The Irish Education system. Bork central

By anybody, do you actually mean zero people or is that a more general statement :wink:

Do you not consider equality of educational opportunity a societal benefit?

I don’t get your point. First principles of state education should be equality of opportunity/access. I have no issue with the idea that education as it stands is antiquated and needs to be addressed but that’s not the points that I was addressing.

Ok, maybe I should be specific but I think that I have in other posts, equality of access/opportunity to the state funded education system. The state funded system should in itself be able to produce well educated students. Systems can be gamed, so some people will do that with grinds and other services. The state should not be helping people to game the system by allowing them to exclude children on a financial basis.

Absolutely. Tell me how you would make access to educational more equal than today.

Tell me how it’s going to work.

It is axiomatic that state subsidised fee charging schools create unequal access to state education. Why would I have to show that?

You keep repeating the same thing. You and BlameGame and others who complain about the current system repeat the same phrases decrying the lack of equality, often with snide and false characterisations of pupils and parents. I disagree, I think the structure of the system prevents a sharp imbalance between public and private, resulting in greater equality overall.

But ignore that for a moment, let’s say you are right and the system is less fair and equal than it might be. What I am asking is for your solution. How can we make the opportunities more equal than they are now?

If you want the funding of the education system to change from the way it has been since free secondary education was introduced in the 1960’s, explain how, and what improvements you anticipate. The potential downsides have been laid out many times, in this thread and others but there has been so effort, at any time, to find benefits for the change.

If there was no subsidy to fee paying schools, why would they take any notice of the national curriculum? They could drop Irish and religion and give their students huge advantages at college level… well, apart from in Irish, I guess…

Well. by a happy circumstance this all results in the best outcome for you Just enough for you to pay and maintain your lifestyle. And other parents who cannot afford the school can make alternative arrangements and keep off the grass!

And you decry talk of changing it and challenge anyone who would to predict the outcome of change. And invent scenarios of what you say will definitely happen if there is change.

On your logic why don’t we raise the subsidy then. Why don’t we pay your capital expenditure cost in the school too? There’d be teachers salaries, capex and fees for the school nurse etc. Wonderful result for you.

Of course that would be silly, as is the notion that private school fees vs subsidy trade-off is at the absolute optimum level for the taxpayer now.

Let’s be fair and phase it out over 5 years. Grandparents can chip in and fund the real cost of segregation. People can get private school fees mortgages. I don’t care. Who knows house prices might go down not up.

Looks like you’re correct. But you wont find any ranting and raving about, “inequality due to birth location” around here. (The kids of recently arrived foreign nationals will soon be wiping the floor with the home grown kids, given their language advantage.)
Generally speaking, anybody applying to an NUI institution who was born and had all their education in the Republic of Ireland must present Irish (achieving at least Grade D at Ordinary Level) for Matriculation purposes. Students not born in the Republic of Ireland or educated for an extended period outside Ireland may apply to NUI for an exemption from the Irish language requirement. Students with specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition (dyslexia) may also apply for exemption from Irish. To apply for an exemption, it is necessary to send in a completed Exemption Application Form and other relevant material.

How do recently arrived foreign nationals have a language advantage? In the vast majority of cases English is not their first language. :slight_smile:

I’ve been watching this for a while in my neighbourhood. In general they have to apply much more effort to learning the language that the native population and also tend to have a parent pushing them and that seems to pay off after a while.

Private schools are almost a sideshow. They don’t exist in much of the country at all, mainly only in parts of Dublin. Quinns squabbles with them play well with labour supporters south of the grand canal perhaps but elsewhere who cares.

Meanwhile Quinn will crash the rest of the system as well. We’ll be left with a load of state controlled schools of frequently dubious merit catering for every disadvantage imaginable and delivering nothing of any long term economic value.

More emotive nonsense. It’s not about others keeping off the grass, or anything like that.

I haven’t said what will definitely happen if there is change. I’ve made predictions, which can be backed up by logic, evidence and experience.

For example

  1. I predict that some schools will stop charging fees and join the free scheme. The consequences of this are a cost to the taxpayer for higher teacher pupil ratios and capitation payments, and ancillary staff at the school losing their jobs because there is no fee income to pay them any more (this has a knock-on cost to the taxpayer as well of course). Losers: teachers losing their jobs, pupils being disrupted, taxpayer paying more for the system. Evidence that this will happen: it’s happened already, Wilsons Hospital and Kilkenny College; Rumours of more schools in discussions with the department; the logic which dictates that whenthe sums don’t add up for the school anymore, they will have to convert to free system

  2. I predict that some schools will remain charging fees, but at a much higher level, forcing out students from middle income families. The consequence will be massive upheaval for the schools in question, which will have to downsize to fit the number of students who can afford the fees. Teachers will lose their jobs, students will have to move schools midway through secondary. Free schools will suffer disruption as students from these schools have to be accommodated. Losers: everyone. Evidence: talking to friends; simple economics of supply and demand - as a price increases, demand falls

  3. I predict house prices will increase near to the best free schools. Consequence - kids who can now go to good state schools by living close to them will be priced out of the area in future generations. Evidence: it happens in the UK, there’s no reason to suggest Ireland will be different.

