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Educating Boys

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Educating Boys

#41 Post by Alan H » October 10th, 2010, 9:41 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

In today's Observer:

Britain's divided schools: a disturbing portrait of inequality
One of the most comprehensive studies into fairness in the UK shows how class, race and gender remain crucial factors in determining how British pupils succeed at school - and beyond
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#42 Post by loz2286 » October 18th, 2010, 1:20 am

I have always understood the inequality of independent education. And it is true, I am occasionally troubled by the unfairness of the system. 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. 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.

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jaywhat
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Re: Educating Boys

#43 Post by jaywhat » October 18th, 2010, 7:06 am

Private education is not better and it leads to greater social and class divisions.

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#44 Post by Nick » October 18th, 2010, 1:30 pm

jaywhat wrote:Private education is not better.

Really?

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jaywhat
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Re: Educating Boys

#45 Post by jaywhat » October 18th, 2010, 2:39 pm

Really.

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#46 Post by Nick » October 18th, 2010, 3:05 pm

Best tell all those sharp-elbowed middle class parents who are scrimping and saving for their kids, that the wee bairns would have a greater chance in life if they went to the local comp.

Or is that not what you meant?

Marian
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Re: Educating Boys

#47 Post by Marian » October 18th, 2010, 5:58 pm

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. :D

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.
Transformative fire...

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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#48 Post by loz2286 » October 18th, 2010, 7:21 pm

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.
I didn't ask you to feel pity. Certainly those parents I know acknowledge that they, in effect, pay twice and are acquiescent to the fact.

Don't believe all the "Tom Brown's Schooldays" images of private education. Very few parents fall into the category of extremely wealthy. Very few schools cater for that market. The vast majority of parents of children in independent education are in the middle income bracket. Yes, there are parents who are celebrities and those who are captains of industry, there are also many who scrimp and save to afford to "better" their children. I know of several families where the mother has taken on a job, solely to fund the education of their son/daughter. I send my son to my school. In order to afford to do so my wife, who also works full-time, and I forego the luxuries that others, who claim poverty, enjoy. We don't subscribe to Sky TV, we don't go on foreign holidays, we don't have the latest gadgets in the house, our kitchen and bathroom have seen better days.... Don't pity me. We value the "betterment" of our son, and the additional opportunities that private education offer him over what is available in our locality for those, like my son, who missed out at 11+.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#49 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 18th, 2010, 8:46 pm

loz2286 wrote: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.
Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh! I'm sorry, loz, but that's a claim that really annoys me and I've been hearing it such a lot lately. There's even been an argument that parents who pay school fees should be given tax breaks as compensation for the fact that they're "paying twice" (we don't have that now, Marian). But the parents who pay school fees aren't "paying twice". They aren't even paying twice "in effect". They pay taxes that include their share of paying for the education of all children in our society (because, after all, there is such a thing as society), not for the education of their own children. I pay taxes, too, and like a lot of taxpayers I don't have any children and never will, but I don't expect some kind of pat on the back, or a tax break. The education of children benefits us all. It's in all our interests to pay taxes towards state education. It's not perfect, not by a long chalk, but I'd hate to think how things would be if we didn't have it.

Right ... Deep breath ... OK, I've calmed down now. Sorry.
loz2286 wrote:Were education fully and adequately funded ...
Would you be in favour of raising taxes to do that?

Emma

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#50 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 18th, 2010, 8:58 pm

Marian wrote: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.
But Marian, don't you think that people should have the right to spend their money as they see fit? Why is spending money on a better (as one sees it) education for one's children, or on a shorter waiting time for an operation, worse than spending money on a bigger house in a nicer area, or on better-quality food, or clothes, or anything else?

Emma

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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#51 Post by loz2286 » October 19th, 2010, 12:12 am

Would you be in favour of raising taxes to do that?
Yes.

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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#52 Post by loz2286 » October 19th, 2010, 12:15 am

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Marian wrote: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.
But Marian, don't you think that people should have the right to spend their money as they see fit? Why is spending money on a better (as one sees it) education for one's children, or on a shorter waiting time for an operation, worse than spending money on a bigger house in a nicer area, or on better-quality food, or clothes, or anything else?

