Abolish Private Education in the UK

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I would like to see the abolition of private, fee paying education throughout the United Kingdom. When I mean this, I do not mean closing down every private school in the country. Rather, I would like to see all the private schools in the country brought into state ownership with private schools not being allowed to charge school fees and having the same admissions policies as the majority of state schools. 

However, I do recognise that the independence that private schools have has been a major asset for them and I think this should remain the case to a large extent with existing state schools getting the same level of autonomy.

My reason for this is because private schools, whatever the merits of individual schools, do not benefit the majority of ordinary families who will never be able to afford a private school education and give the middle and upper classes an advantage over everyone else. It is not fair that people cannot go to some of the best schools in Britain because they cannot afford the fees. I know many private schools make an effort to attract talent from poorer families and do support state schools but this does not go far enough.

Most of the top professions and jobs in the UK are dominated by private school alumni and partly because of this, it is much more difficult for people from poorer and working class backgrounds to get into highly paid jobs and top professions than it is for people from more privileged backgrounds.

The UK cannot be a meritocratic society without creating a more level playing field in the education sector and giving children from poorer backgrounds a better chance to succeed than they do now. Finland does not have any private schools and often tops international education league tables.

People argue that the way forward is to strip private schools of their charitable status and even tax them. However, this would lead to job losses if these schools have to make cuts and possibly close down which would not be a sensible idea. If they were nationalised, there wouldn't be the same risk.






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