Private schools are a con (1): they don’t get better results than state schools

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This might surprise you but despite all their extra resources, private schools don’t deliver a better education than those in the state sector:

OECD data shows that the average achievement in private schools in the UK is the same as that in state schools, once social class is taken into account, even though the average class size is 13 in the private sector and 25 in the state sector.

I’m afraid to say the notion that private schools get good results because – and only because – their pupils are either from affluent families with parents who value their education or alternatively those cherrypicked to receive bursaries based on intelligence tallies with my personal experience. When I was at private schools, one of the striking things was how readily teachers would bounce back responsibility for my education back onto my parents. So for example, their solution to my struggles with French was to suggest my parents get me private tuition. In short, they were so reliant on having easy to teach pupils that  confronted with a challenge they couldn’t cope.

All of which does raise the question of precisely what parents are paying fees for? And indeed why taxpayers are subsidising private schools to cream off the best pupils from the state sector?

Hat-tip: Stephen Tall

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