From the BBC:
Independent schools could lose millions in business rate relief under a Labour government unless they worked more closely with state schools. Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says many private schools are not doing enough… "The only possible answer to whether they earn their £700m subsidy [over the course of the next Parliament] is a resounding and unequivocal 'no'."
Ho hum. £700 million divided by five years divided by 700,000 pupils is a princely £200 per pupil per year*. The value per pupil of the corporation tax exemption appears to be another £200 per pupil per year. So peanuts in the grander scheme of things.
But what possesses the man to refer to these very modest tax breaks as a subsidy?
Even if the government actually paid £400 cash per pupil per year, that's still only one-twentieth of the overall average cost of one state pupil for one year.
It looks to me as if private school pupils are subsidising state school pupils and not the other way round.
Disclaimer: Her Indoors decided that our kids would go to private schools, it costs an arm and a leg and I'm not entirely convinced it's worth it. So if anybody wants to ban private education outright, I wouldn't actually be averse to that idea. It would 'level the playing field' a bit, save a lot of parents a lot of money and in principle, there'd be more 'pushy parents' thus hopefully driving up standards in state schools. Or this is how it works in Finland and Germany**.
What sort of a stupid name is Tristram anyway? Twat.
UPDATE: DBC Reed presents this in Hunt's defence.
* Business Rates is the least bad tax and not a cost to 'businesses' anyway, as Tim Worstall came out and explained recently in Forbes, although it is probably still a real cost to these schools as I guess nearly all of them own their own premises.
** UPDATE: Re Rich Tee's comment, I do have first hand experience of the German school system in Bavaria (the rules differ slightly from state to state). Basically, at age 11 kids get tested/ranked; the top half go to a Gymnasium (Grammar school up to age 19 or so), the bottom half are divided between Realschule (secondary modern up to 16 or so) and Gesamtschule or Hauptschule (sink schools for no hopers). It is possible to be promoted up or demoted down a school, or move from Realschule to Gymnasium at 16/17 if you're bright enough, so the 11-plus is not the absolute end of the matter.
It seems to work fine to me. On the whole, Germans are well educated. There are some private schools, but these are for kids who can't hack it in a state school but whose parents have a few bob to spare. There is no snob value attached; you are marked as 'somebody who couldn't hack it in a state school'.
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
From the BBC: