Private schools

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qwertyuiop
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Nov 6 2004 14:51
Private schools

Admittedly this is just a college project of mine, but it does reflect my opinions. Views on it?

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Private schools, should they exist? The answer is an absolute no.

So many students from working class backgrounds do not achieve the success they deserve, not because of their ability but because of the school they attended. It is estimated that 50 per cent of Oxbridge students attended private schools, despite the fact that only 5-7% of children of school age attend private schools. The vast majority of politicians and leading figures in society attended Oxbridge. Therefore to a large extent the country is being run by a minority whose parents happened to be a bit better off.

However, we must look at why private education should exist in the first place.

In our society, successful people earn more money and therefore can afford more, such as sending their children to a school with better facilities and smaller classes. However, why should their children benefit? The only thing the child has done is be born into a family with wealth. They are handed an advantage over their working-class neighbours from the moment they start life.

Apparently, those with wealth are more important. They are able to get better education and healthcare. Not exactly very humanitarian is it? People should be treated equally, regardless of wealth or social status. Everyone should get free education and the only schools that should exist are state schools. Healthcare should also be free and the only provider should be the NHS. Of course more wealth means more duties to society and the rich should pay significantly higher taxes to ensure that these services are well funded and world-class.

Smashing the private school system and with it the 'old boy's network' would also break the glass ceiling that is preventing many of the country's most gifted individuals from getting the chance they deserve, because of the situation they were born into.

Mike Harman
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Nov 6 2004 17:46

The State education system and the NHS have their own priorities which don't necessarily or even at all coincide with those of the working class. There are also massive class divisions in the quality of services offered by them - both geographically and in terms of opportunity for access within communities. They also represent vast bureaucracies, which take up quite a lot of resources, and still manage to give a lot of work to profit making companies (construction, maintenance, exam boards, caterers). Although it isn't entirely private delivery of services, and access is limited more by status and bureaucracy than finance, it still serves the same interests overall.

There are also experimental schools (like Summerhill) which aren't allowed to operate within the state system, but at least when they were set-up, were an attempt to challenge both private and state systems of education (although they're legally private schools). I don't know much about the actual workings of those schools, but they, and also home education (do people still do this?) offer an alternative to both systems, and in a very limited way, a model of how education could be in a post-revolutionary society. Education should be socialised (under the control of communities), but not state-run.

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the button
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Nov 9 2004 12:38

Now obviously I'm not one to spread gossip, but.....

The former British Secretary of the IWW (since departed from the One Big Union) sent his kid to a private school, such was his righteous anarcho-anger against the State.

wink

ditchfield
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Nov 18 2004 20:28

Me and a mate invaded the most expensive private school in Britain the other day, Millfield. We were escorted twice of the premises after being taken to the deputy head. We have now been blacklisted by security and the whole staff are supposed to look out for us. They are thinking about filing a law suit. Fucking nazi bastards.

3rdseason
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Nov 19 2004 12:38
ditchfield wrote:
Me and a mate invaded the most expensive private school in Britain the other day, Millfield. We were escorted twice of the premises after being taken to the deputy head. We have now been blacklisted by security and the whole staff are supposed to look out for us. They are thinking about filing a law suit. Fucking nazi bastards.

Why did you do that?

nosos
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Nov 19 2004 19:33
ditchfield wrote:
Me and a mate invaded the most expensive private school in Britain the other day, Millfield. We were escorted twice of the premises after being taken to the deputy head. We have now been blacklisted by security and the whole staff are supposed to look out for us. They are thinking about filing a law suit. Fucking nazi bastards.

Yeah me and some mates did that at Eton.

Then we went and killed some nazi pigs, took some speed and danced round Joe Strummer's grave in branded Clash memerobilia.

ANARCHY 4 EVA!!! black bloc circle A

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Steven.
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Nov 19 2004 21:43
nosos wrote:
Yeah me and some mates did that at Eton.

Then we went and killed some nazi pigs, took some speed and danced round Joe Strummer's grave in branded Clash memerobilia.

ANARCHY 4 EVA!!! black bloc circle A

grin grin

Er yeah ditchfield, why did you do that?

And how are they nazis?

ditchfield
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Nov 21 2004 22:02

grin. My post may have sounded stupid. Infact, we were trying to sell some tickets to a charity rock concert around local colleges and for a laugh decided to try there. We looked completely out of place due to our lack of uniforms and lack of spiked up hair. We entered the student bar where we were faced by an angry teacher. We were then escorted to the deputed head etc. At the time of writing, I was angry about the fact that they were threatening legal action when we were trying to make money for kids with learning disabilities, hence the tone. Apologies for sounding like crackfixpropaganda wink.

