Time to reform Britain’s fee-paying schools to end the engine of privilege

AS Britain prepares for the selection of the Old Etonian Boris Johnson as Prime Minister policy wonks from both sides of the political spectrum have re-focused their attention on the role of fee-paying schools in the educational system. Stephen Lambert, director of Education4Democracy CIC and a former senior college lecturer writes in FE News.

There’s been a sharp increase in the number of youngsters going to a private school. 7% nationally with over a third attending an independent school of one form or another in London. In terms of post-16 education a staggering 16% of young people go to a private school sixth form or sixth form college. Even in Newcastle over 12% are privately educated. In Bristol over a fifth are privately educated. Most are upper or professional middle class – partly down to tradition and fees.

For critics, most people don’t have the resources to buy a private education for their children. It’s unethical that the off-spring of the rich and influential should be afforded more advantages in education than the dispossessed. Despite the private sector catering for the upper and upper middle classes, they are treated as charities by national government with tax exemptions.

Read the full article Time to reform Britain’s fee-paying schools to end the engine of privilege 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


DfE agrees 2.75% pay rise for all teachers
Parents opt for ‘aggressive’ behaviour towards teachers in bid to raise complaints, watchdog finds
Categories: DfE, Employment, Further Education, Higher Education, Parenting, Private Schools and University.


  1. The fundamental issue is that we do not spend enough on our schools for the abolition of independent education to be affordable, achievable or executable. Unless and until we are prepared to spend Finnish levels on our students, this argument will stumble. Finland continues to represent the European gold standard for education – it continues to be the top European country in terms of PISA scores. And its spend per student? £11,000 compared with our NFF, which reveals spending per student of around £4800 in hard-done by York, and £7800 for a secondary student in Hackney.

Let us know what you think...