Emma
Indeed. What is different to someone buying smoked salmon instead of cod, buying a Range Rover instead of a Skoda....

Point taken about taxes. We ALL contribute to education spending regardless of whether we have children.

Marian
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Re: Educating Boys

#53 Post by Marian » October 19th, 2010, 12:20 am

loz2286 wrote: I know of several families where the mother has taken on a job, solely to fund the education of their son/daughter.
Perhaps those families really ought to be grateful the mum can stay home at all. That is a luxury for many people. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say about this mother taking a job. Many people in the world have to work and the poor always have. :shrug:
loz2286 wrote: I send my son to my school. In order to afford to do so my wife, who also works full-time, and I forego the luxuries that others, who claim poverty, enjoy. We don't subscribe to Sky TV, we don't go on foreign holidays, we don't have the latest gadgets in the house, our kitchen and bathroom have seen better days....
I think it's admirable to do the best for one's children. I don't know of anyone living in poverty who has all these luxuries but I'm sure there are people who have 'other jobs', let's say. As in distribution engineer of unlicensed substances or garment-challenged burlesque queen. Perhaps these people are doing their best with what they've got.
loz2286 wrote: We value the "betterment" of our son, and the additional opportunities that private education offer him over what is available in our locality for those, like my son, who missed out at 11+.
I don't know what 11+ means. Is this some kind of test or something? I guess what I am really trying to say is that those who can afford to send their kids to independent perhaps ought to be grateful that they have the option at all. To say that someone pays twice is like saying, 'oh, aren't we hard done by', IMO. Nope, you make your choices. :)
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:But Marian, don't you think that people should have the right to spend their money as they see fit? Why is spending money on a better (as one sees it) education for one's children, or on a shorter waiting time for an operation, worse than spending money on a bigger house in a nicer area, or on better-quality food, or clothes, or anything else?
Of course, people can and will spend their money on what they want/choose to. Not much I can do about that. What bothers me the most is the attitude of entitlement and righteous indignation when things don't go their way.
It does bother me that there are people in the world who'd like even half the chances that we, over-privileged foreigners, get every day. We build our monstrous houses for 4 people that could easily fit a dozen or more. We throw out restaurant food that is perfectly edible because portion sizes are huge when that food could go to the homeless. We've got 15 pairs of shoes when 1 pair is a luxury for some people. Yet, we continue to whine about how bad things are, how we're poor, how hard we have to work when compared to some, we are on a gentle merry-go-round. And don't think I'm not including myself here, I am.
Transformative fire...

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#54 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 12:33 am

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
loz2286 wrote: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.
Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh! I'm sorry, loz, but that's a claim that really annoys me and I've been hearing it such a lot lately. There's even been an argument that parents who pay school fees should be given tax breaks as compensation for the fact that they're "paying twice" (we don't have that now, Marian). But the parents who pay school fees aren't "paying twice". They aren't even paying twice "in effect". They pay taxes that include their share of paying for the education of all children in our society (because, after all, there is such a thing as society), not for the education of their own children. I pay taxes, too, and like a lot of taxpayers I don't have any children and never will, but I don't expect some kind of pat on the back, or a tax break. The education of children benefits us all. It's in all our interests to pay taxes towards state education. It's not perfect, not by a long chalk, but I'd hate to think how things would be if we didn't have it.
Sorry, Emma, but I'm with Loz on this one. They pay taxes, and they pay school fees. There is no compulsion for them to do so. By paying school fees they save the education system and the taxpayer shedloads of money (about £8 billion per annum at a guess). They pay their taxes, in all likelihood much more than the average citizen, so they contribute fully to society, besides also paying for raising the children upon whom your (and my) pension will depend.

