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,

SÉAMUS WHITE,

Stoneybatter,

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,

REAMONN O’LUAN,

Churchtown,

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,

JOSEPH M DODDY,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 14.