Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Joined up government part deux

Honestly. With this lot it never rains but it pours.

Yesterday the Today programme put on for my catharsis* the chairman of the Charity Commission to talk about why they think that private schools don't provide a public good. Apparently providing thousands of children with a decent education and relieving the state sector from having to find places for even more children isn't actually a benefit to our society.

The Independent Schools Council says that the Charity Commission's decision has been based too much on the level of bursaries available - without taking into account contributions such as sharing facilities with other local schools.

"We are deeply disappointed with the approach taken by the Charity Commission, which focuses on the amount of means tested bursaries provided by each school," said David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council.

"The implication of the commission's findings appears to be that many schools must now aim to provide a significant, but still unspecified, proportion of their turnover in full bursaries. This will inevitably lead to fee increases."

Mr Lyscom also challenged the Charity Commission to recognise the collective benefit of the independent school sector, which he says saves the taxpayer £3bn per year.

It started off with a cracker when Dame Suzi Leather** was asked if she was a member of any political party, to see if the decision that focusing entirely on social manipulation or if it had anything to do with merit goods, she replied that she was a member of the Labour Party. Well fancy that.

Someone who is a paid up member of the Labour Party wants to assist in closing down schools which are fee paying and have entrance requirements based on ability.
I'm sure it's absolutely nothing to do with jealousy and social engineering. I mean, the fact that parents who send their children to private school also pay for the state education of other children is just something that they've had to put up with, as a choice they themselves have made.

And then today, we have this little gem:
A fifth of English local authorities are reporting increased pressure on school places due to the recession, the Local Government Association says.

One reason may be parents abandoning private education to save money.

Education is not recession proof, it would seem. Well, no surprise there: private school fees have been rocketing for years and in no small part due to the fact that many state schools out there have more in common with a zoo than they do a place of learning.

It's no real surprise with this government: I marked some SATS papers a few weeks ago and the view from the teachers marking was that the papers were so much easier than last year; a fact which was put down to the knowledge of a forthcoming General Election where the government will want to boast about more children achieving the required level in English and Maths.

So, pressure on state schools is rising and an apparent Labour apparatchik at the Charity Commission is trying to ensure that fewer and fewer parents can afford to send all their children to private school.


Soon we'll all be as uneducated as the policy makers.

*Tis required at the moment. Managed to get involved with another complete arsehole

**Go read the wiki entry. Someone's done a fucking great job.

No comments: