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Privately Funded Schools are the Solution 2007-06-25

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest.
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The ‘dire’ state of our education system should be tackled by sending more children to privately funded schools (‘public schools’), according to The Economic Research Council think-tank’s report which also calls for a more ‘competitive’ approach which rewards talent, not ‘soft’ comprehensive ideals.

The report says that politically correct ideas of ‘best practice’ have undermined school standards with no chanting of times-tables, history lessons without dates and children calling teachers by their first names.

The report called for an expansion of ‘grammar schools’ and the chance for every secondary school to set entrance exams to select the best potential pupils.

A new band of small, cheap private schools should be set up with generous tax concessions from the Government and prestigious independent schools like Eton and Harrow should offer more scholarships and open ‘lower-price wings’, it said.

‘Millions cannot read, write or count and millions more can do so only barely. That’s why the educational status quo is dire,’ said Professor Mr.Dennis O’Keeffe, the study’s author, from ‘The University of Buckingham’.

‘Britain’s education system survives only because the rich have private education while many far-from-rich families make huge sacrifices to pay privately for their children.’

He attacked The Conservative & Unionist Party’s recent argument that selective ‘grammar schools’ reinforce social divisions between rich and poor.

‘Unlike David Cameron’s parents who sent him to Eton, certain members of the modern Conservative Party appear not to understand the importance of competitive education and the dramatically effective way it encourages, identifies and rewards talent and consequently increases social mobility,’ he said.

‘Comprehensive schools with soft and easy access for all have not served the community well.’

The report also said the school leaving age should be lowered to allow more teenagers to follow apprenticeships. Ministers intend to raise the education leaving age from 16 to 18.

THE SPECTRE AT THE ECONOMIC FEAST:

Why Our Schools Should be Privately Financed

By Professor Dennis O’Keeffe

Edited by Dan Lewis
ISBN 978-0-903499-28-6

Comparative Advantage Series – Paper 3

The UK’s educational status quo is dire; millions cannot read, write or count and millions more can do so only barely. The causes of our low standards lie in state-directed and financed education, which accounts for 93% of our education system. Meanwhile, the continuing inflation in private school fees (3 times the rate of inflation 1985-2005 or 103% in these two decades and hitting an annual rate of 6% in 2006, according to the Halifax) suggests two points;

i) That Private Schools work better than government schools

ii) That there aren’t enough of them

  • Bring in small, cheap, private schools with generous, tax concessions by government and/or reliance on private philanthropy at nursery, primary and secondary levels
  • Reintroduce the 11 plus on a voluntary basis
  • Reintroduce grammar schools, perhaps without catchment areas
    Close down much of the education bureaucracy and quangos and cut their regulations to a minimum
  • Lower the school leaving age and reintroduce commercially based apprenticeships
  • Decentralise drastically the remuneration of teachers
  • Encourage prestigious schools like Eton and Harrow and other distinguished places to offer more scholarships and to open up lower-price wings

CLIPPED FROM: http://www.ercouncil.org/

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