As things stand the 5 grand or so that we pay per child is mainly just going to bridge the gap between what the state pays in other schools to educate a child and what the state pays in our school. The bit left over goes to employ people in non teaching jobs. Yeah, JOBS, those things that we are in need of.
I dont believe that.
It doesnt make any sense that parents would pay €5k per kid just to bring the standard of the fee paying school up to that of a other public schools.
Plus, its not borne out in practice. Look at the quality of facilities available to say Belvedere College, and compare them to St Vincents or O'Connells down the road; ditto for Blackrock or St Marys on the southside.
Parents pay the extra to have better facilities for their kids, and indirectly in my view to have better teachers. (That is, teachers are hired by interview and the best teachers will typically want to work at the schools with best facilities).
I've nothing against private fee schools; I think anyone who has a private healthcare policy such as Vivas or VHI has no right to quibble about private schools, as its exactly the same principle.
But I think its a bit much to make out that there is no difference in quality between a public school and fee paying school. My local gael scoil has been in prefabs since it was built 20 years ago. You dont get that in a fee paying school.
Just spotted this response now.
I'm not saying that parents pay €5k per kid just to bring the standard of the fee paying school up to that of a other public schools. Of course you'd expect the quality of facilities and everything else is better at fee paying schools, and that's why we do it.
What I am saying is that with the funding rules that are now in place, and the fee levels charged by the private school sector in Ireland in effect a lot of the fees go to pay for stuf that's paid for by the state elsewhere. Before we get to paying for the good stuff like a nurse, or rugby coaching or whatever, we have to bridge the funding gap between what the state provides elsewhere and to our school. It costs the state something like €8,000 per student per year for the public schools, and €4,500 for fee-paying schools. You could say that of the €5,000 fee, €3,500 of it goes on that gap.
This makes interesting reading http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/wee ... 08570.html
IT’S THE FIRST week of school at Presentation College in Bray, Co Wicklow, and four recent graduates are gasping through a tour of their old school’s new facilities. “You’d almost want to repeat,” says Harry Barrett, who is 19, admiring a language lab lined with freshly unpacked Apple iMacs. A transition-year class is being led out to a sailing lesson, there’s a new AstroTurf pitch behind the building and the light wells illuminating the hallway make it feel like a modern third-level institute.
“There’s a belief that the more you pay, the better it is,” says Gerry Duffy, the school’s exuberant principal. “It’s rarely based, particularly not in education, on any sort of reality. I wouldn’t agree that fee-paying schools have ever necessarily offered better physical facilities. They certainly don’t offer better teaching.”
The new look of Pres Bray, a nonfee-paying school, has required patience. The school applied for Department of Education funding in December 1999, Duffy says, and upgraded the specifications in places through saving, borrowing and fundraising.
The fact is that we all as Irish taxpayers provide capital investment funds which go out to some lucky public schools - in the 2011 budget it was €491 million. We provide a capitation grant to public schools, €375 per student. We provide 1 teacher for every 19 students in a public school
So as a taxpayer I contribute to all of that. I don't begrudge it in the slightest, education is a public good
When we made the choice to supplement this payment and send our kids to a fee-paying school, it was because there is a lack of good, co-educational schools with decent facilities in Ireland. To get the education we want for our kids we have to pay extra for it. To say that because of that choice we make we should be punished by removing state support is grossly unfair.
The analogy with the health service is a good one. Private money going into the system subsidises the overall cost