Saturday, 27 February 2016

Private Education

Thoughts on these two facts?

From the Independent

The research, commissioned by the Independent Schools Council, found that private schooling boosts teenagers’ GCSEs by almost two-thirds of a grade per subject.

From the BBC

The cost of putting a child through a 14-year private education in the UK stands at £286,000, research suggests.


Mark Wadsworth said...

I read that, and thought this is exactly the sort of thing that The Stigler likes posting about!

1. yes, private schools are better, duh.

2. They cost about 1.5 - 2 times as much as state schools.

3. The £285k is wildly exaggerated, call it £160k.

4. The schools are better because the intake is better. To be able to afford it, parents have to be high earners and therefore are cleverer and more ambitious than average. Or being cynical, better at cheating and pushier.

5. These are genetic traits, so children also better at cheating and are pushier. And most private schools have entrance exams to weed out the thick kids.

6. Call it peer pressure or agglomeration or rent, what parents pay for is to have their kid in a class with other children with pushy parents. If every other parent makes sure that their kids do their homework on time, then it is easy for a teacher to single out the one kid who doesn't.

For example - I went to private school, one boy in the year above me was expelled simply for attempting to steal a single from HMV (FFS), that was it, out and no back chat. We knew that his parents would have nearly killed him for this, so we all toed the line very carefully.

7. In a related article which I can't track down, the head of the private schools body said something like "This shows that we care more about our pupils and use better teaching methods etc". Maybe they do, but this is more or less irrelevant, that is just dotting i's and crossing t's.

Private schools would get much better results than state schools even if they had the same premises, teaching staff and syllabus (but with entrance exams and the power to expel naughty kids) for the reasons listed above.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I've found the quote from 7, it was in The Guardian:

"“This is a particularly important piece of research which resets the dial on understanding how well pupils in England perform at different types of schools once background factors are taken into account.

“The Durham researchers say they can’t explain the reason for the difference but the most obvious contender is the overall quality of teaching and learning, linked to a holistic education through which each child develops the confidence to do well.”

Bayard said...

Private schools also have discipline and the killer weapon, good staff morale.

IIRC, there was also an article recently in the Times? saying that minor private schools face going bust where state schools have improved.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, doesn't good staff morale from all the other things I mentioned?

Bayard said...

Apparently not. An old friend of mine is now in the ed biz, director of a company that turns failing state schools into academies. She was boasting about her company's success, so I asked her what she thought was the single most important factor in it. I thought she was going to say it was better funding, but she said it was staff morale; everything else could be kept the same, but if staff morale could be improved, the school would improve.