The Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, claimed that fee-paying schools work out cheaper because millions of pounds of public money is spent on bureaucracy.
His claims come as research for the Independent Schools Council found state school education cost at least £9,000 per child per year. The average cost of putting a child through private school is £9,069 per year, but some charge less.
Mr Hastie-Smith said that the total state education budget for the last school year was £77.7 billion but claimed that there were “enormous extra costs from bureaucracy and monitoring” that were unaccounted for.
Now, Mr Hastie-Smith may have a particular drum to bang—although since he's actually moving from a private school to one of the state academies, not as much as you might think—but he is entirely correct here.
Some years ago, when I was still living in Edinburgh, I saw an article reporting that, in Scotland, about one third of all education funding was being swallowed up by Local Education Authorities. And for what? To pay idiots to carry out pointless fucking bureaucratic tasks of no relevance whatsoever.
Now, whilst the Tories are flirting with school vouchers (and that is very good news), they have yet to point out what it is that makes the Swedish and Dutch systems so good: the independence of the schools—although Mr Hastie-Smith does recognise this.
“The attraction of academies is in their independence,” he said. “There is every reason why an independent schools head—or a deputy looking for headship—will see academies as very attractive."
For fuck's sake, Cameron! will you please find a pair of balls. Set out a simple plan: make all schools independent, introduce vouchers and, for fuck's sake, scrap the fund-stealing LEAs and any other government involvement in education.
And with this scheme, if people maintain that you are being too radical, you can point to Sweden and the Netherlands and say, "look, you reactionary morons! This system works! We Tories are not going to keep our children in ignorance and continue to fuck up their entire, cocking lives simply because you fucks think that state-directed education is the only way to do things.
"Read my lips: it. Fucking. Works."
If the Tories only did one thing in government, then this should be it: it would ensure them an entirely positive legacy for years to come. More importantly, it would ensure that children got a decent education and were able to make something of their lives: education is the key to social mobility and success.