loz2286 wrote:I have always understood the inequality of independent education. And it is true, I am occasionally troubled by the unfairness of the system.
It's reassuring to know that you aren't completely heartless when it comes to unfairness in education. ;)
loz2286 wrote: Yes, the children I teach do benefit from a better education, which they get because their parents can afford it. The question you must ask is why do parents send their children there? Don't blame those parents or the schools that provide the extra service. Don't forget the parents who send children to my school are paying twice. They pay our school fees and they pay their taxes. They already fund a maintained sector place yet do not take up the offer. They are contributing more to the sytem.
I think there are a number of reasons why wealthy parents send their offspring to independent schools: They can afford to, family tradition, more comprehensive lessons, adjustments can be made to individualize lessons to suit students, social status and privilege, etc. Why wouldn't I blame the parents or the schools? They exist for the exclusive 'betterment' of people who already have money and privilege and they've existed for a far longer period than state-run schools.
If someone in a position of power hadn't recognized the usefulness of educating the masses back in the 19C, independents would probably be all there is.
I don't in the slightest feel sorry for wealthy parents who pay taxes and then choose to spend more for independent. Why should I? I pay taxes and yet I can't access all services/options out there. Even ones I should be able to. When the wealthy start with the pity party, I want to ask them to come and do what I do everyday. Then we'll see who's whinging. I have spent a small amount of time in the same hotel as extremely wealthy people. Real hard life there what with a private servant who'll bring you anything, plush carpets, turn-down service for the beds, etc. But you know what, those workers liked that we were just every-day people. They said they preferred our attitudes to those who take it all for granted.
I don't see the wealthy as contributing more because they have, at least over here, tax advantages that allow them to claim back money they've spent on education, they get more tax breaks and they have more loopholes than everyone else.
loz2286 wrote:Were education fully and adequately funded, were head-teachers able to lead their schools without undue political involvement, were ridiculous bimonthly government iniatives a thing of the past, then, perhaps, independent schools would not exist, since they would not be able to offer anything more than the maintained sector. Like private medicine, independent education exists because the state-funded system is flawed.
Like I mentioned earlier, independents have been around a lot longer than state-run schools and they will go on because rich people want them to. Yes, there are a lot of flaws in the state funded system but at least all children, including the poor, have an opportunity to get educated at least in this country. The state system gives the rest of us peons a better chance.
Private medicine and public/independent schools exist because often those who can afford it feel they are more entitled to quicker and better health care. They don't want to have to wait and their money buys them position and privilege. Yet, they are often the first to take advantage of less fortunate people to get and maintain that privilege.