  4. As a consequence of the above the system will settle down to a small number of private schools. They’lll be fully private, they will employ the best teachers, and they will educate the children of the wealthy. The result is less social integration and a gap opening up between the quality of eduction received by the richest 5% and everyone else.

Now. Do you dispute my logic, or are these the prices you are willing to pay for your half-baked ideology?

It would be better for me if the pupil teacher ration was restored, and the capitation fee. I can live with the situation as it is though, just about

Which taxpayers? I’m a taxpayer, all of my friends who pay school fees are taxpayers

If you don’t care, why do you bother to debate it? If you don’t care why do you want to interfere in how others live their lives and how they educate their children?

Yeah, I think it is the immigrant effect. As evidenced by Irish people abroad; not just in respect to language and culture, but to learning and succeeding in general.

@FirstBass, it is hard to respond to your posts as you are making the same points multiple times. I have tried to break it down:

increased cost to the taxpayer - this may well be the case, I for one am willing to pay that price to offer fair and equal access to state funded education for all students.

job losses - while I have sympathy for those affected, I would wonder if you would say that the possibiity of job losses on their own are a reason enough to keep a system in place.

student disruption - it is difficult to quantify this, certainly there will be some, however it is likely that most state subsidised fee charging schools will convert into public schools. Some students will have to move, I think that we can agree that most wouldn’t.

house prices - from a social inclusion point of view, the issue would not be whether prices are higher, it should be whether the change in school status would fundamentlly change the demographic in the areas where the schools are located. If the same people are buying the same houses for higher prices, why would I care, if different people are now pricing others out of a certain area then you may have a point. However I have stated my thoughts on this in a previous thread, personally I see no net change to demographics but there may be changes to house prices.

+1 to all that.

But the demographic shift has already happened, we can see from other threads that an office worker can not buy in Ranelagh today. My point is that the boom/bubble in Ireland has already created a fundamental demograhic shift. A change to school status might have a samll impact on demographics but it is more likely to have a large impact on house prices. I think that same people will be buying the same houses for a higher price.

I don’t really know Cork or its schools and this is a genuine question. If there are state funded fee charging schools in Cork and they mostly changed to non-fee charging, would that increase the number of areas that are attractive to you, decrease the number of areas or would things remain pretty much the same?

Increased cost. Good to see you put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. I respect that. Personally I’d prefer the money spent elsewhere; if it will cost 50€M extra to fund the extra free school, that is money that could be spent on improving schools all over the country; with better facilities in state schools the need for the fee-charging sector will diminish naturally.

Job losses. Is it a reason by itself? perhaps not, but it is a major factor, and these are real people, facing real unemployment. It’s not to be taken lightly.

Student disruption. I agree it’s hard to quantify. What would be an acceptable figure to use for an estimate: 20%, 10%? Surely it can’t be any lower than that. There are 26,000 pupils in the fee-charging sector, so at 10% you are proposing to screw with the education of 2,600 children. Personally I think it will be a lot more disruptive even that that, but even at a low estimate that’s a lot of lives to mess with

Housing costs. How can prices increase without changing the demographic? If e.g. Wesley College in Ballinteer goes to the state sector and young professionals all want to move to the area to have kids in the catchment, will that not price out people who grew up in the area but have lower incomes than the new arrivals? This is what has happened in the UK, it’s hard to imagine it would be any different in Ireland

Looking at all of that I think we (and by extension BlameGame who +1’d your post) are in broad agreement that there will be negative consequences to the change. I cannot for the life of me see how a notional, ideological benefit of ‘removing state support for inequality’ outweighs these real negative consequences - you are not able to give a single example of a child, parent or teacher who will benefit from the change you want to see happen.

Of course there will be consequences, for a limited number of students, it is not a reason in itself to maintain a system. Every year, tens of thousands of students move from primary education to secondary education, they seem able to survive the transition. I would also wonder how many students transfer from one secondary school to another each year for various reasons, they seem able to survive the transition. Children/teens are adaptable, you should give them more credit. Anyway, as has been mentioned, this could be mitigated by phasing in the necessary changes over a few years.

If you say that my points are ideological then I would contend that your’s are emotional. You have a large stake in the status quo remaining as you are currently advantaged by it. You are getting a private education for your children without paying the full costs of such an education.

There is no requirement for a single example of someone benefitting when the inequality of access to education engendered by the state subsidised fee charging system is obvious.