The Private Education system should be abolished.

In the British education system you have a choice: you can either pay for your (or your children's) education or you can rely on the state to the job for nothing. Does the two-tier system create more harms than benefits?

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

Education should create equal opportunities for all

Statistics prove time and time again that those individuals with a private education background have more education, job and social opportunities than those who were educated by the state. The ratio of private school pupils entering the most prestigious universities is substantially high considering the fraction of children who are educated privately; to the extent where these universities have been accused of discrimination.

It isn't fair that just because some parents cannot afford to pay for their children's education that those children should be disadvantaged on account of that alone. Education is supposed to open doors, not shut them.

Furthermore, private school creates a segregation between children and young adults in society, which can result in bullying in some cases. If we want our children to treat everyone in society as an equal, we must all start on an equal footing.

Oxbridge doesn't pick on academic standards, what a farce! 99.9% of applicants have got straight As and A*s, of which a tiny proportion are picked. There are interviews and 'certain' applicants fit the role. These are usually non-state educated individuals.
Also Oxbridge colleges actually have a quota for the amount of state school students they take in. The more they take, the more funding they get. (not sure which side that point lies on but I wrote the first bit too so...)

To rebut the points made by the proposition, universities were in the past claimed to discriminate. This now does not happen: Oxbridge chooses students solely on the grounds of academic merit and gives ample assistance to those who would not normally be able to attend university. Businesses choose on merit alone as well, and we make our own social opportunities by how we each live our lives. The (unquoted) statistics that the proposition claim "prove time and time again" their point do not in any way prove it; what the prove is the benefits of the private system and the failures of the state system to educate our children. If state education is to be improved, the government must improve it: abolishing private education will not improve the standards of state education. Remember, those who attend private schools pay twice: they pay for the state system through taxation and private school fees. The amount of money available to state education, currently woefully low, cannot increase unless the government increases it. Therefore, abolishing independent education would not create equal opportunities for all that were of benefit: it would create equal, poor opportunities.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

It creates stereotypes and tensions within society

In the melting pot that are universities a separation occurs between two classes of people from the various backgrounds them came from.

Those that are state-school educated often look upon their counterparts as elitist, stuck-up and posh. Those privately educated frequently hang around with "their own kind" and - often unconsciously - do activites separate and different from the rest of the population Because of the lack of knowledge a partitioning often occurs. How can you argue that creating a two tier, immiscible separation of our society is a good thing?

There are of course many other divisions in society. Any established 'group' tends to stick together due to their common interests. You do not improve the situation by trying to abolish the basis of a group. The positive social policy is to build communication bridges.

In the case of education there was just such a bridge growing in importance - the grammar schools. They gave free real opportunities to the bright but disadvantaged. They were abolished in the name of equality. The result has been that the state sector lost some excellent schools.

There is no single perfect system. Why can't we accept the benefits of diversity and encourage choice even with in the state sector so that we meet the needs of individual pupils rather than trying to push everyone through the same template.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

'Old School Tie' networks still exist.

Once we're out of school, all we seem to consider in our arguments is which schools give the best academic results. Yet most of us believe that many other things taken away from our schooling were far more important than an academic education. Values, outlooks, and life-skills stay with us forever, whilst a set of A-levels becomes merely a certificate - especially for those of us who only use our French GCSE in restaurants.

Yet what we consistently overlook when studying the league tables is the culture that is reinforced in maintaining private and state education. The social networks (extending into business, law, politics and so forth) that private schools can offer throughout life favour the life chances of their attendees a ludicrous amount. The private-state social divide is most often maintained at university, with different social groups forming around the basis of wealth and upbringing, and at some of the best academic institutions in the country, state school students who have had a harder time earning their place (statistics show this to be true) are very often made to feel inadequate and questioning their position.

Whether or not the practical difficulties of reforming the education allow it to be possible, private education almost certainly 'should' be abolished for the inegalitarian social networks which they create.

