The Telegraph reports that private schools’ “corporate greed” is pricing out middle-class families, the former High Master of St Paul’s Boys’ School has warned.
Dr Martin Stephen suggested that charging ever-rising school fees is short sighted, as it poses a threat to the existence of public schools.
He explains that there are two “crucial” threats to their existence. “The first is the increase in fees that has placed a public-school education beyond the reach of the middle-class families that have been their bedrock for most of their history,” Dr Stephen said.
“The greed that has driven fee increases lies at the door of poor governance, and too many governors whose eyes rarely take in more than the good lunch they get at a Governors’ meeting.”
Dr Stephen wrote that nowadays, “private greed has been replaced by corporate greed”, as schools seek to lure their potential clients with state of the art facilities, and raise fees to “astronomical heights” for overseas students.
It is “the greed of those who see a market and people willing to pay more and more for their child’s education without asking too many questions”, he said.
The “real killer blow” to private education, he argues, would be if the discourse on access to higher education led to universities introducing quotas to restrict the number of public-school pupils.
Yet another threat to fee-paying schools is the improvement of state education, and the growth of grammar schools, Dr Stephen said.
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