The notion of private schools has come under scrutiny recently. The Labour Party announced that if it were to come into power, it would set about abolishing private schools and integrating them into the state system. The party’s main argument for this is that it would ensure a fairer education system and stop a privileged few from getting an advantage. But would this be right? Should private schools be banned or are there enough reasons to keep them running?
Arguments For Private Schools
Private schools are able to give children more advantages than other schools. Going to a private school can pave the way for landing a top, high-paying job in later life. For example, many doctors, lawyers, judges, politicans and other high-ranking officials were privately educated. You don’t necessarily need to have gone to a private school to attain a high-up job, but private education can certainly help – it’s something that stands out on CVs, for starters, and may set you apart from others. Private schools can give children who are more academically gifted a more specialised education that puts them in a better position for later life. They often have smaller class sizes, better resources and more facilities for students to use. Then there’s the fact that private schools collectively contribute billions to the country’s economy – £13.7 billion in 2017 alone. As well as generating a huge amount of income, the schools support thousands upon thousands of jobs.
Arguments Against Private Schools
One of the main criticisms of private schools is that they cater to and favour the rich. The costly fees alone ensure that many families simply can’t afford to send their children to such schools. Even though there are things like scholarships and bursaries available to lessen the financial burden of the fees, many families are still priced out because the overall cost is simply too high. Private schools do offer more social and professional advantages that other schools don’t; these things come at a cost, so parents who can’t afford the fees will have to have their children miss out on these advantages. There are many children who are very gifted and who may excel at a private school – yet many are denied the opportunity to go to such a school and flourish because of the cost.
Private schools are known for being able to offer more advantages, yet they’re exclusive in that they cost so much to attend. Some want them abolished so that all children have equal opportunities and no one gets ahead simply because their parents are rich. However, not everyone who goes to a private school is necessarily from a very well off family – many go more for the academic side of things. Is it fair to deny academically gifted children the right to attend private schools that are more suited to them? Is it fair that children of rich parents can get advantages by going to a private school when more intelligent children may be denied those advantages because their parents aren’t as wealthy?