Arguments such as that opposite do not damage this point in any way. They rely on reductio ad absurdum tactics to portray a desire to abolish private schools, which offer unrivalled access to business networks, as a desire to abolish these networks themselves. This is simply not the case. If, as the argument opposite states, such networks and distinctions would exist 'regardless of schooling', then it would do no harm to these networks to abolish the Private Education system in the hope that we may keep both these networks AND 'egalitarian ideals': if this is not possible, then the argument opposite is self-contradictory.

Even though this point does not argue for the abolition of interpersonal relations in business (only a school system that gives unfavoured access to these relations), the opposition claim that businesses, deals and employment rely upon these networks is unsubstantiated and cannot in its present form be taken seriously.

Class distinction will exist regardless of schooling; it would be extremely naive to believe that these networks would dissipate if privileged children were schooled by the state. There are advantages to these networks that far outweigh egalitarian ideals.

Without the established connections and name recognition that comes along with having a private education, many businesses would never be funded, deals would fail to materialize and industry would not run as smoothly. Jobs are created and value added to society based on these networks.

Paraphrasing part of the opposite argument: Private Schools give students a better shot at life including education and connections. This is not a valid point. Are you arguing against the very idea of schools? Maybe it would be better if no one got an education then we'd all be pretty much equal.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

Removing 'choice' will improve the overall standard of our schools.

If the well educated, affluent and motivated parents who currently send their children to private schools had no choice other than to send their children to the local comprehensive school they would become actively involved in raising the standard of these schools. Imagine the impact of all the funding currently received by the private sector in fees and charitable donations being ploughed into public education.

On the contrary, removing choice will end up with everyone getting the same mediocre education that is available from the state. Parents that are unsatisfied with this have then no opportunity to steer their childrensĀ“ education into the direction they would like it to be heading and it is ludacris to think they would spend as much of their own money on state schools as they would be willing to pay for a private school. Why? Because if the school is statefunded it is a human attitude to expect the state to provide the money to improve it. Britain might even lose schoolchildren as well as qualified teachers looking for a challenging experience to other countries and their boarding schools.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

Move forward and do what is best for the majority

Education should be based on an individual's hard work and not on a family bank account. If we look to countries such as Finland and Norway which have more than 95% of their students in public schools, these countries are some of the best-educated countries in the world. Statistics show that by allowing a two-tier system to continue to grow, too many 'hard-working' students are going to be unfairly disadvantaged. Education should be based on 'hard work' and our hospitals 'need'.

In regards to a two-tier system, we have to ask ourselves: do we want our children to do well based on their 'own' hard work? Do we want an education system based on meritocracy or aristocracy? If more students begin to attend public schools, we will soon come to realise that the effects are not only extremely beneficial for the majority (poor and middle-class) but also for the minority (rich) because they enable everybody to become more socially aware and are a key to future economic growth as more people are given future opportunities to seek steady employment.

Finally, the points made do not favour the abolition of private schools, what they do place emphasis on, though, is the need to increase government funding for progressive public education, which would only come through private schools being disallowed funds. Government funding to private schools in fact contradicts the purpose of private schools being free from government intervention. It is extremely important that we respect people from all different types of backgrounds; this is why public schooling provides an overall better education than private schooling; public schools enable students to learn more about what being democratic and coherent actually mean; private schools establish the basis for further inequality.

If the 'majority' chooses not to work as hard or as long as the majority of private school parents, then those who do hold down a good job that pays well should not be penalised for giving their child a better education. In fact, abolishing private education would not lead to a mass benefit to the state school system: it would simply over burden the creaking state schools and lead to large unemployment of teachers, janitors and cleaners who currently work at private schools.
The majority would not benefit from the abolition of private education: think about Winston Churchill, for example, who is regarded as one of the best prime ministers Britain has ever had. Where would Britain be without his leadership skills and military bravery, without his background in an aristocratic family and his private education? Also, the richest private schools do not get better at the expense of the nation: they get better at the expense of the parents who pay both tax to fund the state school system and the private education system, and the state school system in Britain is failing its pupils already, and we should not fail the rest of those pupils who are currently in private education just because of politics.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

A private education is a good education

The problem's of inadequate education on the state could easily be resolved if the government were to invest more resources or else copy more successful models abroad. Just because at the moment the alternative is not palatable, doesn't mean that this always will be the case.