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Steven.
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Nov 22 2004 14:37
ditchfield wrote:
grin. My post may have sounded stupid. Infact, we were trying to sell some tickets to a charity rock concert around local colleges and for a laugh decided to try there. We looked completely out of place due to our lack of uniforms and lack of spiked up hair. We entered the student bar where we were faced by an angry teacher. We were then escorted to the deputed head etc. At the time of writing, I was angry about the fact that they were threatening legal action when we were trying to make money for kids with learning disabilities, hence the tone. Apologies for sounding like crackfixpropaganda wink.

LOL ok then wink grin

Wayne
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Nov 22 2004 18:40

I think for an anarchist Ditchfield sounds very sane. Anyway, when I was at school most of the state schools used to get half days on a Friday and for a while there was a craze for large groups of kids to go running through the local fee-paying school on Friday afternoon. The teachers would lock the doors to the classrooms and we'd run through the corridors causing mischief. One of their teachers used to come into the corridor swinging a hefty blackboard ruler. Anyway, it was all fairly innocent until somebody stabbed one of the private school kids. After that the police took things a lot more seriously.

Well we knew that the police ARE JUST THERE TO PROTECT THE RICH!!! Oh they've always got time to come running when some little rich kid gets what they deserve!! angry This is what will happen when we take the class struggle to the toffs! Real class war on the streets! I have not only looked the class enemy in the eye, I once drew a fucking moustache on a bust in one of their schools!! Can you imagine our proletarian rage when we saw that their language labs were better equipped than ours? No wonder the angry mob escalated the violence! BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!! It was as close to total class warfare as it gets and unlike some fucking liberals, we didn't wait for the fuckers to grow up!! KILL THEM WHEN THEY'RE YOUNG black bloc black bloc circle A !!

Jason Cortez
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Nov 22 2004 22:45

[Catch wrote]and also home education (do people still do this?)

Yes, it still going, in fact home education is growing faster than ever. My son was home educated.

Summerhill is a private fee school, which is heavily reliant on overseas students. It is a partisapory democracy carried out by general meeting where everyone has an equal say (in theory at least) and some sort of majority voting. All the 'rules' are made there (except anything to with legal obilgations and finance which are decied by the staff and governors) and attendance at 'lessons' is voluntary.

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 22 2004 23:40
Jason Cortez wrote:

Summerhill is a private fee school, which is heavily reliant on overseas students. It is a partisapory democracy carried out by general meeting where everyone has an equal say (in theory at least) and some sort of majority voting. All the 'rules' are made there (except anything to with legal obilgations and finance which are decied by the staff and governors) and attendance at 'lessons' is voluntary.

I bet the headmaster has a manky beard and used to be called 'Rainbow' and lives in a large country estate with three landrovers.

Mike Harman
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Nov 23 2004 00:56

nah, headmaster's the daughter of A.S. Neill who founded it, probably beardless. It's on the Suffolk coast somewhere, cantbetoofarfromcolchester wink

samjam
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Nov 23 2004 03:33
Quote:
only schools that should exist are state schools

From what I've seen, the majority of state schools are underfunded, over-crowded, bureaucratic factories. Instead of providing kids with an education, they just mass produce citizens who are taught that mediocrity is good enough.

By saying that only state schools should exist, you're not allowing the parents to choose what they think is best for their children. I thought Anarchism was about people making their own decisions. By forcing upon people only one choice, you are making the decision for them. That is not anyone's right.

Independent (and therefore private) schools are one of the few chances a kid has for independent thought and excellence. A private school doesn't have to be only for the Elite, and it doesn't have to follow the Elite's agenda.

State schools teach only what the State wants them to teach, and follow the State's agenda!

I will fight anyone who forces me to send my kids to a state school.

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 23 2004 04:29

hysterical petit bourgeois drivel

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 23 2004 15:02
Jack wrote:
Well, you know John... Schools... They're a bit like prisons, aren't they?

oh god, at least we didn't have that one this time

john

Dr Souvarine
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Nov 23 2004 16:07

I think self-education is the only kind of schooling that works, the rest is pure pish - pish for the fish in the school - swimming with the herd and all such mixed metaphors.

samjam
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Nov 23 2004 16:26
cantdocartwheels wrote:
hysterical petit bourgeois drivel

It's not drivel! angry

(But there may have been a little spittle mixed in there.) tongue

State schools are crap. If you can afford to send your kids to a school with better facilities and better teachers, then why not? If you have the time to home-school, then even better.