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#55 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 12:39 am

loz2286 wrote:
Would you be in favour of raising taxes to do that?
Yes.
I'd like to see a damn sight more results before I contribute a single penny more. Expenditure on education has ballooned exponentially in the last few decades, and IMO, most of that increase has been wasted. Education in Britain needs radical reform.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#56 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 19th, 2010, 2:29 pm

Nick wrote:Sorry, Emma, but I'm with Loz on this one. They pay taxes, and they pay school fees. There is no compulsion for them to do so.
But that is not the same as "paying twice". The words "paying twice" imply paying twice for the same thing, the thing in this case being, presumably, one's own children's education. Someone who pays school fees and pays taxes is paying for two different things: a particular, preferred kind of education for their own children, and a proportion of the costs of educating all children. Two different things. They must be different things, because you and I are paying for the second of those, and we don't have children. To say they're paying twice is like saying that if you pay taxes and drive your own car you're paying twice for transporting yourself about, because some of your taxes pay for public transport, or that if you pay taxes and rent or own your own home, then you're paying twice for having a roof over your head, because some of those taxes pay for social housing (such as it is). Or that if you pay taxes and buy yourself a bloody great tank, then you're paying twice for defending yourself ... Yes, I know I'm getting ridiculous here. But I need to: the "paying twice" claim is ridiculous.
Nick wrote:By paying school fees they save the education system and the taxpayer shedloads of money (about £8 billion per annum at a guess).
That's a separate argument. I won't quibble with your figure, because I have no idea, although I'd be interested to know if you took into account the tax benefits the private schools get from having charitable status. I think we all agree that state education in this country is flawed (though I doubt it's as bad as a lot of school-fee-paying parents fear), and you and I agree that it is something that cannot be solved simply by throwing more money at it. The independent school sector has been growing, with more and more people on fairly modest incomes opting, like loz, to tighten their belts in order to send their child or children to the "best" school they can afford. The more people who do that, the more money they'll save the taxpayer. Do you honestly think that would be a Good Thing? Do you think society would be better off if 30 or 40 or 50% of the children in this country were educated in private schools, instead of only 7%, or whatever it is now? I don't. I think it would be disastrous for state education, and therefore disastrous for society. I also wonder what proportion of those who pay fees for their own children's education would welcome the prospect of many more people doing exactly the same thing.
Nick wrote:They pay their taxes, in all likelihood much more than the average citizen, so they contribute fully to society, besides also paying for raising the children upon whom your (and my) pension will depend.
But our pensions, and our healthcare, and all the other services we will be getting when we're in our dotage, and so many other things that will affect our overall quality of life, depend on all children, not just the ones that went to independent schools. The education of all children is in all our interests, whether we have children or not, whether we pay fees for our children's education or not.

Emma

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#57 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 3:29 pm

Just a quicky to deal with the question of charitable status. An educated guess would be that charitable status saves public schools (or costs the Exchequer and other tax authorities, if you prefer) around £100 million a year. Not much out of £8 billion.

Schools, after all, are not generally in the business of making profit. I have heard an interesting idea that charitable status should be withdrawn, not to raise a measly £100 million, but to encourage public schools to realign themselves to provide much wider services to a much wider market, instead of spending more money on a privileged minority.

Thinking further about that £8 billion. Having thought a little more, I'd like to revise it slightly. Total fees paid are likely to be higher, but an equivalent net cost saving to the taxpayer somewhat lower.

Marian
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Re: Educating Boys

#58 Post by Marian » October 19th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Nick wrote: By paying school fees they save the education system and the taxpayer shedloads of money (about £8 billion per annum at a guess).
I'm a bit lost on this one. How does paying school fees save the system/taxpayer money?
Nick wrote: They pay their taxes, in all likelihood much more than the average citizen, so they contribute fully to society, besides also paying for raising the children upon whom your (and my) pension will depend.
I take issue with this whole sentence because it comes across as being really arrogant. I'm sure you're not trying to do that but what's your point? That those who don't pay a lot of taxes don't contribute fully to society? That the children attending independent schools are exclusively the ones who will be paying into pension funds? And what's this about 'raising the children'? Independent schools raise children? I suppose that might be the case if the parents forfeit their responsibilities and send the kid to boarding school. Usually, parents are raising their children and instilling whatever values the kid has. The school's job is to educate. I'm frightened by the idea that schools are raising our kids.
Transformative fire...