Paying for your education does not guarantee a good education. Private schools still have an significant number of inadequate teachers.

It seems silly to propse scrapping a system of education that produces positive results and successful individuals. Private education still exists because the alternative is over-stretched, over-crowded and doesn't always provide the best all-round education. The statistics prove the success of the private school system, as they attain higher incomes over their lifetime. The proposition claim that the government could invest more resources or copy other education models, but until this happens, removing the private education system would force everyone to enter a system unfit for purpose. This would be detrimental to education as a whole in this country.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

Private schools create competition

"Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages." [Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26.i.]

Does the marketisation of education not contradict the universal right to free education? If education is important enough, it should not need to be marketised and competitive in order to progress. The marketisation of education, reinforced through institutions such as private schools, may also be having an adverse affect on the education itself. More and more teachers in both private and public education find themselves swamped with boxes that their students have to have ticked (Key stages, standardised lesson plans, SATs etc) in order to prove that their education is efficient, value for money, etc. The idea of education for its own sake is thrown out of the window. In less abstract terms, subjects that don't get enough popular support are thrown out rather than improved - it's no longer compulsory to take a language to GCSE, nor to sit an aural exam if one is taken.

Competition does not mean better education, it means standardised education and teaching students to jump through hoops. As private education has much better means to do this, e.g. much smaller contact groups and excellent revision resources, state-funded education really has to pull out all the stops to keep up, including rejecting independent thought in favour of 'exam skills'. Competitive education is not a human right, it's a travesty.

Having private schools means there is natural compeition in the educations sector. The government must keep the standard of a state education up to prevent the affluent middle classes from deserting state education entirely and sending their children into the private sector at a reasonable cost. If this happened with enough families, there would be growing demand to lower taxes - it would be unfair for large swathes of middle England to pay for state educations they are not using. Obviously doing this would be a political nightmare: funding would be cut dramatically, lowering the quality of state education even further. So, the government is forced to compete with the private sector in order to guarantee continued funding and the support of the middle classes.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

In a civilised society, there should be plenty of choice

Choice doesn't have to be between a state and a private school; an effective choice can exist between neighbouring state schools. Schools often now specialise in certain areas - sport, technology and so on - and so provide a choice for parents and students alike as to where a young person receives their education.

what sort of choice do people from council estates have whether they can go to a private school or state run? It's choice for the rich, not for anyone else.

Just as we have the right choose whether or not to buy organic or eat really fatty foods, or buy a ridiculously expensive car , we also have the right to choose a good education for our children, whether or not this is a choice that everyboy has.
It is unreasonable to expect everybody to have to send their children to a state school that they feel is unsuitable, rather than a better resourced, better run private school simply because there are others unfortunate enough not to be able to have this choice.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

So send your child to a Grammar School

The bottom line is, one's prospects in life do not significantly differ by having had private education, rather than a comprehensive or gramar education.

I am a student at the University of Durham, where a significant proportion of undergraduate students have come from 'Public School' backgrounds. There are also a lot of students who have attended both grammar schools and comprehensive schools.

My argument is that all of these students have progressed successfully through their schooling, regardless of which type, and have arrived at Durham having been accepted on to a degree programme. The type of secondary education which one has had makes absolutely no difference.

All students have arrived and are in the same position and are ALL equal!

Grammar schools are free but selective. If you can't afford a private school and your child is smart enough, send them there. Problem solved.

If your child isn't clever (and yes it's a hard thing to gauge when young) then why are you complaining that others will get further in life? They would have got further anyway.

The Private Education system should be abolished.

Yes because... No because...

The goverment can't afford to take on more school children

8% of students currently study at private schools in the UK. At a time when the entire budget is coming under pressure, the idea of taking on fully half a million more students all at once would devalue the entire system and bring it to the point of collapse. Those who are wealthy enough to pay for their child's education are actually removing a burden from poorer taxpayers by not using the state system.

Debates > The Private Education system should be abolished.