If you have any other alternatives, then good on you. (And share the secret with the rest of us if you don't mind.)

LiveFastDiarrea
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Nov 23 2004 18:57

the problem is, most people dont even have the option of private school, let alone a better alternative to that.

Jason Cortez
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Nov 24 2004 00:48

Anyone interested in alternatives to the current education set-up, should try the following: Libertarian Education by Joel Springer;

School is dead by Everret Riemer;

No master, high or low by John Shotton;

De-schooling soceity by Ivan Illich:

Growing without schooling by John Holt.

Hopefully this will get you started. smile

Can't promise that i have spelt the names all correctly, most should be available through the inter-library loan scheme or 2nd hand book shops

samjam
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Nov 24 2004 02:32
LiveFastDiarrea wrote:
the problem is, most people dont even have the option of private school, let alone a better alternative to that.

This is what I don't understand about many socialists' attitude in general. Just because most people don't have a better option, why must those who do be subjected to the same poor choice?

How do you improve people's quality of life by keeping everyone on a lower standard?

Jason Cortez wrote:
Anyone interested in alternatives to the current education set-up, should try the following...

Thanks Jason. Will look them up...

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 24 2004 03:05

I'm amazed that anarchists with experience of the state school system actually exist... roll eyes tongue embarrassed

3rdseason
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Nov 24 2004 19:14
samjam wrote:
LiveFastDiarrea wrote:
the problem is, most people dont even have the option of private school, let alone a better alternative to that.

This is what I don't understand about many socialists' attitude in general. Just because most people don't have a better option, why must those who do be subjected to the same poor choice?

How do you improve people's quality of life by keeping everyone on a lower standard?

Thats an interesting view.

On the schools question I would suggest that schools are not only for academic education but teaching kids to get on with different people in a social enviroment and state school reflect day to day life out amongst the majority of the population much better than private schools do.

Joe Hill
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Dec 9 2004 09:37

I shouldn't really be amazed that someone posting on this board should be in favour of private schools I suppose...

These schools, for the children of the wealthy, create & perpetuate class divisions and privilege. This is where the captains of industry come from as well as many politicians and all the others who keep the state schools (and the proles in general) in the position they are in. There may be a few who 'drop out' but they are few and far between and most of them finally drop back in anyway.

The use of words like 'choice' for those who can afford it sounds terribly close to the tory position. The reality is that all children should have access to the best possible education, not just the children of the wealthy. No choice for working class kids, but then that's what capitalism is all about.

samjam
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Dec 10 2004 00:06
Joe Hill wrote:
These schools, for the children of the wealthy, create & perpetuate class divisions and privilege.

You're looking at things as they usually are now, not how they can be.

Most private schools are for the children of the middle and upper classes. However, it doesn't have to be like that. What stops people from setting up a private school for working class children founded on socialist principles? What stops people from setting up an educational co-operative founded on anarchist principles?

My point is that State schools ultimately have to tow the government's line because they are literally the schools of the State. Private schools do not because they are independently funded.

Joe Hill wrote:
The use of words like 'choice' for those who can afford it sounds terribly close to the tory position.

I couldn't care less about Tories, Liberals, Labour or whatever. As soon as they get into power, their goals become the same: staying in power. The simple fact is that if you remove any alternatives to State schools, you have less choice.

Joe Hill wrote:
No choice for working class kids, but then that's what capitalism is all about.

The problem with thinking so rigidly about class is that you stop seeing anything else. I don't believe that everything revolves around class.

Jason Cortez
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Dec 10 2004 02:01

samjam wrote

Quote:
What stops people from setting up a private school for working class children founded on socialist principles?

Money and time in my experience. There are various projects/schools which are a lot closer to the sort of schools/education institutions anarchists would probaly desire (David Gribble's(?) varitieties of education is a good book to start with). But at the present time most people have very little option (or awareness of possible alternatives and even those that do exist aren't practical for alot of families) but to send their kids to a state school. Having been invovled in trying to set one up, i can tell you it isn't an easy thing to do. Hence i admire those who have managed to do it, despite the compromises that usually have to be made. And class really does have a practical impact on this, access to; finances, professionals(friends) to navigate all the various legal mazes, being taken seriously by bureacrats, enough spare time, the education and confidence to feel capable etc etc.

There are groups like Education Now and Human Scale Education amongst others who are attempting to improve state education as well as exploring alternatives.

