Subsidising fee-paying schools

Sir, – The underlying ethos of fee-paying schools is that they allow some parents to buy their children advantages over other children.

So it is more than a little ironic that principals of fee-paying schools feel anger about their schools' unequal treatment with regard to Covid-19 support funding ("Private schools received more than ¤100 million in public funding during 2020", News, December 28th).

The head of Alexandra College, even suggests, without a hint of irony, that cutting taxpayers’ existing subsidies for fee-paying schools would result in there being “very few fee-paying schools and they would be very elitist”.

She further adds that all children should be entitled to the same amount of funding during a pandemic.


Surely this admirable principle of equal access to educational resources should apply at all times? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 7.

Sir, – The article on State funds and private schools made for some very interesting reading. To have a private school described as a “social enterprise” was a new one for me. The Government website describes a social enterprise as organisations whose “core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact . . . or to address issues such as food poverty, social housing, or environmental matters”.

In Ireland, elitism in the education sector has long been recognised as a major barrier to social mobility. It is a capitalist approach to education and favours those from privileged backgrounds. Claiming that a private school is a social enterprise is an insult to real social enterprises. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, It would have been more informative for your readers if you had given equal detail and prominence to the amount of public funding to the non-fee schools. Schools of equal size could be also compared to show how much public money is deployed in the fee-paying and non-fee sectors. Surely your readers need to know how their tax euros are spent in education? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.