Cuts to private school subsidies
Sir, – I was saddened to read Fintan Foy’s defence of fee-paying schools (October 12th). Mr Foy is clearly a sincere hard-working member of our society who, like most parents, wants the best for his children. He states that his political vision has always been “left of centre” with a political system that allows all in society the opportunity to move forward. This seems at variance with his stated ambition to gain further advantage for his children by sending them to fee-paying schools.
There is no doubt that fee-paying schools represent one of the most significant bargains to be found in what Mr Foy calls “this debt-ridden increasingly depressing country”. They are considerably more expensive in richer and more developed countries where state subsidies are not provided.
The difficulties many of us have with the continued assistance to fee-paying schools do not do arise from a sense of begrudgery, but from a sense of fairness. We would like to see a better system for all, but that is unlikely when people such as Mr Foy can opt out of the public system and can be assisted to do so by the less fortunate members of our society. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – As I understand it in non fee-paying secondary schools the State (or taxpayer) pays all costs – teachers’ salaries and all the rest too. In fee-paying or private schools the State covers teachers’ salaries only and all other costs are covered by the fees paid by parents and by fund raising. So it is not the case that the State is subsidising private education. It is actually the other way round: fee-paying parents are subsidising the State. – Yours, etc,