Have you looked on

[url]http://www.libed.org.uk/ [/url] very good site, being improved all the time

samjam
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Dec 10 2004 04:12
Jason Cortez wrote:
samjam wrote
Quote:
What stops people from setting up a private school for working class children founded on socialist principles?

Money and time in my experience.

It always comes down to money and time doesn't it? The idea is theoretically possible though, right?

P.S.

Thanks for the link. Is there something similar for the UK?

Garner
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Dec 10 2004 12:08
samjam wrote:
Jason Cortez wrote:
samjam wrote
Quote:
What stops people from setting up a private school for working class children founded on socialist principles?

Money and time in my experience.

It always comes down to money and time doesn't it? The idea is theoretically possible though, right?

Sure it's theoretically possible, but in practice (which is what counts) it's only possible for the wealthy, so it just ends up perpetuating class divisions.

Jason Cortez
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Dec 10 2004 13:35

Garner wrote

Quote:
Sure it's theoretically possible, but in practice (which is what counts) it's only possible for the wealthy, so it just ends up perpetuating class divisions.

It is not only possible for the wealthy, just easier. Such types of education tend to have a much more profound effect on working class kids lives.

LibEd have just published a book by David Gribble- Lifelines (i haven't read it so can't comment on how good it is) This book is about solving the problems of the youth gang culture of Chicago, of deserted and abused children in Thailand, and of street and working children in Delhi.

But until we have a widespread militant working class movement, it is unlikely that many people will even know about thse alternative education practices, let alone be invovled in them. This dosen't mean we shouldn't encourage and promote this stuff. State schooling is something that affects working class kids and we need to look at different ways to improve this experience, including alternatives to it. By simply dismissing this as the privilege of the wealthy, we ensure that it will always remain so.

Samjam

LibEd is a uk organisation, the .org.uk really should given that away, no?

Joe Hill
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Dec 10 2004 23:51

I have no problem whatsoever with eradicating privileged private schools (which, amazingly, are still subsidised by taxpayers through their 'charitable' status) - a la Eton, Gordonstoun and so on, just as I would have no problem with the queen living in a council house.

Yes, these schools present alternatives to state education - but as establishment education for toffs' kids and wannabees who wish to secure advantage for their offspring over other children. Hardly utopian is it? (And definitely not socialist and I really don't think anarchist, not so sure on my anarchist theory though, maybe someone can offer a view from that perspective)

I could make exceptions for Summerhill type schools possibly, but these are one-offs, usually frequented by people wearing rainbow jumpers and a million miles from the working class at present.

It is unimaginable that working class people could raise the resources etc to set up universal alternatives to address the needs of the mass of people (just as they could not set up health services etc as things stand). I would love to set up a school, but simply could not - wageslave, no capital etc and even if there was a remote possibility I could, it would be only for a small local group.

And yes, I am talking about the present. A separate discussion about educational possibilities and theories could be interesting though.

Deezer
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Dec 11 2004 01:01

I know this is particularly complicated by local politics but there are numerous examples of schools outside the state system in Northern Ireland that don't fit the Etonian public school elite model.

First off tho', what we do have are state schools, regarded universally as prod schools, Catholic maintained schools, a smattering of other directly religious maintained schools and Grammer Schools. This is sort of the main stream of education.

Parents & teachers have got together and set up alternatives. There are a growing number of integrated schools, these are predominantly middle-class angry tho' not exclusively so - but we didn't send our kids to one of these as most promote respect for ALL RELIGIONS angry and none, and ALL CLASSES angry angry , in their prospectuses.

There are also the Irish language schools which are more likely to have been set up by working class people, language activists and enthusiasts (though I have heard reports of the middle classes muscling in after they get set up). These schools have differing attitudes to religion, some are in principle 'mixed'* (though rarely in practise) and some have an attitude to religious education that does not endear them to the Catholic church (though this seems to come under increasing pressure from Catholic parents in proportion to the length of time the schools are open) and they are not directly under state or church control. And although they promote the speaking of leprecaun wink thats the sort of school our kids are at.

Whats the point, well with political motivation people can set up their own schools - but we're hardly gonna get motivated unless we have a better idea about the sort of alternatives we'd like to see provided. And if self activity and organisation is at the base of this I don't see any problem in encouraging this sort of development.

*that means Catholics and Protestants can go. For some Catholic schools mixed however means boys and girls can both go to the same school, there are still loads of same sex Catholic schools. Single sex Protestant schools are largely a thing of the past, still a couple knocking about, mostly posh angry .

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