According to a Right-leaning think tank reported in the Telegraph, Britons would each be nearly £6,000 better off if more children went to independent schools…
They offer the best value for the Government to improve exam results and pupils’ potential earnings, the Adam Smith Institute said.
The country as a whole would be wealthier if the proportion of children who went to schools outside local authority control matched that in other European countries. It compared Britain – where in 2010, 8 per cent of children went to a private school – with the Netherlands, where the state pays for about two thirds of children to attend a school that is outside state control.
It said that “the UK’s average annual growth rate between 1960 and 2007 would have been almost 1 percentage point higher had it matched the Netherlands’ long-term level of independent school enrolment since 1960.
“This in turn means that UK GDP per capita would have been over £5,800 higher in 2007 than it was.”
The study, by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, showed how competition among Holland’s independent schools had developed higher international test scores, while driving costs down. It said that “improving students’ international test scores by 10 per cent raised a country’s average annual growth rate by 0.85 percentage points”.
The report recommended the expansion of access to private schooling in Britain, now seen as outside the reach of many middle-class families.
The increase in the number of independently run academies was also likely to increase Britain’s GDP, it suggested. Sam Bowman, the institute’s research director, said: “This report shows that we need greater access to private schooling for all pupils regardless of background.
“Not just to improve the welfare of the children themselves but to boost the UK’s overall standard of living and long-term economic growth.”
One recommendation was a “voucher” system to subsidise schooling. Families would be free to spend the lump sum of taxpayers’ money on any state or private school to create more of a free market…
You can read the report at: Incentive to Invest? How education affects economic growth
I’m not sure how this squares with the research published recently that actually showed – when other factors were taken into account – the increased earnings of those attending private schools was unlikely to cover the costs involved. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter and take part in our poll…[yop_poll id=”250″]
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