Before wading carelessly into a subject that is as awkward as it is divisively controversial, I’d like to make something quite clear: on a purely theoretical and philosophical level, I believe the principle of private education to be completely wrong. Knowledge is a human fundamental, like health, which should not be sold as a commodity, where he who pays highest gets the best product. Don’t worry; I’ve not forgotten on which side of the argument I stand, but it’s worth acknowledging that it’s a difficult question when we, as (predominantly) young, unmarried undergraduates, neither have children nor have any particularly immediate plans to have them.
However, were I to have children, I sincerely hope that I would have the strength to put people before principles. It is a simple and sad fact that class sizes in private schools are, on average, much smaller than those in state schools. Whilst there is, on average, one teacher for every 22 pupils in the state sector, this figure falls to one teacher for every 9 pupils in the private sector. Larger class sizes mean that teachers are not able to offer the same consistently high levels of care to every single child – there is simply no way it’s possible. Continue reading