MCW - €4.5k per pupil, per year subsidy to private schools


The Irish thing is a matriculation requirement, so the universities could decide to drop it.


Quite. The government has clung on like a dog with a bone to the rule that Irish is compulsory in order to obtain a pass the leaving cert. And this in the face of sentiments ranging from resistance to indifference on the part of large numbers of students, particularly in certain urban areas. In terms of time-consuming, those students not enamoured of the Irish language, (or more accurately the Irish language syllabus) take the pass paper in that subject and the honours paper in subjects they are genuinely interested in.


Ah, but by this you imply that there might be some interest in having everyone follow a syllabus up to a certain point. That the state might consider it in the state’s interest to sponsor the shared syllabus to ensure that future citizens have some roughly equivalent acculturation. You’re wandering into republican ideology with this, at least in the sense that you might promote cultural egalitarianism. This is clearly unacceptable to those who would have us determine everything on the basis of monetary and fiscal egalitarianism.


The free school that their dear children now attend? Children for whom they were happy to pay up when they were in a “private” school? Yes. Donate to improve the school (even make such donations tax claimable), and your children’s education will improve. You may also find that your donations improve the education of poorer children also attending the school, perish the thought.

That’s the attitude.


I can’t decide which thread is more depressing - the dead cat bounce one or this. People whose kids attend (or will attend) private school defending the public subsidy and everyone else condemning it. Just like everything else in this country - if it benefits you personally, then it can be justified.

For the record, I went to a private school (not Blackrock or Glenstal) - you would have to be brain dead not to notice the elitist cliques in the private school system (or you justify them because you propagate them). My kids won’t be going to a private school, even though we have the means to send them. There are plenty of great free schools in this country and you don’t have to worry about the inevitable sense of entitlement that your kids will develop!


Again though, I’m asking you to think it through and demonstrate how it works. If a handful of people donate €5000 of hard earned cash in a school of 700 pupils, they are mugs. It may be laudable in intention, but it’s just really stupid, because it will be a drop in the ocean in a school budget. Fee-paying schools work because (almost) everyone pays

Yes, one of the things that makes living here tolerable is the kids being happy. They are settled in a school, in a community. We’re 3 years into a 10 year plan to educate the kids in that particular school/community and if the ground shifts under us and we have to pull them out for financial reasons, it woud be the last straw for me.


I have thought it through and it is the weak spot in the pro-private-school argument.
I fully understand your viewpoint but I - and others - are fed up with the State involving itself in subsidising the private education of a subsection of society.

You might chastise those who would donate to public schools as “mugs” but they are “mugs” interested in the betterment of all, not just their Jonny (no ‘h’) and his homogeneous friends.


Children can’t choose their parents, I really don’t see why less fortunate children should be excluded from any school where public money is used.


Fed up of it since when? Would you like things to go back to the way they were before the current set up?

I am interested in the betterment of all, that’s why I gladly pay my taxes so that everyone can be educated (and their health looked after, and their security ensured). That’s why I subsidise my own child’s education in the full knowledge that I am lowering the burden on the taxpayer to educate other children.

I am simply saying that the idea that someone would put thousands of euros of after tax income into a voluntary donation is completely fanciful. Earn €10,000 to have €5,000 to give to the school - averaged over 500 pupils that’s a tenner each. It won’t make a blind bit of difference to anything except impoverish my family. It works if everyone pays… but then we are back to the system that you seem to despise so much.

If you have some workable reasons why changing things would benefit education, I’d love to hear them. Genuinely.


Yep, I can understand that. If true, it’s probably happening now anyway - even in areas without private schools. So I don’t think that’s a valid argument in order to retain the current situation, where some children are excluded (even if they live next door to the school).


There is no evidence that removing state subsidies from private schools would change the nature of the property market. The price maybe but not the fundamental nature of supposed good areas versus supposed bad areas.


