpressed and is expected to publish a highly critical report next month. Apparently, the Charity Commission has told the parliamentary committee that the proposed legislation would have no impact, since it gives them no new powers to remove the charitable status of fee-paying schools.

Can this government explain why independent schools and independent hospitals enjoy the tax perks of charitable status. They are all of course profit-making organizations. Why then are they described as charities?

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The UK government is at the moment considering tightening the rules given independent (public) schools charitable status. Elite public schools receive about £100m a year in subsidies from their charitable status. The government plans to link this to a promise to use its resources and expertise to benefit the wider public.

A parliamentary committee looking into the government proposals is unimpressed and is expected to publish a highly critical report next month. Apparently, the Charity Commission has told the parliamentary committee that the proposed legislation would have no impact, since it gives them no new powers to remove the charitable status of fee-paying schools.

Can this government explain why independent schools and independent hospitals enjoy the tax perks of charitable status. They are all of course profit-making organizations. Why then are they described as charities?

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I thought I read in the weekly edition of The Telegraph that I get here, that Blair had said he would not give any money at all to private schools?

I've just been at a National Curriculum Conference here in Tasmania entitled: Leadership, Breaking the Rules. Keynote speaker was woman from UK - de Quesnay, can't remember first name. Head of something like a National Leadership Institute (sorry, left the program at work and having memory lapse). Anyone heard of her?

Main theme was about Heads/principals' new types of leadership models and "facing the challenges of 21st century management etc etc

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