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#59 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 4:20 pm

Oo-er! I've not been very clear, it seems.
Marian wrote:
Nick wrote: By paying school fees they save the education system and the taxpayer shedloads of money (about £8 billion per annum at a guess).
I'm a bit lost on this one. How does paying school fees save the system/taxpayer money?
Because if the pupils went to state schools, the cost of that would be borne by the tax-payer.
Nick wrote: They pay their taxes, in all likelihood much more than the average citizen, so they contribute fully to society, besides also paying for raising the children upon whom your (and my) pension will depend.
I take issue with this whole sentence because it comes across as being really arrogant. I'm sure you're not trying to do that...
Thank you for pointing out how it comes across to you. Thank you also for saying that you are sure I wasn't trying to be arrogant. Quite correct! More explanation required.
.... but what's your point? That those who don't pay a lot of taxes don't contribute fully to society?
No. How one contributes to society doesn't depend solely on money. A poorly paid worker can contribute fully to society by the work they do, and by the actions they take, as well as financially. It does not make sense to expect everyone to contribute the same amount, as they do not have the same ability to do so. Likewise, a well paid person may not necessarily contribute much to society, though they may (or may not) be paying more in tax.
That the children attending independent schools are exclusively the ones who will be paying into pension funds? And what's this about 'raising the children'? Independent schools raise children?
No, that it not what I meant. Parents raise children. I was referring to Emma and myself. We do not have children of our own, but will be dependent on the next generation, however educated, for our pensions, for our healthcare and much else besides when we grow old.
I suppose that might be the case if the parents forfeit their responsibilities and send the kid to boarding school. Usually, parents are raising their children and instilling whatever values the kid has. The school's job is to educate. I'm frightened by the idea that schools are raising our kids.
Those parents presumably think they are fulfilling their responsibilities to the best of their ability. I'm not advocating state control of raising children (!) but I would like to see much greater help for young children (as the Coalition seem to be advocating.) I think Lewis's clip earlier in this thread is very thought provoking.

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#60 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 5:53 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Nick wrote:They pay their taxes, in all likelihood much more than the average citizen, so they contribute fully to society, besides [like all parents] also paying for raising the children upon whom your (and my) pension will depend.
But our pensions, and our healthcare, and all the other services we will be getting when we're in our dotage, and so many other things that will affect our overall quality of life, depend on all children, not just the ones that went to independent schools. The education of all children is in all our interests, whether we have children or not, whether we pay fees for our children's education or not.

I agree, Emma. My previous response was not properly drafted. I didn't intend to distinguish between differently-educated children when it comes to future pensions and healthcare, or indeed the future economy. I hope the insertion in bold above corrects that error.

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#61 Post by Nick » October 19th, 2010, 11:18 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:But I need to: the "paying twice" claim is ridiculous.
No it's not. :D Let's take your transport example. Suppose we have an tax-paying OAP with a free bus pass. If s/he uses the bus pass, there is virtually no marginal cost to the bus company. There is, however a loss of marginal revenue. This is effectively paid for by (a proportion of) the tax the OAP is paying.

If the OAP drives instead, there is no marginal cost for the bus company. There is the same loss of marginal revenue, and again the OAP still pays for their share of the bus journey in taxes. In addition, the OAP pays the whole of the marginal cost of going by car, which includes a sizable dollop of tax, over and above the immediate cost of transport, which again subsidises "free" services.

The driving OAP's do obtain some benefits. They travel without strangers sitting next to them, door to door, when they want. The bus passenger theoretically pays a price in increased road congestion by having those pesky motorists on the road.

In summation, the car driving OAP is paying virtually the whole cost of their missed bus journey (assuming there is space on the bus, which there virtually always is). They are also paying over and above the cost of going by car because of taxation.

I cannot see otherwise than that the motoring OAP is paying more than twice.

The analogy also applies to private education. The school fee payer is paying twice.

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