@Barney - I agree that prices might/would increase in some areas. I don’t agree that the end result would be increased social segregation. If there was evidence that somehow removing state subsidies would have an adverse impact on society due to social stratification then I’d consider it but none has been put forward. In short, I contend that it would be mostly the same people buying houses in the same areas at a different price.


I don’t see why it has to be about catchment areas. If you take Galway city as an example, it is unusual in that it doesn’t have any real fee paying schools so, while some of the children of ‘the great and the good’ go to fee paying boarding schools in other parts of the country, most go to non-fee paying schools in the city. Naturally some of the schools are considered more desirable than others but even the most popular take a socially mixed intake. Most of the schools have an associated primary school, which is a the most reliable way to get your child into the secondary school, but many more students are taken in from other primary schools. In the case of the boys schools, three of the main ones are located within a few hundred meters of each other, so concept of separate catchment areas would be pretty much unworkable. At the end of the day it comes down to a combination of family ties with the school and pot luck much more than what street you live on.

This is the admissions policy for one of the schools but I think it’s pretty representative of the other schools too.


OK, so there may be areas today that have good private schools but would not necessarily be considered salubrious. Making the private schools public would influence people who wouldn’t have normally bought there to now purchase in that area. I accept that is a possibility but certainly difficult to quantify. Maybe I can reframe your argument to make it a net positive, any additional factor that increases the number of areas that are attractive to the house buying cohort is actually a good thing. There are various amenities that people would like to be close to when buying a house. It would seem to me that adding an amenity that is not in the same area as other amenities would likely be a good thing to spread out demand in a market.


Its not circular at all.
You want to maintain segregation during school hours because you say the alternative is increasing property prices, ultimately with a knock on effect of increased segregation in after- school activities?

I get how a increased disposable income from not “having to” select a private school would lead to increased property prices in some areas. I think we see this in Stillorgan already with Colaiste Eoin etc.

But the idea that some sort of social good (i.e. that all children benefit from this MCW charade) is achieved from maintaining this segregation has been repeated many times on this thread…is frankly wishful thinking. The children of many privates schools do not mix with the lower orders! Can I cut the MCW of any school where there is little mixing with others?


End it? No there will always be private schools. But my taxes shouldn’t be supporting it.

But if you’re going to persist with this misnomer…
Can some of us Irish residents at the propertypin have the state contribute towards our own private army or police force if we all contribute part too? I mean, its our “right” isn’t it? If we decide security is REALLY important to us and want to pay extra, and other families don’t value security as much. We should really get our own private police force…and courts too. If you are Irish resident and don’t agree with some on the pin forming a private army you obviously don’t value security as much etc etc


You’re right I won’t. It is self evident. This is prima facie Middle Class Welfare. I said the following about 10 pages ago.

Like the chap with the Irish Times letter. I bet he rails (without irony) against farmers, gombeens and welfare scroungers that he says he subsidizes!

Even if we entertained this utilitarian angle…it is not purely an economic matter…If you could economically prove that african americans were worse off in the 10 years after slavery (which I think has been argued) would that have made slavery defensible. No. It was a wrong.


As if you were open to convincing! :laughing:


Barney, I’m not sure of your point here. If schools are already in supposed good areas then removing state subsidies will have no effect on social segregation, the same people will buy the same houses possibly for different prices. If schools are in areas that aren’t considered good (or maybe the best) areas then it will diversify the property market, i.e., people now have another factor to consider when buying. It looks to me that at worst the status quo remains and at best, we have something that further diversifies the property market.

Also, I’m not thinking of any specific schools. I’m arguing from a theoretical viewpoint.


But it unarguably -by definition, in fact- does if the money previously pooled as fees into the private school is instead invested into the newly public school. “The average student” certainly gains.
I’m not entirely sure as to why this is such an anathema to the currently contributing parents but earlier posts indicate that it is. Frankly, if parents aren’t willing to contribute to improve the school their children go to and would rather spend the saved fees on “holidays” … then there’s not a lot to be said for their attitude, and their kids will be the ones who lose out because of a backward Irish attitude to non-segregatory education.