Interesting you say that. One of the points they made to us in Andrews was (paraphrased) “We have a huge advantage here that most of the kids come in well fed, rested, in clean clothes, and get books read to them at home. We’re lucky that we can build on a great foundation.”
This could be construed as a dog-whistle comment, i.e. what they were really saying is "Your child won’t be in a classroom with disruptive children from deprived backgrounds that may have special needs.
Maybe the government is going about this the wrong way? Just do away with the Donogh O’Malley legislation that started this abhorrent two-tier system of educational apartheid. Would save the exchequer a whole bunch of cash, I’d expect. Free up a lot of places at third level too, over time, and these could be filled by superfee-paying foreign students bringing some badly needed green to the underfunded universities. Trebles all round!
I think they do have special needs children, just not poor ones In fact, children with special needs are the ones who are probably most likely to benefit from the additional staff and facilities (oh, they have a team of learning support teachers for those with special educational needs). If I was a parent of a child with special needs, I think that private education would be even more attractive.
Any fee-paying school is going to result in a self-selecting environment for people who
- Can afford to send their kids there, and
- Believe in the value of what a private school gives
I know a lot of people who meet (1) but not (2), as they don’t see the point in spending the money on private school. And that’s fine. I’m not aware of any definitive proof that private schools result in “better” schools, mainly because it’s so difficult to quantify and measure “better”.
But I suspect that there would be some correlation between parents forking out money for private school, and the importance that parents place on school in general, and how likely they are to encourage their kids to go to 3rd level.
And I’m sure there are plenty of people who meet (2) but not (1). In fact some of them will still send their children to a private school.
I am a product of such a notion.
Sent to Dunnes with £4 to get dinner stuff for 4. Don’t answer the phone in the early evenings (it’s the credit card company). No holidays (was an adult the first time I was on a plane or ferry). No car in the household.
But I had music lessons, some grinds, a library at home that filled two walls of the living room, musical instruments, and a private secondary education. Homework was checked, bad grades punished. Education, education, arts and more education. And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t some mental 1 hour of tv a night / ‘you must become a doctor’ house. It was just balanced between what’s important and what isn’t.
That’s what those who believe private school is an advantage don’t get. My mother thinks the private education got us where we are. It didn’t. It was the interest she took, the grinds she gave and paid for, the supervision of my education.
Educational ‘apartheid’ begins in the home.
Well it’s not nonsense - it’s the question that pro fee-paying parents must answer. Will you support a public school in a manner similar to how you supported it when it was private? If they won’t then there’s not a huge amount of hope for the Irish education system.
…aaand that’s a much better explanation of the “correlation” I was trying to articulate at above. Parents who think education is important will prioritise it in every way… (including paying extra for it).
That’s my sentiment exactly.
The type of average-earning parents that tend to send kids to private school, tend to have a particular interest in education anyway, so they take an interest, supervise and get involved proactively in that education, providing help through grinds as appropriate.
Let’s see if the TUI show the same virulent anti “discrimination” attitude when it comes to their own members doing nixers.
My parents spent a fair whack on grinds, but by and large it was to compensate for a few very poor teachers in my non-fee paying school (one of whom was frequently absent and eventually left the profession of his own accord)
Bingo! Parents’ involvement is key. And really, it is a cooperative effort between state and family to educate the next generation of worker-bees. In Canada e.g. it’s the parents’/care-giver’s responsibility to get the kids ready for school, the school’s responsibility to get them there, ergo school buses.
What gives the private schools a bad name is the opposite of people like you describe yourself – the small number of people who are actually rich and send their kids to private school as a show of wealth. We had a few in our school. Thick as 2 planks; no interest in learning; no pro-eduction environment at home; and there only because daddy recently made it rich and was going to send his son to the rich peoples’ school.
7,500 x 6 x 3 = 135,000
When you put it that way it doesn’t seem like too much…
If they’re going to start reducing state funding for private schools maybe they should allow fees paid to be tax deductible
Probably a zero sum exercise but possibly more palatable for all IMO
Certain FG TDs have this train of thought running alright…
Taking funding from the private schools should remove any obligation they have to the Dept of Education, including curriculum.
The private schools could then seek a way to get around the Leaving Cert/points system/CAO in order to get places at the unis. I guess something like the arrangement UK students have. I’d imagine teaching of A levels would become quite popular in the private schools.
More than likely, the end result would be an even more pronounced difference between outcomes from private and public schools, to the detriment of the latter. Could also expect greater social stratification, or at least a hardening of the barriers between “classes”.
Not sure this is the way to go about reform…
Private schools will take their football and leave? I doubt that.
If they did did however, the mask of fairness and equality would be removed and the ugly truth would be out in the open for everyone to see.
Private schools can already offer alternatives; eg some offer the IB curriculum as an alternative. I presume they still have to offer the LC curriculum as well though.
Why not? Would you bother teaching seven subjects to 16/17/18 year olds when you could focus them on three or four? I’d expect Irish would be jettisoned by 90% of the students. Net result is less cultural connection between the rich kids and the poor kids.
I’m not sure the mask of fairness and equality exists? It’s pretty clear that kids from private schools do on average better than kids from public schools.
What mask? There is none. Fairness and equality are over-rated concepts anyway. Life isn’t “fair”. People aren’t “equal”. That’s the “ugly truth.” The sooner our kids realise that, they’ll be far better equipped for some of the dissapointments that life has to offer.
Daniel, you came up with a notion here, that parents should support free schools the same as the fee-paying ones. I’ve just asked you to fill out the concept a little bit because it seems - so far - as though you haven’t thought it through. Or if you have, you have not explained it sufficiently well for me to understand.
What I think you are suggesting is that the state stops paying for teachers at schools that charge fees; this is what I think will happen at this point
- some school will convert to the free system
- some schools will jack up the fees to cover total running costs. Faced with fees of 9,000-10,000 a year, many parents will be forced to withdraw their children. This will be very disruptive not just to the individual children, but the system as a whole, as parents look for free schools that can accommodate their children
- things will eventaully settle down, after a period of chaos. Private schools will be populated by the true elite; a small number of people for a short period of time will get the ‘free ride’ benefit of sending their kids to a newly-free school that’s had years of investment from private fees; a lot of schools will be dragged down in quality
So having wreaked this damage, you expect the parents who have had their child’s education fucked up, to voluntarily pay several thousand a year in donations to a free school? Or how exactly do you think this is going to work?
I can tell you from a personal point of view that if the state changes the rules now and I have to pull my kids out of the school they are in, the money we “save” will go on plane tickets to get us off this god-forsaken rock.