Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Schooled in stupidity

We are used to NuLabour's attempts to destroy all that is right and good in our fair land, but their disgusting attacks on private schools smacks of all the old class hatred.
Schools 'to earn' charity status

Private schools will have to show they deserve charitable status

Independent schools in England and Wales will soon have to prove how they provide a public benefit if they wish to retain their charitable status.

I have written about this a number of times, most pertinently when kicking that fat, old, dribbling hypocrite, Hattersley. But to argue about the extent to which private schools do benefit the community, continually, seems a little pointless when the arguments can be summed up so swiftly.

In the old way of thinking—in the days when all schools were mostly funded by donations, i.e. before the Welfare State—it was taken for granted that, by teaching children to read and write, schools were, by definition, beneficial to the community. This still holds true, but now there are nuances.

Are private schools beneficial? Yes.

As the appalling literacy and numeracy rates of those leaving the state system become ever more obvious, private schools benefit communities by ensuring that there are at least some people in this country who are capable of reading, writing and adding up.

As public exams become increasingly devalued, private schools provide reassurance to employers and universities unsure whether a sodding A****** in English Literature means that a child can actually write an essay or not.

As cash-strapped councils sell off more and more school lands, such as playing fields, the private schools ensure that there are at least some people capable of playing team sports and, in many cases, somewhere for state school children to play.

Parents who send their children to private schools—often making great personal sacrifices to be afford to do so—still pay the taxes that keep the state schools going: they are not depriving the state of that income, as they effectively pay twice over.

The already cash-strapped and space-deprived education system simply cannot cope with the influx of all of the private school children into the state system. In Edinburgh, for instance, some 45% of children are in the private sector.

Should tax-relief be removed from private schools, they will be faced with a choice: raise fees or cut benefits. They will almost certainly go with the latter and the first things to go will be the scholarships and the bursaries. After all, why bother giving services away for free when there is no benefit to (what will then be) an entirely commercial business? This will remove opportunity for the poorest, further destroying social mobility, and make the schools truly the preserve of the rich.

Quite simply, this is another sop to the clapped-out, jealousy-wracked, class-war dinosaurs in the Labour Party; like the hunting ban, it is another bribe to ensure their continuing loyalty as the NuLabour project starts to crumble.

It is wrong and it is indecent to play politics with children's lives, for that is what you do when you remove the opportunity of a good education. Because screwing over the private schools will not make the state schools any better and so more children will fail to be well-educated; more children will leave school without basic, necessary skills; more children will be condemned to dead-end jobs or a life on benefits; more childrens' lives will be ruined and the underclass, those trapped in poverty and hopelessness, will continue to grow.

And all to appease a bunch of bitter, avaricious, superannuated Champagne socialists whose sole solution to the problems that they themselves have engendered is to ruin the lives of yet more innocent people.

Please excuse me while I go and sharpen my cockroaches...


Sam Duncan said...

And do you know what the Daily Mail leader had to say about this?

Guess. Go on. House organ of the hang 'em and flog 'em brigade, reactionary bastion of all that is self-parodically "right-wing"... you will never guess in a million years how its official editorial comment about this began today. Not in a zillion blue-mooned months of Sundays..

Give up?

Get this:

"In an ideal world, private schools would not exist."

What the fuck? I mean, what the bloody fucking fuck? Are they all fucking communists, or what? Jesus.

I mean, I knew the Mail wasn't really conservative, just clinically insane, but Christ on a pogo stick, that takes the gold-plated HobNob. They'll be wanting to collectivize the farms next.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find mongo that the operative words were in an ideal world A bit like in an ideal world we wouldn't have to explain that to a fucking mong because he would be sufficeintly intelligent to understand the nuances of context.

I think this is a spot on article DK. This bunch of cunts are now trying to make the public schools explian how they will give bursaries to poor kids who are talented, or little ethnic scrotes, and then that is their justification for charitable status as a centre of excellence for diversity. But you mustn't forget that the first thing Bliar did was to scrap the APS in 1997, a scheme designed entirely to help deprived kids into a private school and better education.

nsfl said...

DK - a bloke called Eric Anderson has defended public schools in today's Torygraph. He's never going to win a Bloody Devil award but he does OK.

All the best -

Richard Oliver Quibell

Trixy said...

Beautifully written. And much more polite than what I was screaming at the news throughout the day as they played the story.

The loudest swearing was for some chap from the Independence system saying how jolly right the government were to do this.

Glad I didn't go to his school.

Politicians don't seem to be able to grasp that education is a merit good. Mind you, they're probably not too sure what a merit good is....

Sam Duncan said...

Are you addressing me, by any chance, Shotgun? Charmed, I'm sure.

How in God's name did you get the idea that I thought the operative words weren't "in an ideal I world"? Of course they bloody are.

This ideal, presumably, is a fairyland in which state education works. So why not say so: "In an ideal world, state education would work. But in the real world, it doesn't. Independent schools do. There should be more of them"? But that's not what it said - at any point in the article.

"In an ideal world, private schools would not exist." Nobody who is not actually a raving socialist should be starting with that premise, whatever the caveats. Yes, it was quite clear - from the context, thank you very much - that the Mail understands that this world is very far from that ideal, and so independent schools "have to" exist. But the fact remains that a state monopoly of education is its stated ideal, were it workable, and only where it is not should independence be suffered. Well, I'm sorry, but starting from there is how you end up in this unholy mess of coercion and arguments over the "subsidy" of independent businesses which haven't actually received a penny from the state for ten years.

DK's absolutely right: It is wrong and it is indecent to play politics with children's lives.

And that's why in a truly ideal world, state schools wouldn't exist. They are the exception. They are the ones that exist - unfortunately, in this un-ideal world - to make up for the perceived failings of the rest. Wherever possible, independent provision should be encouraged as the first choice. Start there, and we might end up with a free (as in speech) education sector that works as it should, instead of the dog's breakfast we have now.

But then, you knew that.

Roger Thornhill said...

I think this Charitable Status mallarkey is all part of Silliband's scheme of making all sectors of the economy beholden to NueArbeit and particularly the voluntary and charitable sectors. Labour has form on this already.

It is not surprising, given that Gordon considers all our money HIS by default and that we are kept pocket money purely out of his generosity. The same applies to Charities. Tax relief is in Gordon's twisted eyes the Government "paying" them, so they want their pound of flesh.

First it will be this mealy-mouthed "benefit to the community", next it will be having to provide scholarships. Then the disgust at "selection" will come in as not being egalitarian, so the "scholarships" will become a lottery, so that the school will have to take whomsoever arrives. Then it will be "special needs" and a push for "social inclusion" which actually means having to take disruptive and maladjusted pupils and being forced to put them in the same classes. I almost said "teach them", but that would be misleading, for we know that very little teaching gets done under such circumstances. Once achieved, the schools will be shown not to be any better that the State and forced to close because they take fees on false pretenses.

Socialists are both communists and self-loathers. Well, at least there is one thing we agree on.

Umbongo said...

It would be a refreshing start if the Headmasters' Conference (or whoever is broadly representative of the private schools) just refused to engage with either the Charities Commission or the government, tell them to do their worst and threaten to see them in the courts. How anyone could maintain an argument that private schools do not provide a public benefit (since the vast majority of employable individuals are produced from the private system) would be an interesting problem. Possibly this beauty would accept the challenge. Otherwise, if a "debate" ensues, what will happen is that there will be a kind of fudge. The private schools will put up some more cash (ie another tax on those who cough up to opt out of state "education") to buy off the Charities Commission, the government will declare victory and the same thing will happen all over again in about 5 years.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

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